They’re off! At 14.30 local time (12.30 UTC, 13.30 Italian time) Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s Team crossed the starting line of the 16th edition of the Cape2Rio, the 3.600-mile-long historical transoceanic race from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro.
In Table Bay’s waters, before the South African city, Maserati Multi 70 and the competitor LoveWater set sail with 10/12 knots of Westerly wind. After a few minutes Maserati Multi 70’s Team, on the wake of their competitor, reached the second turning mark, to the North, where the wind dropped abruptly to 3 knots, making the manoeuvres very slow and difficult. Having cleared the obstacle, the Italian trimaran was forced to sail with just the main sail to solve a technical problem: after twenty minutes Soldini’s Team was able to unfurl the headsail and started chasing their competitor, a few miles ahead, at top speed.
The weather conditions expected are typical of this region, with a high pressure zone situated in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean: for the first 36 hours there will be a Southerly wind, that will then get lighter and turn more South-Easterly first, and more Easterly later. The Italian Team will have to find the ideal route to pass the high pressure without sailing in the middle of it and without extending the course too much.
Aboard Maserati Multi 70 the skipper Giovanni Soldini is sailing with a 7-man crew: the Italians Guido Broggi (mainsail trimmer), John Elkann (helmsman and trimmer), Nico Malingri and Matteo Soldini (both grinders and trimmers), the Spanish Carlos Hernandez Robayna (trimmer) and Oliver Herrera Perez (bowman) and the French Pierre-Laurent Boullais.
A few moments before setting sail, Giovanni Soldini commented: «I’m very happy about the great job we did in the last month and a half in the boatyard in Cape Twon, the boat is ready and the crew is super experienced. We are quite confident that we will be able to sail a good race, it will be a great challenge to hold our own against a big boat such as LoveWater, but we’ll give it our best!»
LoveWater, direct competitor of Maserati Multi 70, is a 80-foot-long ULTIM trimaran, with a very skilled crew, including the skipper Craig Sutherland and the English Brian Thompson. The trimarans’ start was the last one of the race: thirteen smaller boats set sail on January 4th and the big monohulls started today at 14.00 local time.
Photo © Alec Smith / imagemundi.com