The 9th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in collaboration with Calero Marinas, International Maxi Association and Yacht Club de France, started today, 8 January 2022 at 14:00 UTC/local time (15:00 Italian time). Maserati Multi70 and the other 20 yachts entered in the race crossed the starting line in two staggered fleets (at 14:00 UTC/local time the multihulls, at 14:10 UTC/local time the monohulls) in front of Arrecife in a North East wind, intensity 8 knots.
From Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, they will travel 2995 miles past the Canary Islands and sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the island of Grenada in the eastern Caribbean.
“Today is the most critical day for us because at the start there will be little wind and there could be even important wind holes south of Lanzarote,” commented Giovanni Soldini a few minutes before the start. “We are bound to suffer a bit from the conditions in the first few hours, but from tonight onwards we will start to get into the trade wind, the race will become fast and also our foils will stop being a problem and indeed we hope they will turn into an advantage.”
On the start line alongside Maserati Multi70 are the Italian team’s direct rivals: Snowflake (formerly Phaedo3) with Brian Thompson and Gavin Brady on board, and Zoulou with Ned Collier Wakefield and Loick Peyron. The challenge is open to the speed record of 5 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 03 seconds, set by Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3 in 2015.
“Compared to our adversaries,” continued Soldini, “Snowflake, with a two-metre longer mast and bowsprit, will sail with a more open angle and will be able to go down more in the trade wind, they have more sails and the conditions favour it; and Zoulou with Peyron will also be dangerous, they have efficient foil tips that allow the boat to reach very high averages downwind. Both rival crews also have a very high level, no doubt it will be a close race, but we will, as always, sell our skins dearly”. Maserati Multi70, in flying trim, is currently travelling in third position at a moderate speed of around eleven knots.
Maserati Multi70 is taking part in the RORC Transatlantic Race for the fourth time, having competed in the 2016 edition; the 2018 edition, when it crossed the finish line first with a time of 6 days, 18 hours, 54 minutes and 3 seconds; and the 2022 edition, where it won with a real time of 6 days, 18 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds.
In the regatta, on board Maserati Multi70, Giovanni Soldini is accompanied by 6 professional sailors: Guido Broggi (ITA), Matteo Soldini (ITA), Oliver Herrera Perez (ESP), Francesco Pedol (ITA), Lucas Valenza-Troubat (FRA) and Francesco Malingri (ITA).
For Giovanni Soldini and the entire team of Maserati Multi70, the trans-ocean race marks the beginning of a new season of great sporting events around the world; of important technical challenges such as the fine-tuning of the full electric system; and of ocean protection programmes such as the monitoring of the sea surface thanks to the Ocean Pack, the machine that measures temperature, salinity and CO2 from on board along the trimaran’s routes.
Photo © Francesca Sanlorenzo