Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s Team set sail last night from La Spezia ahead of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, that will start from La Valletta on Saturday October 17th. The historical Maltese race officially marks the resumption of Maserati Multi 70’s racing season, which was put on hold since February because of the pandemic.
Because of the on-going pandemic, Soldini and his crew won’t arrive in Malta with days to spare, as they did for the previous editions, but they have different plans: the Italian trimaran will be stopping in Marina di Ragusa, Sicily, from where it will set sail to arrive in Valletta just a few hours before the start of the race. Soldini explains: «Unfortunately the virus is still a problem and we want to make sure that everybody – both us and everyone else – is as safe as possible. We agreed with the race organization that we will arrive in Malta on the same day as the race starts and that we will not land, in order to decrease the risk of contagion».
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is at its 41st edition: next Saturday at 11.00 local time (9.00 UTC) the first group of the 58 boats entering the regatta – 11 of which are Italian – will cross the starting line. The last group to set sail will be the multihulls: Maserati Multi 70’s Team will compete with 6 other boats, including the French Ultim’Emotion 2, Antoine Rabaste’s maxi 80’ trimaran, and the Australian Shockwave, the 63’ trimaran skippered by Jeff Mearing and Scott Klodowski.
Soldini explains: «For this edition of the regatta we will race in classic MOD mode. We are currently working on the flying appendixes: we are developing a completely new asset, with cutting-edge central rudder, daggerboard and foils that will change profoundly the ocean flying world. We are going to work on those for a few more months, so for now we will have to sail with MOD appendixes». This means that Maserati Multi 70 will race in the same mode as the other MOD70 in the competition: Riccardo Pavoncelli’s Italian Mana, skippered by Brian Thompson.
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is not new for Giovanni Soldini and his crew: aboard the trimaran, the Italian Team participated in the 2016 and 2018 editions, conquering Line Honours both times. The multihull record belongs to Soldini: in 2016 Maserati Multi 70 crossed the finish line in 2 days, 1 hour, 25 minutes and 1 second. The overall record is George David’s who, in 2007, finished the race in 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds, aboard the maxi monohull Rambler.
The course of the race starts in Valletta, Malta and it’s around 608 miles long. It’s sailed anti-clockwise around Sicily, leaving Favignana, Pantelleria and Lampedusa to port, before heading back to Valletta towards the finish line.