On Monday 22 October 2018 at 22:54:58 local time (20:54 UTC), Maserati Multi 70 crossed the finish line of the 39th Rolex Middle Sea Race to take line honours in the multihull category, covering the 606 miles of the historical Maltese regatta in 2 days, 11 hours, 54 minutes and 58 seconds. PowerPlay, its direct rival, arrived second in 2 days, 13 hours, 36 minutes and 48 seconds.
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70 crossed the start line in the Grand Harbour in Malta on Saturday 20th October at 11:00 local time (09:00 UTC) with a 15 knot wind from the North-East and immediately headed towards Sicily.
After passing Capo Passero, during the tacking race with PowerPlay, Maserati Multi 70 had to face damage to the main sheet’s hydraulic piston, which was quickly resolved by the crew. Just an hour later, sailing close-hauled, the right-side rudder’s fitting broke.
“We immediately realized the seriousness of the situation”, explains Giovanni Soldini, “the rudder had burst sideways through the aft area where it was located. We were sure that we didn’t hit any object and we think it was a structural problem. After we brought the damaged rudder out of the water, we were able to restart a few metres behind PowerPlay, which regained all the advantage we had over it.”
A key moment of the regatta was the decision, taken by Giovanni and Vittorio Bissaro, to approach the Strait of Messina from the East, allowing Maserati Multi 70 to obtain a discrete advantage over PowerPlay.
“The most difficult moment was during the night of Sunday and Monday, the passage of a big squall with storms, thunder, lightning and gusts of up to 50 knots. After a very challenging manoeuvre we quickly got out of it without any damage.”
The last day of sailing on Monday 22 October was even more difficult for Giovanni Soldini and his crew: PowerPlay gained back most of its delay, right before the last lap beam reach from Lampedusa to Malta, the most critical for Maserati Multi 70considering the damage to the right-side rudder.
Soldini continues: “With the damaged rudder, we weren’t sure we could defend our position from PowerPlay’s attacks. To our surprise, we were able to find a magical set-up with the boat’s weights, the leeward foil’s rake and the mast’s incline, that made it possible for us to handle this beam reach lap at high speed.”
“It was a great regatta and a great battle with PowerPlay, which never let go until the end. I must thank everyone in Maserati Multi 70’s Team, they did an amazing job!”
Aboard Maserati Multi 70, with skipper Giovanni Soldini, there were seven professional sailors: Italians Vittorio Bissaro (tactician), Guido Broggi (mainsail trimmer), Nico Malingri and Matteo Soldini (both grinder and trimmer); Spanish Carlo Hernandez Robayna (trimmer) and Oliver Herrera Perez (bowman) and Frenchman François Robert (pitman).
Maserati Multi 70’s next sporting appointment will be the RORC Transatlantic Race, starting on November 24th 2018 from Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands.
The challenge is supported by Maserati, the main sponsor that gives its name to the trimaran and Aon as co-sponsor, along with the official supplier for clothing, Ermenegildo Zegna.
A special thanks also to Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. and Garmin Marine.