At exactly 14 00’ 01” today, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line of the 37th Rolex Middle Sea Race after a 608-nautical mile gallop, stopping the clock in the multihull category of the Royal Malta Yacht Club - organised event at 2 days, 1 hour, 25 minutes and 01 seconds.
Aside from her victory, Maserati Multi70 has also set a new multihull record for the legendary Maltese race, slashing just over 10 hours off the previous one set by Phaedo3 in 2015 (2 days, 11 hour, 29 minutes and 41 seconds).
Relive the race!
Multihull category victory and record for Maserati Multi70 in the 37th Rolex Middle Sea Race.
At exactly 14 00’ 01” today, Maserati Multi70 stopped the clock at 2 days, 1 hour, 25 minutes and 01 seconds.
Maserati Multi70 took the lead after a tactical error by Phaedo3 which, after a blistering match race with the Italian trimaran, rounded the island of Linosa rather than Lampedusa as specified in the race rule. Phaedo3’s skipper Brian Thompson commented: “We’re having a fantastic race with Maserati Multi70. Last night we scored a bit of an own goal but we’ve recovered from that now and we’re heading for the final destination”.
Maserati Multi70 is sailing straight for Malta, making a speed of 17 knots in a 20-knot SE wind. She holds a 30-nautical mile lead over Phaedo3 and is 48.5 nautical miles from the finish-line at Malta where she is expected to arrive in three hours’ time.
The team sailed well and problem-free throughout the night, beating in a good wind and making a slew of unerring tactical choices.
Having now covered over half of the 608 miles of the Rolex Middle Sea Race route, including a spectacular passage past the Stromboli volcano at first light and with the Aeolian Islands now in her wake, Maserati Multi70 has just caught up with Phaedo3, which had been leading the fleet since the start, and the duo are locked in a heated battle for first position.
The Italian trimaran made up the ground thanks to a tactical decision by Giovanni Soldini to stay offshore to look for wind.
With San Vito Lo Capo behind them, the trimarans will run into the Sirocco (SE) which will fresh to a maximum of 25 knots.
Maserati Multi70 and Phaedo3 will have to beat all the way to the finish-line at Malta, which is now under 300 miles away. They are separated by a tiny distance and are making similar speeds of between 12 and 20 knots.
The two trimarans should cross the finish-line off Malta’s Grand Harbour in the late morning or early afternoon of tomorrow.
The Rolex Middle Sea race fleet sailed out of the Grand Harbour in 10-knot NW. In the multihull category, the two MOD70s, Maserati Multi70 and Phaedo3, started at 12.40 with the English boat skippered by Brian Thompson first across the line tailed closely by her Italian rival.
The clash between the two MOD70s in the multihull grouping (Mocra) looks set to be very much a clash of equals thanks to Maserati Multi70’s new configuration featuring a Mod rudder and C-foil on her starboard side.
Weather forecasts confirm the fleet will initially be racing in weak NW winds, so both MOD70s in the competition will be beating to windward. However, winds will freshen for the second half of the route from Stromboli on
On the team are sailors that have flanked Soldini on many of his adventures over the years and who have come up through the ranks of Italian offshore sailing, including Guido Broggi and Francesco Malingri, respectively Maserati Multi70’s boat captain and mediaman. Also aboard is French professional sailor Jean-Baptiste Vaillant, a leading player in many ocean races aboard maxis such as Banque Popolaire V, and a consultant to Oracle. These offshore veterans are joined by two young but expert Spaniards, both of whom sailed aboard MaseratiVolvo70: Carlos Hernandez, who has two Volvo Ocean Races to his credit, and Oliver Herrera Perez who sailed IMS, Swans and J80s before taking to the oceans with Soldini.
The team is completed by Monaco-born Pierre Casiraghi, who began his career aboard Maserati in 2014 and makes a welcome return fresh from racing GC32 foiling cats on the 2016 Racing Tour 2016.
On the night of October 16, the Italian MOD70 was involved with a high speed collision with an unidentified floating object 150 miles off Malta en route from La Spezia. Her starboard rudder, rudder tubes and one of the sectors attached to the rudder arm were all completely destroyed in the incident.
Despite the severity of the damage, however, Maserati Multi70’s crew managed sail the craft safely and unaided into the Maltese port.
“We had agreed that we’d all race together in both the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the RORC Transatlantic Race, but we’ll only be competing against Phaedo at Malta because Oman Sail capsized last August off Newfoundland during the Québec-Saint Malo, and the Concise team changed their mind at the last minute.
This is our first race with Maserati Multi70. It’ll be an excellent opportunity to test out the boat and try to improve on our weak points. We’re at an experimental stage. When we get the boat foiling, she performs brilliantly. However, we are at a disadvantage on some levels: Maserati Multi 70 has a much larger wetted surface than her direct rivals and can be slow in manoeuvres because it’s more difficult to adjust the foils and T-foil rudders and so they’re less suited to races like this one where there is a lot of manoeuvring.
The race is usually technically very varied from a weather perspective which demands a huge effort and a lot of strategizing. The passage through the Strait and then the run back to Malta are the best bits. We’ll be giving it our all.
We are just at the start of a very long road. The Middle Sea Race is our first opportunity to compete side by side with a trimaran that’s very similar to Maserati Multi70. We’re sure it’ll be a very valuable experience. "