Hush hush, Soldini tries to break new Atlantic crossing record

Giovanni Soldini aboard Maserati
Giovanni Soldini aboard Maserati

Oct. 19 – With 24 hours to go before departing New York, Maserati has finally entered the wind when it is 2470 of 2880 miles to Lizard Point, the extreme western edge of England and the finishing point of the North Atlantic record.

This morning Giovanni Soldini explained the situation this way, “We finally got into the wind, hopefully it’s not too late. The first 24 hours of sailing have been very stressful. Hurricane Gonzalo 300 miles ahead of us kept us in a low wind area for almost 12 hours. The forecast gave us a southwesterly wind but it did not arrive until 1 a.m. today. There were times when we thought all was lost. Fortunately, the wind we were waiting for came in and we are now cruising at more than 19 knots average. Unfortunately, Gonzalo left a nice formed sea that is slowing us down a bit but as time goes by everything should settle down. Now we just have to give it our all and do everything to go as fast as we can. We are convinced that we can make up for these 12 hours that cost us dearly. With a little luck we will be able to hook up with the cold front that is waiting for us in the North Atlantic. It will be crucial to be able to stay ahead of it. A lot will depend on the actual speed of the front, but if all goes well we could have nice pressure from the southwest all the way to England.”

The west-to-east Atlantic crossing record belongs to the 140-foot maxi yacht Mari Cha IV, which in 2003 with a 24-person crew took 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds to travel the 2880 miles from New York to Lizard Point.

Oct. 18 – Without making too much of a fuss, at h 00:27:29 GMT yesterday (02:27:20 in Italy, 20:20:20 local time on October 17) in front of the Ambrose Lighthouse in New York Bay, Maserati crossed the starting line to attempt to break the record for the Atlantic crossing from New York to Lizard Point, the westernmost tip of England. 2,880 miles in the North Atlantic, passing under Newfoundland, in pursuit of cold fronts, to be covered in less than 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds, the record time set in 2003 by American Robert Miller’s 140-foot maxi yacht Mari Cha IV with 24 crew aboard.

Aboard Maserati, in addition to skipper Giovanni Soldini, is an international crew of nine sailors: Italians Guido Broggi, Corrado Rossignoli, Andrea Fantini, Michele Sighel, Alberto Sonino; German Boris Herrmann; Chinese Jianghe Teng, known as Tiger; Spaniard Oliver Herrera Perez; and Englishman Sam Goodchild.

This is how Giovanni Soldini comments on the first 12 hours of sailing: “We started last night with darkness, the first few hours were exciting with excellent conditions and Maserati was able to give its best often gliding over 25 knots of speed. Over the course of the night the wind as predicted dropped, but contrary to what was announced it turned us stern. We spent four, five very difficult hours with a very bad course, little wind and giant waves almost on the bow. Hurricane Gonzalo, which is coming into Bermuda and sucked all the wind out of us, is to blame. Fortunately now the situation has normalized, the wind has resumed its direction set by the forecast and is slowly gaining some strength. In the next few hours the hurricane will continue its northerly course passing over our bow 250 miles away. By that time we should be in the steady, clean wind and with any luck we should have passed the first big gate on this route.”

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