Maserati sets out on new trans-Atlantic sailing record attempt


February 2, 2012

The Maserati is attempting to set a new record for a trans-Atlantic crossing by a mono-hull yacht

The Maserati is attempting to set a new record for a trans-Atlantic crossing by a mono-hull yacht

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Maserati is swapping the bitumen for the deep blue by backing an attempt to set a new record for a trans-Atlantic crossing. A crew of seven, skippered by Giovanni Soldini, has set sail from the port of Cadiz in southwestern Spain in a super maxi yacht named after the Italian supercar manufacturer. They are headed for San Salvador in the Bahamas on a 3,884 nautical miles (4,469 miles/7,193 km) journey.

Previously, only large trimarans have made attempts on the trans-Atlantic record, so Maserati is endeavoring to set the first reference time for mono-hull boats. The current world record for the east-west crossing - which is also known as the Road of the discovery in honor of Christopher Columbus's 1492 crossing - in a trimaran set by Groupama 3 in 2007 is just under seven days, eleven hours. Christopher Columbus, by the way, took five weeks to cross the Atlantic in 1492.

Maserati set out in favorable conditions on February 2, although the crew says it isn't clear what will happen on the second half of the journey as the long-term forecasts just aren't reliable enough. The biggest problem they expect to face in the first half of the attempt is a high pressure area over the Azores, while in the second half they anticipate a series of fronts and depressions that could slow the boat down if the pressure is too low.

Maserati is a 70 foot (21 m) VOR70 (Volvo Ocean Race) mono-hull racing yacht that previously participated under a different name in the 2008-2009 round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race. It features a carbon mast over 98 ft (30 m) high, a canting keel, mobile water ballast tanks, forward canard fins, and composite material construction. It recently spent three months in dry dock shedding some 10 percent of its weight.

Although Maserati is best known for its luxury land vehicles and the yacht that bears its name isn't powered by a Maserati engine, the company has historical links with transportation of the marine variety that goes beyond its Poseidon's trident logo. As early as the 1930s, the Maserati brothers tested two paired 16-cylinder engines at sea, while a Maserati engine was used to claim five powerboat world championships in 1955. Maserati eight-cylinder engines also won 19 world, four European and ten Italian titles in various categories from 1957 to 1969.

The Maserati record attempt is being monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council and the yacht's progress can be followed here.

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Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

This boat is of course very fast and fun. The trip across the pond will be likewise, but Maserati will not be able to get anywhere near the record time set by Groupama 3. Multihulls are inherently way faster than even an extreme monohull like this. The trimaran holding the record is also much larger than Maserati. The 130 foot / 40 meter trimaran Banque Populaire recently set a new round the World record of 45 days, averaging more than 25 knots in straight line shortest theoretical distance. This illustrates that taking a record from these machines takes way more innovation than whipping out a tired race horse.

Is it really worth anything to get the record not for the fastest, but for the fastest monohull? When will we see the record for fastest backwards sailor on that route, or sailed wearing a wig? Or: When will we see the Formula One loosing its public appeal to racing in trimmed family cars? Sail racing is finally on the move to the better boats. Americas Cup is key. Other big biggies are on their way. Club racers and cruisers will follow. Monohulls are retro, not exitement, until innovation really gets going with kites, hydrofoils etc.

Stein Varjord

That\'s why there ARE so many classes in competition.

Just look at Landspeed.

There are MULTIPLE World Land Speed Records.

Thrust,Wheel-Driven,Turbine,Piston,Steam and Electric CARS- Then, Motorcycles can be divided down into those categories PLUS you\'d have ride-on-top versus streamliners.

There are too many classes of subdivision(going down from there)to count and they change all the time.

None of them are the fastest things on earth- rocket sleds are faster but they are unmanned.

Air Speed Records:

You have Prop(piston&Turbine),Jet,Rocket,ground-to-ground aircraft,and then Re-Enry Speeds!

Which brings us to Space....

Well,you get the idea.

I will say this,though before signing off.

THE FASTEST PROP-DRIVEN BOAT IS NOT the one that holds the OFFICIAL UMI Speed Record.

Drag Boats are the FASTEST PROP-DRIVEN Boats in the World BUT they do not do the notorious \'Flying Mile\" required by those who use tradition to define The Record.

The boat that holds the OFFICIAL UMI PROP-DRIVEN RECORD is 228mph.

Drag Boats?

Dale Ishimaru in \"Problem Child\":264mph!

So, the TRULY Fastest Boat does not ALWAYS even get recognized!

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