For Immediate Release –
The North Atlantic Record Fades Away for Giovanni Soldini and his Maserati Team –
Following Three Days of Extreme Conditions and Intense Speed the Weather Fails
New York (May 14, 2012) – “We didn’t make it; the barometer has started to rise.” With these words Giovanni Soldini, on board Maserati, said that the New York-Lizard Point record attempt has definitely faded away. After blasting through the first 1,500 miles of the course, at speeds which averaged more than 20 knots and placed Maserati ahead of the existing world record, the weather models changed and destroyed their charge to the finish line.
The team ended up in a dead calm zone caused by the high pressure that suddenly placed itself in the boat’s route. The weather forecasts originally predicted just after Newfoundland, a north- westerly wind of 20-25 knots would push Maserati toward the finishing line. However, the weather models changed by the moment, and Maserati was a mere 30 miles away from the north-westerly wind that would have let them escape the high pressure. The high pressure moved faster than Maserati and the wind relentlessly started decreasing.
There was nothing left to do for Giovanni Soldini and his team. Once they entered the weak winds after rushing through Newfoundland’s icebergs and fog, the “virtual” advantage of 200 miles on Mari Cha IV (a 140 foot maxi yacht which set the North Atlantic speed record in 2003 in 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds) got thinner and thinner.
Giovanni explains: “It’s a pity. I am really upset about it. A great opportunity missed in an instant, but as usual we were in the sea’s hands and we couldn’t command it. I hope to have the opportunity to try again. The North Atlantic record falls through and we have to wait for the southerly wind. We showed that Maserati can break Mari Cha IV’s record, it only needs a better weather situation, more settled and steady than the one we faced.”
Many boats have tried to break the challenging North Atlantic record. In 1999 Giovanni Agnelli’s Stealth had to abandon due to technical problems. Virgin Money (Speedboat), a 100 foot monohull chartered and helmed by Richard Branson, abandoned in 2008 due to a huge storm with waves 40 feet tall that damaged the boat and hurt the crew. In 2010 ICAP Leopard 3 (skipper Chris Sherlock, owner Mike Slade) ended up in a dead calm zone caused by high pressure just 350 miles before the arrival at Lizard Point.
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 record attempt can be followed live on Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s website (www.maserati.soldini.it). The site contains news, videos and photos of the lifestyle of crew members on board, and provides continuous monitoring of the marine weather conditions, as well as online tracking to check the position and speed of Maserati in real time. Continuous updates are also available on Facebook (through Giovanni Soldini’s official page) and Twitter (@giovannisoldini and Brad Van Liew @BradVanLiew).
The challenge is being sponsored by Maserati as main partner and inspiration for the boat’s name, by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and by Generali itself as co-sponsor.
Maserati’s support and participation in this major Italian challenge in sport and technology confirms the company’s role as a world ambassador for that level of excellence for which Italy is universally known. Maserati gives zealous expression to that excellence every day in 65 countries worldwide, through successful high-quality cars like the Quattroporte, GranTurismo and GranCabrio. The performance of Maserati cars on the road matches that of Giovanni Soldini and Maserati on water.
BSI and Generali
BSI is one of Switzerland’s oldest banks and specialises in private wealth management through top flight global management. BSI is a fully controlled member of the Generali Group, and fields a presence on all major international financial markets, especially in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Generali is one of the world’s largest international insurance groups with offices in over 60 countries. The group boasts a robust footprint in Europe, EEC member states, Asia and Latin America, serving over 70 million customers. The Generali Group is a European leader in life insurance with assets of over 400 billion euros.
Suppliers for the attempt include Vodafone Italia, responsible for providing telecommunication services and developing the official website, the marine clothing brand Murphy&Nye, who have supplied the clothing for the entire Maserati team, official time keeper Bulgari, and Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. producers of the special paints and enamels used on the hull.
Maserati is also sponsored by Eataly, suppliers to the boat’s galley, Beta Utensili, who have provided all the professional tools, Corderia Lancelin, supplier of the special ropes and cables, FPT Industrial for technical assistance with the engines, Jeppesen for the cartography, B&G Navico for technical assistance with on board instrumentation, Cantiere Picchiotti of La Spezia, home of Maserati on dry land, and the Port of La Spezia, home of Maserati when at sea.
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