At 13.30 local time (22.30 in Italy) Giovanni Soldini’s flying ocean racing trimaran, Maserati Multi70, together with four other multihulls crossed the start line off the Point Fermin headland of the 2017 Transpacific Race from Los Angeles, California to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ahead of Soldini and his handpicked six-man crew of skilled offshore sailors lies 2,225 miles of open ocean sailing before they reach the finish at the Diamond Head navigation buoy off Hawaii.
The light winds at the start penalised Maserati Multi70 and handed the advantage to their closest rivals, the two high-performance American trimarans, Phaedo3 and Mighty Merloe – neither of which are set up for foiling.
Immediately after the start gun, Soldini’s men found themselves in the wind shadow of the two American boats but managed to tack into clear wind of around 8 – 10 knots and on a layline to the western tip of Catalina Island, some 35 miles away. Once around that point, the crew will look to turn their bows towards Hawaii.
“It will be hard in the beginning,” Soldini said before leaving the dock today. “When the wind is light, the other two are faster than us. Our goal is to stay as close as we can to avoid them getting too far ahead by the time we reach the trade winds”
The trade winds for the course are forecast to be in the range of 13 – 16 knots, good conditions for Maserati Multi70 to take flight on its hydrofoil dagger boards.