Some things are worth getting up early for. When there’s a Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale sitting outside your house, it seems churlish to hit the snooze button. At 3.30am, though, the chances of making it out the front door without disturbing the wife, kids or dog are slender. Not least because, in Stradale form, the Maserati’s V8 rouses itself like an act of God.
Actually, there’s a biblical feel to this whole quest. Maserati has recently become title sponsor for a series of yachting world-record attempts, and has lent its name, trident logo and financial muscle to a vessel crewed by an Italian maritime legend called Giovanni Soldini. Right now, it’s so early on Monday morning that the sparrows have yet to begin breaking wind, and I’m piloting the Maserati round some slippery Essex back roads to photographer Steve Perry’s hotel. Soldini and his hand-picked crew are due to embark on Wednesday, aiming to set a new record for sailing across the North Atlantic from Cadiz to San Salvador in the Caribbean. We’re planning to hook up with them beforehand, which means we’re staring down the barrel of a 1,800-mile trip.
Words: Jason Barlow
Photos: Stephen Perry
This feature first appeared in the July 2012 issue of Top Gear magazine