Rick Spilman

Rick Spilman
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
March 25
I am the author of a nautical thriller set in the last days of sail, Hell Around the Horn. I also the host of the Old Salt Blog. I have a background in ship operations, banking and corporate communications. I am an avid sailor and kayaker.

MAY 8, 2012 6:14PM

Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Sailing Team Poised to Sail from New York Tonight in Attempt to Break Record

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Maserati at North Cove

Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati Sailing Team have announced that they expect to set sail from the North Cove Marina in New York City between 10:00 p.m. this evening and 3:00 a.m. tomorrow morning in their attempt to break the monohull sailing record from the Ambrose Lighthouse in New York to Lizard Point off the south west coast of England. From their press release: “They are challenging a record set in 2003 by Robert Miller’s monohull Mary Cha IV – 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds. The 140-foot Mary Cha IV covered the 2,925 miles of the route at an average speed of 18.5 knots with 24 crew on board. Maserati, measuring 70-feet and with 8 crew on board is facing the daunting task of beating the record time of a racing yacht twice as large with three times the manpower. The extensive offshore experience on board Maserati might trump the larger yacht and team if the weather cooperates.”  The team has been waiting a month for suitable weather conditions.

“The low pressure approaching finally seems to be the right one,” explains Giovanni Soldini. “This evening we will make the final decision, but I hope that the last weather forecasts will be confirmed. At the start we are expecting 25 – 30 knots of southerly winds and some thunderstorms. We will be departing just ahead of a cold front that will be coming through the New York area tomorrow morning.” 

American crew member Brad Van Liew adds, “We are going to grab onto the eastern side of the front, and ride it as far as we can across the North Atlantic. The three major challenges will be the unpredictable thunderstorms out of New York, the large area of icebergs south and east of Nova Scotia with strong winds and a water temperature of 2.4 degrees Celsius, and another area of uncertain weather near the finish line.”

There have been some changes in Maserati’s crew: French sailors Sebastien Audigane and Ronan Le Goff, Spanish Javier de la Plaza and British Tom Gall have joined the crew to replace some members of the team that are taking part in regattas in the Mediterranean. On board Maserati with the skipper Giovanni Soldini, are watch leader Brad Van Liew, Javier de la Plaza (helm, pit), Sebastien Audigane (helm, trimmer) Ronan Le Goff (helm, bowman), Guido Broggi (boat captain), Corrado Rossignoli (bowman), and Tom Gall (second bowman).

The record attempt can be followed live on Giovanni Soldini and Maserati’s website (www.maserati.soldini.it).


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