Modena, 19 February 2019 - Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70 set off for the 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, yesterday at 14.00 local time (18.00 UTC and 19.00 Italian time). The race has brought more than 700 sailors from around the world aboard 78 boats from over 20 nations to compete on a 600-mile course around 11 islands in the Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean.
Under a sunny sky, with 25 knots of wind from the South-East and waves between 2 and 3 metres, Maserati Multi 70 crossed the starting line after her direct rival Argo, skippered by Jason Carroll, but after a few minutes the Italian trimaran caught up with Argo and overtook her.
In this edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, Maserati Multi 70, which is in flying mode, will compete against American MOD 70 Argo in the new class Multi/MOD 70. The Royal Ocean Racing Club specifically created this class for the two trimarans, following the Italian Team’s decision to agree to the American Team’s request to postpone the start for a few hours, allowing them to finish repair work after they capsized during a training regatta on Friday.
A few moments before setting sail, skipper Giovanni Soldini commented: “The weather conditions are favourable, there will be a stable and strong Trade Wind, which should allow us to beat the record. The delayed start is no help to us, but our main goal is to have a great race against Argo and we are happy they were able to make it to the starting line. Aboard Argo is a very strong Team, with Brian Thompson, who brings with him all his experience aboard Phaedo3, and François Gabart, one of the strongest sailors of the moment: I’m sure it’s going to be a great challenge”.
Maserati Multi 70’s goal, as well as winning against her direct rival, is to beat the record set by American Phaedo3 in 2016: 1 day, 7 hours, 59 minutes and 4 seconds.
Maserati Multi 70 and the other yachts that have entered the regatta are heading North. They will pass Barbuda, Nevis, Saba and Saint Barth before rounding Saint Martin and heading South towards Guadeloupe. After rounding the island, the fleet will head back North, touching the last mark off Barbuda before sailing back to Antigua towards the finish line. The race course features a variety of currents and winds, which makes it a very interesting and challenging regatta. Of the 75 boats that sailed from Antigua, American Maxi 72 Bella Mente retired from the race and has returned to port.
The weather forecasts indicate stable Trade Winds, between 16 and 20 knots, over the whole race course. Giovanni Soldini explained: “A wind over 14 knots and small waves allows us to fly steadily, giving us quite a significant advantage. We will meet the most critical conditions as we sail South of Guadeloupe, where the wind is lighter”.
Aboard the Italian trimaran, skipper Giovanni Soldini will be joined by an international crew:
- Vittorio Bissaro (IT), tactician – he participated in the Olympic games of Rio 2016 in the Nacra 17 class. He has already sailed aboard Maserati Multi 70 in a few races, including the 2017 edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 and the 2018 edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. He has also worked with Maserati Multi 70’s Team to optimize the trimaran’s dynamics and data analysis.
- Guido Broggi (IT), mainsail trimmer – he is the boat captain of Maserati Multi 70 and has thousands of miles of ocean sailing under his belt. He has been working alongside Giovanni Soldini for many years, since he was team leader in the building and in the racing preparation of 60’ Fila in 1998. He participated in the RORC Caribbean 600 aboard Maserati Multi 70 in 2017 and, in 2018, he was part of the crew for the Tea Route record from Hong Kong to London, for the Rolex Middle Sea Race and for the RORC Transatlantic Race.
- Carlos Hernandez Robayna (ESP), trimmer – he has many years of sailing experience and has raced in various classes. He has sailed alongside Giovanni Soldini in several regattas and ocean crossings, among which the Transpacific Yacht Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Aboard Maserati Multi 70, he participated in the 2017 edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 and, in 2018, in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and in the RORC Transatlantic Race.
- Oliver Herrera Perez (ESP), bowman – in his career he raced aboard Ims 500s, Swan 45s and Rc44s. He was previously part of VOR 70 Maserati’s crew and now continues to race as bowman aboard Maserati Multi 70. In 2018 he crewed for Giovanni Soldini during the Tea Route record, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the RORC Transatlantic Race.
- Nico Malingri (IT), grinder and trimmer – he started sailing when he was very young and has conquered two double-handed records with his father Vittorio Malingri aboard a 20-foot-long catamaran: the Marseilles-Carthage in 2016 and the Dakar-Guadeloupe in 2017. In 2018 he was part of Maserati Multi 70’s crew for the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the RORC Transatlantic Race.
- Matteo Soldini (IT), grinder and trimmer – he has been part of the Maserati Multi 70 project since the start and has participated in many offshore races, including a previous edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. In 2018 he was part of the trimaran’s crew for the Rolex Middle Sea Race and for the RORC Transatlantic Race.
- Claude Thélier (FR), trimmer – originally from Guadeloupe, he has many years of sailing experience in different classes, among which ORMA 60s and MOD 70s. In 2009 he participated in the first edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 aboard Region Guadeloupe, the trimaran which held the race record until 2015.
This is the first regatta in Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s 2019 racing season: the Italian Team will then participate in the Newport to Cabo San Lucas Race (starting on March 17th), the California Offshore Race Week (from May 25th to June 1st) and the Transpacific Yacht Race (starting on July 10th). Afterwards the Italian trimaran will sail towards Asia, to compete in the Hong Kong to Vietnam Race (starting on October 16th).