Wednesday, October 19, 2011

They wouldn't print it if it wasn't true

Giovanni Soldini
One of the changes with grand prix events is that they have drifted from competitions to paydays. There was a time when the people that competed in the America's Cup and the Whitbread Race invested their soul for the sake of a trophy. It was a significant sacrifice but their intent was honest.

But in current times, the true competitors are mixed with people pursuing paychecks, and the vociferous appetite of the media bites on everything. Here are two press releases:

September 22, 2009 - An Italian campaign led by Giovanni Soldini has been officially confirmed for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Known as Italia 70, the team will race under the il tricolore with an all-Italian crew for the next two editions of the race. Soldini, 43, has completed two single-handed round the world races and has made over 30 Atlantic crossings. He is partnering with John Elkann and Carlo Croce on the project. Italia 70 has acquired the Volvo Open 70 Ericsson 3 which competed in the 2008-09 event. --

October 7, 2011 - Giovanni Soldini and his team of nine sailors will next year captain the yacht Maserati in an attempt to break the Cadiz-San Salvador (Bahamas), Miami-New York and New York-Lizard Point (UK) records. The three ocean course attempts will be monitored by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, the international body certifying the record times on the historic clipper routes. Soldini and Maserati will also attempt to break the record for the longest distance covered by a single-hull yacht in a 24-hour period. Maserati is a VOR 70 that participated in the 2008-2009 round-the-world race. --

While attempts to contact Soldini for comment have been unsuccessful, it is common for teams to announce their intentions to do something without the funding to actually do it. How many of the seven America's Cup challengers will actually exist this time next year? Maybe Maserati can be their Plan B too.

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