Six hours after the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Maserati Multi70 and Phaedo3 are sailing practically neck-and-neck along the east coast of Sicily, having rounded Siracusa and left Malta and Cape Passero in their wake.
The two MOD70s have thus far covered 80 nautical miles with a further 70 to go to the Strait of Messina which they will reach tonight, still sailing into winds that continue to drop.
The race tracker is logging a speed of 8.3 knots for Maserati Multi70 and 8.9 knots for Phaedo3.
Maserati Multi70 is sailing on the leeward side of her rival and attempting to make up ground lost as a result of a not entirely brilliant start. The Italian MOD70 team was slowed because of an issue with the mainsail battens. “At the start the mainsail battens didn’t rotate as they should have because of the very light air and that lost us valuable minutes, forcing us into one tack too many,” said Giovanni Soldini off Siracusa. “We ended up on Phaedo3’s leeward side and now we have less air than she does (6 knots of real wind). But the race has only just begun though and we’re sailing by sight: we’ll get the upper hand the first chance we get!”