Maserati, synonymous with Italian flair and style, will be represented in this year's RORC Transatlantic by Giovanni Soldini's foiling MOD70. Maserati will be literally flying off the start line! This will be the first time the multihull in its new foiling set up has raced across the Atlantic, and it is something of a test bed for the international team.
“We are studying how this new concept will work and we have made some progress, but we are in research mode.” explained Giovanni Soldini. “Our goal will be to try to fly as much as possible, but there are some conditions where it will be impossible. We went around the world nearly two times with the VOR70 but it was time to change and to do something different. Personally for me, this is a bigger challenge and foiling in the middle of the Atlantic is certainly challenging. This race presents a great opportunity to try to understand more about the concept.
On the tiller, when Maserati is flying, is just fantastic. It is very fast but you feel safe and in control and it is something very new; to fly with a big boat is something that is very special. During the race we will be studying and trying many different solutions to see where our performance is good or not so good, but it is not always black and white. This year we will be investing in the concept for the future. Our first step will be to achieve stable flight in the open sea with waves, so that will be a big job.”
Immediately after jumping ashore, Giovanni Soldini had this to say about the experience: "It was a fantastic race. We’re delighted to have arrived into Grenada with Maserati Multi70 in excellent shape. We would have liked to compete up close with Phaedo3, but on the first night out, we made different route choices without having their position from the AIS (Automatic Identification System): passing Las Palmas on the windward side to the north seemed the less risky choice to us to avoid ending up in the wind shadow of the island. But it turned out we were wrong as it took us into a zone with less wind.
Our American friends, who were to the south, took off like a rocket, however. When we received their position the following morning, we were 100 miles behind. The northerly route, which we had no choice but to follow at that point, also turned out worse than the southerly one".
At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line of the third RORC Transatlantic Race, just off Camper & Nicholsons’ Port Louis Marina on Grenada, to complete her first ocean race in a time of 7 days, 8 hours, 44 minutes and 23 seconds.
Having cast off from Lanzarote at 12.10 GMT on November 26, Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati Multi70 team opted to skirt the island of La Palma to the north on their first night at sea. This choice impacted the rest of their race and allowed Phaedo3, which rounded the island to the south, to take what proved to be an unassailable lead.
Giovanni Soldini had this to say about the race: "These 2,800 Atlantic miles have really taught the crew a lot about Maserati Multi70 as a boat as well as about her trim and the astonishing potential of her L-foils. But perhaps the most important thing we learned - and something that comes into our head every time we take the rudder and feel the boat accelerate as she comes down the waves - is how proud we are to be able to sail a super multihull like Maserati Multi70.
Phaedo3 delivered a perfect race - she didn’t put a foot wrong. We could have done better but we still have the joy of a fantastic experience on a very special boat. And, of course, the regret at taking the decision to pass Las Palmas to the north at the start of the race and then follow a northerly route which proved the wrong choice.
There are so many technical considerations to think about but the main thing is to use this important ocean voyage to prepare ourselves as well as possible for the next challenge".
Phaedo3 sailed past the final waypoint at Grenada last night at 01.49 GMT (21.49 local time, 02.49 in Italy) to take multihull (MOCRA) line honours in the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race in a time of 6 days, 13 hours, 39 minutes and 55 seconds.
MaseratiMulti70 is making between 20 and 25 knots as she too heads towards the finish and is expected to arrive into Port Louis Marina on Grenada late this evening (Italian time). As of 12:00 GMT, she was 142 miles from the final waypoint.
Maserati Multi70 is now on her seventh day of racing and is expected to sail across the RORC Transatlantic Race finish-line and into Port Louis Marina in Grenada, sometime between tomorrow evening and Sunday morning (Italian time). The shore team and organisers are already in situ, preparing a warm welcome for the crews of the two trimarans who will be exhausted after racing across the ocean at high speeds for such an extended period.
Phaedo3 should make landfall tomorrow and has a 397-nautical mile lead over Maserati Multi70 at the front of the fleet (as of 12.00 GMT). As Giovanni Soldini explained yesterday it will be difficult for the Italian boat to bridge the gap with the American multi over the coming hours because both MOD70s are making the same speeds of around 20/22 knots in the same winds.
