MaseratiMulti70, the Italian high performance offshore flying multihull yacht skippered by Giovanni Soldini, has broken one of its rudders in a high-speed collision with an unidentified floating object, while in second place in the Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii.
The crew have been able to retrieve the shattered rudder on the back of the starboard (right hand) hull of the trimaran. The other rudders on the port (left hand) and the central hulls are undamaged and the crew are continuing to race towards the finish in Honolulu.
“We were sailing fast at 28 – 30 knots when we heard a big bang,” Soldini reported today. “We immediately stopped the boat and managed to retrieve the rudder blade that was still attached by a retaining line. That was quite a difficult procedure because it was during the night, with lots of wind and waves”.
When the incident happened Soldini’s crew were in second place in the multihull division and in a tight race with Mighty Merloe ahead and Phaedo3 behind. Maserati Multi70 had been sailing well south of the course “rhumb line”– the shortest most direct route between Los Angles and Honolulu – in an attempt to find more wind and to try to avoid the worst of the ocean debris littering the course further north.
“Our choice to stay south was also because we wanted to avoid the areas with more debris,” Soldini explained. “But yesterday, during the day, we saw at least 15 floating objects, including a net, a very big rope line, a buoy with an iron pole, and many smaller buoys. At one point, we caught a large piece of plastic sheeting on one of the rudders.”
The broken rudder is part of a new assembly fitted to the boat before the start of the race, designed to give the crew more control of the boat in fast flying mode.
“The bushes are still intact but the force of the impact completely destroyed the stock and blade,” Soldini said. “The rudder on the other side and the central rudder are OK, but cannot sail too fast on the side without the rudder, as sometimes we lose control and the boat spins out.”
At 16.00 Italian time today, 04.00 in Hawaii, MaseratiMulti70 was third on the water and was sailing south west (230 degrees) at 25.9 knots with 846.7 miles to race. Further north, Mighty Merloe and Phaedo3 were a sailing parallel course with 798.3 and 822.9 miles to go, respectively.
Fans of MaseratiMulti70 can follow the boat’s progress on the team’s website here: http://maserati.soldini.it/cartography/