With a fleet of 71 boats divided into eight classes, the 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, got underway today, 20th February 2023.
According to the rules, Maserati Multi70, together with the nine multihulls entered in the race in the MOCRA class, crossed the starting line at 11:30 am (3:30 pm UTC, 4:30 pm Italian time), half an hour behind the first group. For Giovanni Soldini and his seven crew mates, Guido Broggi (ITA), Oliver Herrera Perez (ESP), Thomas Joffrin (FRA), Francesco Pedol (ITA), Alberto Riva (ITA), Matteo Soldini (ITA), Lucas Valenza-Troubat (FRA), the direct challenge is with Zoulou (FRA) who has a giant like Loick Peyron on board and Erik Maris at the helm.
At the start, Maserati Multi70 got off to a good start and after a long offshore tack passed Green Point and headed towards Barbuda. A storm stirred the waters a bit a few minutes before the start, but with twenty knots of wind, a well-stretched trade wind, the starting manoeuvres were not affected. The next few hours will be a 600-mile race between the islands of the Lesser Antilles: Barbuda, Nevis, Saba and Saint Barth, followed by the island of Saint Martin and then a lap around Guadeloupe, before the last buoy off Barbuda with the finish line in Antigua. It will be a race of muscle and strategy, a concentration of manoeuvres and tactical decisions in rapid succession in the company of a trade wind that promises to support a high-speed race: the maximum for the flying multihulls that are also aiming to lay siege to the regatta record, set last year by Jason Carroll’s Argo with Brian Thompson at the helm in 29 hours, 38 minutes and 44 seconds, to the detriment of the previous record set in 2019 by Maserati Multi70 itself.
“Such favourable conditions I had never seen and this is the fifth time we have competed. The trade wind is confirmed to be stable and sustained,” Giovanni Soldini’s comment a few minutes before the start: “Sailing between the islands is always tricky because of the changes in wind and currents. Guadeloupe is the highest island, the most critical point of this course. But we will slalom between these traps, there are many manoeuvres ahead of us, and we will have to play in advance and be very precise. It will be a battle with a knife between our teeth”.
Maserati Multi70 is competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 for the fifth time having raced the 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2022 editions. On the start line, there are four Italian boats competing this year. In addition to Soldini’s MOD70 among the multihulls, Ambrogio Beccaria with Alla Grande – Pirelli, Alberto Bona with IBSA and Andrea Fornaro with Influence are racing in the Class40.
Photo © Francesca Sanlorenzo