At 3.56 51” on July 18th local time (13.56 51” UTC, 15.56 51” Italian time) Maserati Multi 70 crossed the finish line of the 50th edition of the Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac) off Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaii. Giovanni Soldini and his Team arrived with an elapsed time of 4 days, 18 hours, 26 minutes and 51 seconds.
The American MOD 70 Argo crossed first the finish line, at 20.50 32” on July 17th local time (on July 18th at 6.50 32” UTC and 8.50 32” Italian time), with an elapsed time of 4 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes and 32 seconds. The English trimaran PowerPlay followed shortly after, at 21.21 50” local time (July 18th 7.21 50” UTC and 9.21 50” Italian time), concluding the race with an elapsed time of 4 days, 11 hours, 51 minutes and 50 seconds.
The multihull record, set in 2017 by ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe, of 4 days, 6 hours, 32 minutes and 30 seconds, remains undefeated.
Maserati Multi 70 and its competitors, set sail from Pt. Fermin, Los Angeles on Saturday July 13th at 12.30 local time (19.30 UTC, 21.30 Italian time), ready for a 2225-mile-long ocean crossing.
The race start was difficult for Maserati Multi 70: the weather models suggested a northern route, to sail around a low pressure zone with 3-6 knots of wind, before reaching the trade wind, stable around 17 knots. Unfortunately the centre of the depression moved south 3 hours later than anticipated, blocking the way for the Italian trimaran while Argo was able to pass by just a few miles. PowerPlay, who was only 5 miles behind the American trimaran, got stuck in the low pressure and Argo was able to gain 100 miles of advantage.
Once it reached the trade wind, Maserati Multi 70’s Team started chasing its competitors, with full main and gennaker, but shortly after a serious accident forced them to slow down. Around 4.30 UTC on Monday July 15th Maserati Multi 70 hit an unidentified object. Giovanni Soldini, just landed, explained: «The left side bow hit a huge floating object and we immediately went from 24 to 0 knots! The debris then hit the side rudder: the fuse system worked, the rudder rotated horizontally, but the object was at least one meter high above the water and it ripped off the outer half of the rudder’s wing. In the impact we also lost the left steering rod».
The Italian Team had to stop for one hour, to assess the extent of the damage and to get the rudder system back in use: thanks to the fuse system, the rudder’s blade and bushings were unharmed. «Once we set sail again,» continues Giovanni Soldini, «we weren’t able to reach the same speed as before: without the rudder’s foil it was difficult to fly steadily and every time the left bow hit the water we slowed down. We tried everything we could but it was impossible to go faster than 25 knots and our competitors, sailing an average 3 knots faster, outdistanced us».
Giovanni Soldini and his crew are pleased with Maserati Multi 70’s performance nonetheless: «We’re super happy about the long steps forward we made with the latest changes, the rudders’ settings that we developed in the last months, work very well and we’re able to fly much steadier. On port tack we reached an average speed of 30 knots and we were able to fly for very long distances, we sailed 670 miles over the last 24 hours!»
Over the coming weeks Maserati Multi 70’s Team will be working to repair the damages suffered during the race.
Photo ©Walter Cooper / ultimatesailing.com