Italy’s most revered sailor will attempt to break three important and historic North Atlantic sailing records in the new yacht Maserati, flying the pennant of the oldest sailing club in the Mediterranean Sea. Soldini seeks the Cadiz-San Salvador (Bahamas), Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK) records representing the Yacht Club Italiano, which dates back to 1879. Soldini has already earned his place in history, with his own flair and storied past on the waters, sailing along sand with a crew.
In 2000 the profiled Soldini: When Prada Challenge of Italy advanced to last spring's America's Cup finals, the team's helmsman and leader, Francesco de Angelis, found himself at the center of a news media onslaught. Back home, the Prada crew members had become national heroes. But when asked how he handled the burden of his newfound celebrity, de Angelis shrugged and invoked the name of his country's most famous sailor.''I'm more popular in Italy now,'' he said. ''But I'm no Giovanni Soldini.''De Angelis was correct. Soldini -- a single-handed offshore virtuoso whose training regimen includes beer, cigarettes and pool halls -- is definitely one of a kind.
The article, authored by Herb McCormick, continues to detail some of the triumph and trauma in Soldini’s past:
In recent years, Soldini's long-distance adventures have run the spectrum from joyous to tragic. In the last Around Alone race, Soldini shook off a disastrous opening leg to claim a stirring, come-from-behind victory. Along the way he captured the world's attention by performing a stunning rescue of his fellow competitor Isabelle Autissier, who had capsized in the desolate reaches of the Southern Ocean. But in the prelude to that race, his best friend, the yacht designer Andrea Romanelli, was swept from Fila's decks in a North Atlantic storm, and lost at sea. After winning Around Alone, Soldini's first thoughts were of Romanelli. ''I wish he were here,'' he said. ''This boat was his life, too.''
Soldini has continued to earn more prestigious titles including the . The three ocean course attempts will be monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.
Maserati returns to its legacy in sailing which began in the 1930s, when the Maserati brothers tested two paired 16-cylinder engines on the ocean waters.Iin 1955, a Maserati engine garnered five powerboat world championships. Maserati’s eight-cylinder engines earned 19 world, four European and 10 Italian titles through 1969. "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 in a company statement. The challenge is co-sponsored by the Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and Generali.