All is ready aboard Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 trimaran which tomorrow (Thursday July 6) will set off on the 49° edition of the 2,225-mile long Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles, California to Honolulu, Hawaii.
The start of the five-boat multihull fleet is scheduled for Thursday July 6 at 13.30 local time California (22.30 in Italy).
The Italian trimaran faces stiff competition in the race, particularly from two American boats – Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3 and Howard Enloe’s 60-foot Mighty Merloe.
Maserati Multi70 will race for the first time in full flying mode – with both flying dagger boards lifting the boat out of the water – making it the first flying ocean-going trimaran.
Soldini and his crew have fitted a new advanced rudder system one side of the boat and during the race to Hawaii will be testing its functionality.
The intricate rudder assembly was designed by the world’s most lauded naval architect, Guillaume Verdier, using custom components and was put together by Soldini’s team.
Phaedo3 – skippered by Brian Thompson with Volvo Ocean Race winner Simon Fisher as navigator – is Maserati Multi70’s longstanding friendly rival. Over the last year, the two crews have fought each other neck-and-neck in classic ocean races like the Rolex Middle Sea, RORC Transatlantic and RORC Caribbean 600.
Mighty Merloe was originally Franck Cammas’ record breaking Groupama 2. At 60-feet she is the smallest of the three multihulls but is wide and powerful and will be a force to be reckoned with in light winds. The top-flight crew includes co-skipper Jacques Vincent – one of France’s greatest ever multihull sailors, as well as legendary offshore sailors Loick Peyron and Franck Proffit.
Also competing in the multihull division are: Des Murphy’s Australian flagged 60-foot trimaran LoeReal, with renowned American sailor Jon Shampain as tactician; and John Gallagher’s high performance, yet luxurious 62-foot Gunboat catamaran Chim Chim, whose 10-strong expert crew also includes a dedicated chef, Brianna Theriault.
Light winds are predicted for the start, which could advantage the non-foiling multihulls. Once around the nearby Catalina Island, winds averaging around 15 knots are expected for the next 24 hours, providing a good opportunity for Maserati Multi70 to stretch her legs in foiling mode.
“As a foiling, flying boat, we need 14 knots of wind or more to get properly up and going,” Soldini explained. “We will have to be smart and fight hard at the start not to let the others get away if the winds are light. In multihull racing boats can stretch out leads of 50 miles or more in just a few hours.”
The multihull record time for the race is of five days, nine hours, 18 minutes and 26 seconds, set by Bruno Peyron’s French 86-foot catamaran Explorer in 1997.