Maserati and Soldini announce North Atlantic speed record challenge

Maserati Yacht. (Image provided)
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Both Giovanni and Maserati are preparing for an attempt at the Cadiz-San Salvador speed record. A professional eight man crew, which includes American Brad Van Liew, will take on the Atlantic Ocean.

The first ambitious challenge at a speed record in the North Atlantic by Giovanni Soldini and Maserati was announced today in Milan. As from early February a crew of eight led by Soldini will be engaged in seeking to become the new record holder between Cadiz (Spain) and San Salvador (Bahamas) on board Maserati, which has been completely overhauled. Maserati is a 70-foot racing yacht optimized for extreme speed.

In addition to skipper Soldini, Maserati will be crewed by seven capable yachtsmen with a past track record in open ocean-going regattas and in competitions such as the America's Cup. German Boris Herrmann (navigator), American Brad Van Liew (watch leader) and Spaniard David Vera (watch leader) will make up a team completed by four Italians: Gabriele Olivo (trimmer), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Gerardo Siciliano (second bowman), and Corrado Rossignoli (first bowman).

The record for Cadiz-San Salvador run, 3884 miles long, is monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body that gives official status to the fastest sailing times along the historical routes once plied by clippers. In the past the record was set only by maxi trimarans. Maserati will attempt to be the first to establish the record for the monohull category.

Two additional North Atlantic records that Soldini and crew will attempt to break in 2012 aboard Maserati include Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK).

'The challenge is a demanding one, given the length and the difficulty of the route,' explains Soldini.

Resident Osprey 2 - 2012 SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week
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'During the first part our concerns will be with the area of high pressure blocking our path near the Azores. During the second part the difficulties will be posed by fronts and depressions which, if too low, will slow the boat down. At the same time it's great to have a chance like this and I am delighted with the entire crew'.

American Brad Van Liew and Soldini have a notable history together, having both competed in the Around Alone race of 1998-99, when extreme weather in the Southern Ocean forced Soldini to the rescue of a capsized fellow competitor (Isabelle Autissier) and Van Liew to a dismasting.

'It is exciting to be working with my old friend Giovanni,' said Van Liew. 'It is a wonderful collaborative effort and a fresh, new type of sailing for me. It takes me back to my crewed racing roots which is an exciting departure from my solo sailing competitions. I welcome the race against time.'