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Giovanni Soldini and Maserati head for Trade Winds in Cape to Rio Race

by Imagina 7 Jan 2014 16:15 GMT 6 January 2014

Cape to Rio Race mourns the death of Bille crew member António João Bartolomeu

The sailor killed two days ago during the 14th Cape to Rio has been named as António João Bartolomeu, a 47 year old sound technician on Angolan national radio with a passion for sailing in his blood. Bartolomeu was crewing aboard the Bavaria 54 Bille (one of two Angolan boats taking part for the first time) when he was thrown overboard off Cape Town on January 5th. The incident occurred during the ferocious storm that hit the fleet with 50 to 60 knot winds almost immediately after the start. The Angolan was eventually pulled back aboard by his companions but was already unconscious and died shortly afterwards, probably as a result of hypothermia.

All of the South African boats that sent out distress signals are now safe and sound, however: the Miura Ava, Black Cat (a Didi 38), Peekay (a Bénéteau 51), the Charger Fti Flyer, Isla (Wilderness) and SV Avanti.

Maserati has now left the storm in her wake and is still leading the fleet en route to the Trade Winds in 15 to 16-knotwinds. Lying in second position, 150 miles behind, is the South African Open 60 Explora with the Australian 52' Scarlet Runner in third at 160 miles from the leader.

"There's still a long way to go to Rio de Janeiro – another 2,400 miles, in fact," explained Giovanni Soldini. "We have to skirt the high pressure area in the South Atlantic which will mean lengthening the route as much as we have to avoid ending up in light air or becalmed. We are gybing east with a masthead spi and a full mainsail, but are still shaken by the news of the death of a fellow competitor."

The Cape2Rio Yacht Race is the longest race between two southern hemisphere continents, spanning 3,300 nautical miles between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. The current record is held by the American 74' maxi Zephyrus IV - she completed the race in just 12 days, 16 hours and 49 minutes in 2000.

Maserati is skippered by Giovanni Soldini and manned by a highly experienced, tightknit international crew: Italians Guido Broggi, Corrado Rossignoli and Michele Sighel; German Boris Herrmann; Spaniard Carlos Hernandez; French sailors Jacques Vincent and Gwen Riou; Dane Martin Kirketerp Ibsen; and, for the first time, Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco.

Updates with video footage and still photographs from the boat and a chart showing Maserati's position can be found at www.maseratisoldini.it and on the following social networks; Facebook and Twitter where the crew will tweet and post images from aboard.

The challenge is sponsored by our main partner, Maserati, after which the yacht is named, and by co-sponsors Swiss bank BSI (Generali Group) and Generali itself.

To follow the race visit www.cape2rio2014.com

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