Heading into the weekend before Columbus Day, Maserati appropriately announced today its own plans to traverse the high seas next year, somewhat following in the footsteps of the famous Italian explorer who “discovered” the New World for the Spanish Kingdom in the late 15th century. In partnership with the Swiss bank BSI and the Generali Group, Maserati is sponsoring an eponymous yacht that will be helmed by renowned sailor Giovanni Soldini (pictured below) and a crew of nine sailors. The group’s goal? To set new speed records for three different transatlantic routes: Cadiz, Spain to San Salvador, Bahamas; Miami to New York; and New York to Lizard Point, England (ok, technically only two different transatlantic routes).
“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 one of my life’s dreams,” said Soldini at a press conference, referring to the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body that certifies record times for historic clipper routes. Flying the pennant of the Mediterranean’s oldest sailing club, the Yacht Club Italiano, the Maserati will source supplies from Vodafone Italia and Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A., and will officially be timed by watchmaker Bulgari.
Though formidably challenging, the three current record times may have found their match in Soldini, whose accomplishments include circumnavigating the globe twice, and crossing the Atlantic over 30 times. “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,” said Harald Wester, CEO of Maserati S.p.A.
Below from left to right, Giovanni Soldini, Maserati CEO Harald Wester, Fiat President John Elkann, and Yacht Club Italiano President Carlo Croce pose with a Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale.