The crew of the MaseratiMulti70 trimaran skippered by Giovanni Soldini are today locked in a high speed three-way battle for the lead of the multihull division in the Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
Light inshore breezes around six knots at the start of the 2,225-mile race’s five-strong multihull division initially disadvantaged the Italian boat which needs at least 14 knots of wind to pick up and fly on its hydrofoil dagger boards.
The two American non-foiling trimarans, Howard Enloe’s 60-foot Mighty Merloe and Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3, led MaseratiMulti70 past the western tip of Catalina Island – but only by around a mile.
Keeping their rivals close at this point had been a key pre-race strategy for Soldini’s team and the leading trio remained tightly grouped as they poked their bows into the 14 – 16 knot north westerly trade winds that lay 40 miles offshore.
Once into the new breeze, MaseratiMulti70 was able to put its foiling capability to good use to overtake Phaedo3 and close up on Mighty Merloe at speeds up to 30 knots.
At midnight local time in Hawaii on July 6 (midday on July 7 in Italy) the Italian trimaran was officially third in the multihull rankings, within 0.7 miles of Phaedo3, sailing south west (217 degrees) and with 1956.9 miles to race to the finish in Hawaii.
The Italian boat has strategically pushed further south – a move that the crew will be hoping will pay dividends as the race plays out over the next few days.