The world’s most ‘liked‘ pro-sailor* is undertaking a new challenge. Hot on the heels of the media returns generated by Banque Populaire V’s record breaking achievements comes an update on Giovanni Soldini’s speed record campaign, backed by Italian sports car brand – Maserati.
The challenge, first reported in October last year, will attempt to set a new record between Cadiz (Spain) and San Salvador (Bahamas) on board a converted VOR70 racing yacht named Maserarti after the title sponsor.
The record for Cadiz-San Salvador runs 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 Fiat Group, which owns Maserati, is not usually one to enter into sponsorship deals, though they do make exceptions, especially when Italian athletes are involved. Valentino Rossi has been one of Fiat’s most recognisable brand ambassadors in recent years and IVECO, which is also part of the Fiat Group has backed the NZ All Blacks.
A statement issued yesterday explained some of the reasoning behind the deal:
This display of support and involvement by Maserati regarding this major Italian project in sport and technology, confirms its role as a world ambassador for that level of excellence for which Italy is known. Maserati gives zealous expression to that excellence every day in 65 countries worldwide through high-quality successful products such as Quattroporte, GranTurismo, and GranCabrio. The performance of these cars on the road match those of Giovanni Soldini and Maserati on water.
Other sponsors include Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group), and Generali, Vodafone Italia, Murphy&Nye, Bulgari and Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A.
Soldini said about the challenge:
“The challenge is a demanding one, given the length and the difficulty of the route. 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”.
The crew of 7 yachtsmen includes 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).
* Giovanni Soldini has more Facebook ‘likes’ than any other individual professional sailor (around 10,000), though one could argue that Alex Thompson Racing (around 16,000) is an individual and not a team! Both sailors have less ‘likes’ than Jessica Watson (around 30,000).