Rechristened under the name Maserati, this 70-foot VOR carbon-fiber mono-hull racing yacht previously competed in a round-the-world race in 2008-2009. Now unburdened by some 10% of its mass, Maserati will be sailed by world-renowned skipper Giovanni Soldini and his nine-man crew in an attempt to break the records for the three ocean routes: Cadiz to San Salvador, Miami to New York, and New York to Lizard Point, UK.
Maserati's participation doesn't appear to extend beyond lending its name, but it isn't the only automaker to have done so: the Volvo Ocean race is named by the Swedish automaker that sponsors it, much as Audi sponsors the MedCup sailing race and BMW once sponsored the USA-17 racing trimaran. Details in the press release after the jump with high-resolution images in the gallery for more.
Maserati and Soldini to break Atlantic sailing records, together with BSI and Generali
Maserati presents its race against time, teaming up with world-renowned sailor Giovanni Soldini in an attempt to break three important and historic North Atlantic sailing records.
FIAT chairman, John Elkann and the president of Yacht Club Italiano, Carlo Croce, introduce the challenge, where Soldini and his team of nine sailors will next year captain the Maserati yacht in an attempt to break the Cadiz-San Salvador (Bahamas), Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK) records.
The three ocean course attempts will be monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body certifying the record times on the historic clipper routes.
"I am happy that two major companies have decided to approach the world of ocean sailing by supporting this important Italian enterprise," said Giovanni Soldini, who already has two circumnavigations and over 30 Atlantic crossings to his name.
"We intend to be the first Italian boat to set a record on an official WSSRC route and breaking the North Atlantic record has always been a lifelong dream of mine."
While the principal partner for the challenge is Maserati, whose name has been given to the boat, the challenge is co-sponsored by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and Generali itself. Maserati will fly the pennant of Yacht Club Italiano, which was founded in 1879 and is the oldest sailing club in the Mediterranean Sea. Vodafone Italia and Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. will be official suppliers to the challenge, with Bulgari as the Official Time Keeper.
"Maserati is lending its name to a boat which represents the synthesis of nautical technology and with which Soldini and his crew will attempt to break major ocean records," said Harald Wester, CEO of Maserati S.p.A.
"Giovanni Soldini aboard Maserati expresses the absolute symbiosis of values – passion, emotion, speed, adrenalin, innovation along with craftsmanship and an Italian identity – between the Trident marque and the great Italian yachtsman in a series of offshore challenges on a global scale."
The Maserati CEO's enthusiasm was reflected by the challenge's other partners.
"Yacht Club Italiano is delighted to be partnering Giovanni Soldini and Maserati in this important challenge," declared Carlo Croce, president of Yacht Club Italiano.
Alfredo Gysi, CEO of BSI SA, the Gruppo Generali bank specialising in private wealth management, also expressed his pleasure in supporting the attempt.
"We are pleased to support, together with Maserati, Giovanni Soldini and his crew and recognise the great sporting value of their project," he declared. "Tackling such a challenge requires great technical expertise, team spirit and aspiration to excellence: all values that are fully reflected in our group."