Monday, February 6, 2012

Off and Running Aboard Maserati

24°13.48 N 
032°52.40 W 
Heading : 241 ° 
Speed : 23.2 kts
Distance to finish : 2284.20 nm

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We departed Cadiz, Spain aboard Maserati with a great weather window for our first record.  I say first record because in this case we are setting a benchmark monohull record for what is known as the Discovery Route or more commonly understood as Columbus’s route to the Americas.  With the benchmark as our goal, we want to lay down a serious time to beat for a couple of reasons.  First, we want to set a mark for our abilities and that of the boat. Second, we need to push hard and train together as a crew aboard Maserati in preparation for the other records on the horizon.  An added bonus is that we want this record to stick for a while and hopefully stand up to the test as other boats and crews take a whack at it.  The good news is that we have knocked off roughly 1200 miles in three days which is a pretty good (and wet) clip.  The modifications made to the Volvo 70 (previously Ericsson III) to turn her into Maserati seem to be working out great and she is quite capable.
On a personal note, this has been a great change of pace for me. I not only get to train and sail with a crew of great professionals, but it is also wonderful to spend time with my old (don’t tell him I called him that) friend and mentor Giovanni.  Gio creates a respectful and hard working environment amongst the crew, and also a friendly demeanor, which can be challenging aboard a boat that takes a lot of work to sail. This is especially tough since we decided a crew of 8 would make this first run and serve as a test for what we can really do in some of the other records ahead. When this boat competed in the Volvo Ocean Race of 2005-6, it was raced with 10 crew members.  We really need to have an entire email just about stacking the sails and inventory going on with a mere 16 arms aboard!  Look for that in one of my next blogs! It is great to be offshore with an excellent team facing an ambitious program right now and in the future.  It will be an exciting adventure and we are off to a rip roaring start!

All the best from the crew of Maserati,