“What was I thinking when I was boating as a child on my father’s Alpa 12.70, pictured above? Let’s hope it doesn’t capsize!” “What Has it changed today compared to when I was going around the world? Everything! We didn’t even have GPS or a phone, you connected twice a week with Pierluigi, an amateur radio operator from Ravenna.” And again, “When I rescued Isabelle Autissier I had a galley full of food, I used to bring her aperitifs and Italian cheeses, she was amazed accustomed as she was to ‘barbaric’ French food.”
In this ninety-minute interview conducted by our own Eugenio Ruocco in collaboration with Paolo Martano of the Italian Naval League in Milan, which can be seen in the events area of Milano Yachting Week – The digital Boat Show, it is truly a freewheeling Giovanni Soldini. Italy’s most famous navigator told us about everything. From his thoughts on the Vendée Globe (the solo round-the-world race), “it’s not as unique as it used to be,” to his colleagues Pedote and Beccaria, from his history (from his beginnings in Flying Junior) to his Cuban experience to the round-the-world races that have consigned him to history, from Soldini cruising to his sailing myths.
All seasoned with anecdotes that reveal Soldini’s “secret” side: “The Cape Hornier earring? I made it myself, without ice!” “I have a tractor.” “I love repairing things, I’m a serial repairer.” “Who wouldn’t I take on a boat with me? Salvini and Trump.”
WHO IS GIOVANNI SOLDINI
He was born in Milan on May 16, 1966, and began sailing as a child. He has 30 years of ocean racing behind him, including two solo round-the-world races (one win and one second place), six Québec-Saint Malo (one win in the monohull class), six Ostar (two wins in the 50-foot class and 40-foot class), three Jacques Vabre (one win in the 40-foot class), and more than 40 trans-oceanic races.
Aboard the VOR70 Maserati set the Cadiz-San Salvador record and the Golden Route record by covering the 13,225-mile distance between New York and San Francisco in 47 days, 42 minutes and 29 seconds. In 2015, he set the groundbreaking Tea Route record, covering the distance between San Francisco and Shanghai in just over 21 days. With the trimaran Multi70 Maserati, he set the record on the Hong Kong-London route and recently won line honors in the Rolex Middle Sea Race.