Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati Multi70 team were first across the finish-line in the 37a Rolex Middle Sea Race at 14 00’ 01” today. Buzzing with the joy of victory, they took the line honours in a time of 2 d, 1h, 25' and 01" in the 608 nm long regatta organized by the Royal Malta yacht Club. Aside from that win, Maserati Multi70 also set the new multihull record for the legendary Maltese race, slashing just over 10 hours off the previous one set in 2015 by American Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3 (2 d, 11h, 29' and 41").
“It was a fantastic race. We learned a lot, including the fact the wing on the centreboard works against us in very light air”, explained Giovanni Soldini just after he’d stepped ashore at Malta. “In a strong wind with a flying foil – which was changed after we lost the rudder during the passage to Malta – we would have bridged the gap. We were here to test that very solution but unfortunately we didn’t get the chance”.
The weather conditions that prevailed throughout the 37th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race set the pace for the fleet leaders.
“We hadn’t much wind to get us to Sicily, very little at all in the Strait and even less until we’d passed Stromboli. Phaedo3 took a good strong lead in those conditions but after the western tip of Sicily we managed to catch up most of the way, cutting the distance to them to a dozen miles. North of Sicily, we made the tactical decision to stay offshore, towards Ustica, and that paid off”.
Then this morning, Phaedo3 made a technical error by heading for Linosa rather than Lampedusa, and the roles reversed.
The Maserati Multi70 crew threw themselves whole-heartedly into the race and launched a suitably determined attack.
“Phaedo3 had a brilliant race with very few errors and then made an enormous one at the end: we grabbed the opportunity and ran with it….”, commented Giovanni Soldini.
Maserati Multi70’s race spanned a whole slew of memorable moments, most notably her passage off Palermo, making landfall at Sicily after the start from Malta where Phaedo3 also put on a very good performance.