Maserati Multi 70 and Giovani Soldini finishes first at the 39th Edition Rolex Middle Sea Race 2018
The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a highly rated offshore classic and a “must-do” race amongst sail teams. The race is a true challenge to skippers and crews who have to be at their very best to cope with the often changeable and demanding conditions.
The recently held 39th edition saw Team Maserati Multi 70 crossing the finishing line for first place in the Multihull Line Honours ahead of stiff competition from rivals Team MOD 70 PowerPlay after covering 606 miles of the historical Maltese regatta in 2 days, 11 hours, 54 minutes and 58 seconds.
With 15 knots wind from the North-East and rough seas, Skipper Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70 crossed the starting line in the Grand Harbour, Malta on Saturday October 20th – signifying the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. During the tracking race with Team MOD 70 PowerPlay after passing Capo Passero, Team Maserati Multi 70 faced a damage to the main sheet’s hydraulic piston – which was solved immediately by the crew. However, just an hour later, sailing close-hauled, the right-side rudder’s fitting broke.
“We immediately realised the seriousness of the situation”, explains Giovanni Soldini. “The rudder burst through sideways the aft part of its location. We are 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 meters behind PowerPlay, which regained all the advantage we had over it.”
The key moment of the regatta was the crucial decision taken by Skipper Giovanni Soldini and Vittorio Bissaro, to approach the Straits of Messina from the East, letting Team Maserati Multi 70 obtain a discrete advantage over Team MOD 70 PowerPlay.
“The most difficult moment was during the night between Sunday and Monday, crossing the passage of a big squall with storms, thunders, lightning and gusts up to 50 knots. After a very challenging manoeuvre we quickly got out of it without any damage.”
The challenges continued for Skipper Giovanni Soldini and his crew as Team MOD 70 PowerPlay gained back most of its delay, right before the last lap beam reach from Lampedusa to Malta – the most critical of moments for Team Maserati Multi 70 considering the damage they have sustained 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 asset, 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!” echoed Soldini.
Aboard Maserati Multi 70, with skipper Giovanni Soldini, there are 7 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 French François Robert (pitman).
Maserati Multi 70’s next athletic appointment will be the RORC Transatlantic Race, starting on November 24th, 2018 from Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands.
The gruelling but exciting challenge is supported by Maserati, the main sponsor that gives the name to the trimaran and Aon as co-sponsor, along with the official supplier for the clothing, Ermenegildo Zegna.
A special thanks also to Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. and Garmin Marine.