Maserati Multi70 crossed the start line at Fort Charlotte on the south side of the island at 11.40 local time (15.40 in Europe) in 10 knots of wind.
Skipper Giovanni Soldini has seven other crew members on board Maserati Multi70: Guido Broggi, Vittorio Bissaro, François Robert, Oliver Herrera, Carlos Hernandez, Francesco Malingri and Matteo Soldini (a member of the shore team standing in for John Elkann who withdrew after forecast light winds meant the race duration no longer fitted in with his previous work commitments).
The team of ocean racing experts are facing much lighter winds than they would prefer – well below the 14-knot threshold that makes their foil-configured ocean-going boat competitive. Nevertheless, Soldini’s men aim to do everything they can to be the first boat back to Antigua.
«These conditions are not good for a flying boat like ours, but all we can do is sail the best we can», Soldini said before the start of the race. «These light winds mean the course will be full of traps. We will have to be smart and keep pushing all the way to the finish».
The RORC Caribbean 600 has one of the most complex course in offshore racing. The fleet will pass by 11 islands and race as far north as Saint Martin and down to the diminutive Les Saintes off Guadeloupe in the south.