Italian yacht Maserati VO 70, driven by a renowned yachtsman Giovanni Soldiniset sail to battle for another speed record under sail. She put to sea from New York late on the night of May 8-9 to set a new transatlantic speed record for a single-hulled yacht on the Ambrose (near New York) to Cape Lizardfloating lighthouse route.
Maserati's absentee rival will be the famous megayacht Mari-Cha IV (now known as Senso One) that in October 2003 under the command of Robert Miller crossed the Atlantic with a record of 6 days 17 hours 52 minutes and 39 seconds. When recalculated on the general course (approximately 2,900 miles), this translates to an average speed of just over 18 knots. Giovanni Soldini and his crew had a tough task ahead of them. They have called upon a much larger mega-yacht - Mari-Cha IV is 140ft long and is exactly twice the length of the Maserati. Mari-Cha IV's sail area and energy output are likewise superior. Potentially a record could be held (the record average daily speed for a VO 70 is nearly 25 knots) but all is on the line. It is not only that the weather has to be at its best for the VO 70 (the crew have been waiting for over a month for the weather window in New York ) but the crew on board the Maserati have been reduced to a mere eight people.
Whether the Italians will set the record or not will become clear at midnight (GMT) on 16 May: the Maserati is expected to finish no later than 0 hours 12 minutes. So far - 18 hours after the start - it loses 29 miles to its absentee rival.
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