With Italian Giovanni Soldini as skipper and American Brad Van Liew as navigator, the 70-foot sloop Maserati is attempting to break the monohull transatlantic record. You can keep up with Maserati's progress with this excellent tracker display.
From the press release: The international crew of eight men will sail 2,925 miles in the North Atlantic Ocean, dangerously close to icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland. The time to beat is 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds, a world record set in 2003 by British sailor Robert Miller's monohull Mari Cha IV.
"We have waited for so long, but it was worth it," explained Soldini before leaving the dock. "This low pressure seems to be the right one to try and break a speed record as challenging as the North Atlantic one. We will try to ride the tides and the winds the best we can and reach Great Britain achieving the record. We are confident and in high spirits."
Giovanni Soldini and his crew face complex challenges. The route is demanding and often treacherous with strong winds, rough seas, icebergs, and water temperatures below 2-4 degrees Celsius. The arduous circumstances are compounded by the constant need to analyze the weather forecasts and make the best strategic choices.
On board Maserati is an international crew of skilled sailors: Giovanni Soldini (skipper), American Brad Van Liew (navigator and watch leader), Spaniard Javier de la Plaza (helm, pit), Frenchmen Sebastien Audigane (helm, trimmer) and Ronan Le Goff (helm, bowman), Italians Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (bowman), and Brit Tom Gall (second bowman).
The differences between Maserati and the world record holder Mari Cha IV are staggering. Mari Cha IV is a maxi yacht with a length of 140 feet (double Maserati's 70 foot hull) and built to beat the most important speed records throughout the world. While Maserati is high tech and also built for extreme speed, she boasts one-third the displacement of Mari Cha IV and a single mast in contrast to Mari Cha IV's two towering masts stretching 160 feet high. Only the current race against time will tell if the feisty and determined crew on board Maserati can break the amazing standard set by Mari Cha IV in 2003. Despite what may appear to be an underdog position, it is important to consider that the sister-ship to Maserati (Ericsson 4) currently holds the world speed record covering 596.6 nautical miles in 24 hours.