At 06.54 34” UTC (02.54 local time), Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70 cross first the finish line of the 5th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race in Grenada, Caribbean, with an elapsed time of 6 days, 18 hours, 54 minutes and 34 seconds. The Italian Team places first in Line Honours Multihull (first boat to cross the finish line in the multihull category) and second in the MOCRA Class (which keeps in consideration the Time Corrector Factor, with a corrected time of 14 days, 23 hours, 32 minutes and 28 seconds). Their direct rival PowerPlay, Peter Cunningham’s English MOD 70 skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, crossed the finish line at 07.40 12” UTC (with an elapsed time of 6 days, 19 hours, 40 minutes and 12 seconds, and a corrected time of 14 days, 20 hours, 18 minutes and 35 seconds).
Aboard Maserati Multi 70, alongside skipper Giovanni Soldini, are 6 professional sailors: the Italian Guido Broggi (mainsail trimmer), Nico Malingri and Matteo Soldini (both grinder and trimmer); the Spanish Carlos Hernandez Robayna (trimmer) and Oliver Herrera Perez (bowman); the French François Robert (pitman).
A few minutes after crossing the finish line, Giovanni Soldini commented: “It was a very close race: for days and days we sailed at close distance and we even crossed routes on sight for three times in the middle of the Atlantic. PowerPlay is a very strong team, they know the boat really well, it was a fantastic experience for us: we were able to carry out many tests, to enhance and improve the way we sail Maserati Multi 70. We learned so much in these days and we’re very happy about this result. Really, a hard but exciting race!”
Since the start of the regatta, Maserati Multi 70 sailed in asymmetric asset – with a flying T-shaped rudder on the port hull and a classic MOD rudder on the starboard hull – because during the delivery to Lanzarote, the Italian trimaran lost its right-side T-shaped rudder’s blade.
Giovanni Soldini and his crew started the race from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, on Saturday November 24th at 12.00 UTC, aligned on the starting line alongside PowerPlay and 8 other Teams, with a SW wind of 9 knots of speed. Since the first day of the race, Maserati Multi 70 and PowerPlay battled in a fierce duel: for the first 36 hours there were never more than 3 miles between the two multihulls.
Three hours after the start, Maserati Multi 70 suffered damage aboard: while lowering the starboard foil, the adjustment system’s rope broke the top part of the horse, on which it leverages. The Team got to work right away and solved the problem with a new lamination.
During the night between Sunday and Monday, Maserati Multi 70 set course to South, to exit the area of high pressure with little wind. PowerPlay is able to sail faster with light winds: they gybed later and gained a few miles of advantage. From that moment the two Teams chose different strategies: PowerPlay kept its West route longer, while Maserati Multi 70 headed further South. Moving away from the centre of the area of high pressure, the Italian trimaran was able to reach the rising wind faster.
On Monday November 26th, the Italian Team finally reached the Trade Winds, but they had to slow down for a problem aboard: a bilge pump’s drain pipe detached and the trimaran took on a ton of water. A few hours later the problem was solved and the crew sets off again downwind sailing between 25 and 29 knots.
The ocean match race continued between the two trimarans, who went on crossing their courses with a few miles of distance between each other. During the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Italian Team, after a few right gybes, gained many miles towards South. Maserati Multi 70 continued on its gallop towards Grenada, with the gennaker and full main and gybing on the Trade Winds’ shift, and, on Tuesday evening, Giovanni Soldini and his crew reached a 50 miles advantage over PowerPlay where their routes crossed.
On Friday, the two multihulls started running on the homestretch to the finish line: Maserati Multi 70, sailing almost on a direct route to Grenada, and PowerPlay, 70 miles further North, travelling head-to-head. Approaching Grenada, PowerPlay found an unexpected wind in its favour: the wind shifted 20 degrees further North, so they were able to sail on a more direct route to the finish line and they gained many miles.
Maserati Multi 70 will now go into the shipyard, to get ready for the next appointment: the RORC 600 Caribbean in February 2019.
Photo ©RORC/Arthur Daniel