The fast-paced, bone-jarring sport of offshore racing claimed another life during the recent Atlantic crossing record attempt by Italian sailor Giovani Soldini. One crewmember was lost overboard on April 3 after the vessel capsized in heavy seas about 400 miles from the English coast.Soldini and four crew were averaging between 14 and 19 knots and feeling confident about breaking the 11-day, 13-hour record when foul weather suddenly capsized the open class, 60-foot Fila. One of the yacht’s designers and a longtime friend of Soldini, Andrea Romanelli, disappeared in the confusion following the capsize. His body was never found despite an extensive search by Fila’s crew and British officials. The crew departed New York City on March 26.
Fila was dismasted, and Soldini chose not to continue with the attempt even after rigging an emergency mast. The vessel righted itself several minutes after the capsize. Soldini and his three remaining crew proceeded to France instead of the intended Cape Lizard on England’s southwest shore.
It was unclear at press time whether Fila would be repaired in time for Soldini’s attempt to enter Around Alone.