A serious damage for Maserati Multi70 that sailed into port at Malta’s Grand Harbour yesterday morning, October 17, where she was expected as one of the star competitors at the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, this Saturday, October 22 2016.
On the night of October 16, the Italian MOD70 was involved with a high speed collision with an unidentified floating object 150 miles off Malta en route from La Spezia. Her starboard rudder, rudder tubes and one of the sectors attached to the rudder arm were all completely destroyed in the incident. Despite the severity of the damage, however, Maserati Multi70’s crew managed sail the craft safely and unaided into the Maltese port.
On landing at Malta, Giovanni Soldini described how the incident unfolded: “We were making 30 knots on a reach in 22 knots of wind off the south-west of Sicily when we heard a sharp bang and the rudder was gone. We don’t know what we hit. The bearings (inside which the rudders rotate) were torn out. We lost the lot: rudder, fitting and sector”.
Immediately they received news of the incident, the Maserati Multi70 shore team left La Spezia with a replacement rig to get to Malta as quickly as possible and to prepare the boat with the crew for the imminent start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Although repairable, the damage will be something of a handicap in this first race. Soldini explains: “Along with the foil rudder, we’ll also have to replace the foil which can’t be used on its own, otherwise the boat would rear up like a skittish colt. So we’ll be refitting all the starboard-side steering gear from the old non-flying MOD70 set-up. We have no choice in the matter. A foil rudder like ours can’t be made in a couple of days and it would also take time to rebuild it”.