Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70 conquered Line Honours of the 41st edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race: at 20.41 31” on Monday October 19th local time (18.41 31” UTC), they crossed the finish line off Valletta, Malta, with an elapsed time of 2 days, 8 hours, 31 minutes and 31 seconds. The MOD 70 Mana, Maserati Multi 70’s twin, also with an Italian flag, arrived at 20.56 35” local time (18.56 35” UTC), 15 minutes after Soldini’s trimaran.
The multihull record, set by Soldini in 2016, remains undefeated: 2 days, 1 hours, 25 minutes and 1 second.
Soldini: «We knew it would have been a tough challenge. We already met Mana’s skipper, Brian Thompson, in many occasions because he sails on different MOD 70s we raced against: he is a great expert of these boats and it’s not easy to keep ahead of him, but this time we did it!»
John Elkann, aboard with Soldini, commented: «It was an intense and really beautiful regatta, we raced with our hearts, minds and arms. We are very happy that we were able to arrive in first place after so many miles so close to each other».
Maserati Multi 70 and Mana set sail from Valletta, Malta, on Saturday October 17th at 12.10 local time (10.10 UTC), and engaged in a long match race, never with more than 5 miles between each other. After passing Capo Passero with 12 knots of north-westerly wind, they sailed north towards the Strait of Messina, while the wind was getting lighter: Maserati Multi 70 sailed close to the Sicilian coast, looking for a favourable wind, while Mana headed East. Around midnight, 12 hours after the start, the two MOD 70s passed the Strait of Messina, very closed to each other again.
Once they passed Stromboli, the point furthest north of the whole course, the real match race started. Soldini: «There was no wind, we were so close and we overtook each other at least 4 or 5 times, really a ruthless battle!». After a long day of dead calm, Maserati Multi 70 and Mana started to speed up, thanks to a north-westerly wind that led them almost all the way to the finish line. «After Favignana we were always in the lead, but it wasn’t easy: we arrived only 15 minutes before our competitors!».
This edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race attracted 50 entrants. In the multihulls category, alongside the two MOD 70s, are three more trimarans, still racing: Antoine Rabaste’s 80’ Ultim’Emotion 2, the 63’ Shockwave, skippered by Jeff Mearing and Scott Klodowski, and the Multi 50 Primonial, lead by Sébastien Rogues. The corrected time leaderboard won’t be final until the end of the race.
The Team that raced with Giovanni Soldini aboard Maserati Multi 70 was made up of Cédric Bader, Vittorio Bissaro, Lorenzo Bressani, John Elkann, Oliver Herrera Perez, Nico Malingri and Matteo Soldini.
Giovanni Soldini and his Team, shortly after crossing the finish line, took off to sail back to Italy: after two years around the world, Maserati Multi 70 will be in a shipyard in La Spezia. Soldini explains: «It’s been a long time since we have stopped for more than a month in a row and we have a lot of work to do. Maserati Multi 70 is always evolving, especially regarding the flying foils and rudders. With the Maserati Innovation Lab’s engineers we are developing a totally new cutting-edge asset, with revolutionary rudders, foils, and daggerboard, and we can’t wait to try it out!»