Monday, May 14, 2012

Maserati Sailing Team sees record slip away

Maserati under sail in the ocean
The sleek Maserati sailing vessel that was moored at the Sea Breeze marina in Charleston for a time, has conceded that the record from New York to Lizard Point, England is safe. The crew reported more than halfway through their challenging 2925 nautical mile journey that light winds have replaced the strong winds that already propelled them through the Newfoundland waters that are still frigid and containing icebergs. Former Around Alone skippers Giovanni Soldini and Brad Van Liew head up this veteran racing crew, and to view past blog entries about the Velux 5 Oceans Race click here.

COLD and tough conditions at sea
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.

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.   

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, a 90 foot monohull 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.

Photos courtesy Brad Van Liew

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