Maserati Multi70 is now 660 nautical miles off Grenada and, given her average speeds and current weather pattern, is expected to cross the finish-line 24 hours after the US trimaran.
Now at the 22nd parallel north, Maserati Multi70 continues her race W/SW to the finish-line off Grenada, having spent the last 12 hours making an impressive average speed of 30 knots with peaks of 40, thanks to the L-foil and T-foil rudder on her port side. The Italian trimaran has another 1,071 nautical miles of the race left and is expected to make landfall this weekend.
Maserati Multi70 is making her way down towards Grenada, clocking up the miles in E/NE winds of between 15 and 20 knots. She and the American trimaran, Phaedo3, which is leading the race 820 miles from the finish, are following the clockwise flow of the Trade Winds around the mid-Atlantic high pressure area. Both are making speeds of between 17 and 20 knots, and are lying 250 miles apart (as of 12.00 GMT).
On day 5 of the RORC Transatlantic Race, Maserati Multi70 has put half of the race route behind her and is now in mid-Atlantic. Her sole direct rival, Phaedo3, is 266 nautical miles ahead and leading the fleet.
On the straight-line route to Grenada, Maserati Multi70 is still 1,611 miles from the finish. She is currently making a speed of 13 knots (12.00 GMT reading) with the aim of hooking the N/NW high pressure air flow. Over the coming hours, she’ll seek to make the most of the clockwise rotation of the Atlantic high pressure area and follow an increasingly straight course to the Caribbean finish.
Giovanni Soldini described the situation encountered last night: "We are out of the wind-less zone now and we’ve started to really eat up the miles: we made peak speeds of 35 knots sailing through the dark, moon-less night. The boat goes silent when she flies and accelerates like a bolting filly. We’re absolutely delighted with our progress and how Maserati Multi70 is coping on the ocean waves which are much longer than in the Mediterranean. We are managing to foil in conditions that would have been unthinkable until yesterday".
That said, the weather situation in the North Atlantic remains unusual for the time of year. "We are inside the flow from the depression on its north-easterly side. We need to cross over to its westerly side. We’re hoping we won’t get stuck in the dead calm at its centre. Once we’re across, we’ll finally be able to hook the Trade Winds or at least a high pressure wind that will stay with us all the way to the finish" commented Soldini.
Now on her fourth day in the Atlantic as part of the RORC Transatlantic Race, Maserati Multi70 is eating up the miles at a speed of 26 knots having hooked a more widespread 20-knot E/NE wind which will freshen still further as the hours go by and she moves further west. As of 14.00 GMT, Maserati Multi70 had also made up almost 100 miles of the gap between herself and Phaedo3. The data have just been updated as the race organisers encountered tracking problems due to the very high peak speeds logged by Maserati Multi70 causing anomalies in the tracking system.
The American trimaran Phaedo3 moved up to almost the same latitude as Maserati Multi70 overnight and is 300 miles ahead of her, making a speed of 27 knots.
The current weather situation in the North Atlantic (12.00 GMT) sees Maserati Multi70 still grappling with a weak N/NE airflow that doesn’t get above 15 knots. The coming hours will be pivotal for the Italian multihull which is now 170 nautical miles from the American trimaran, Phaedo3, which took the southerly route and is sailing in a 15-knot E/SE wind.
Soldini explained: "We are trying to pass a bubble with very little wind to position ourselves even further north where the Trade Winds will come in good and strong tonight. They will then stay with us for the next 500 miles as we sail west. Unfortunately, we are slower than anticipated and Phaedo3 has more wind than we thought she’d get. But now she’ll have to go north to avoid the dead calm ahead of her. Our paths will cross in a couple of days at around 30°N and 36°W".
Storms, unstable winds and peak speeds of 38 knots. That was the situation Maserati Multi70 left in her wake as she emerged from the second night of the RORC Transatlantic Race. Now at the same longitude as Cape Verde, she is continuing her race north to catch the Trade Winds this evening as they finally come into their own.
Aboard there is great satisfaction with how Maserati Multi70 is performing on the ocean in flying trim as Giovanni Soldini confirmed: "The boat is doing really well: last night, we foiled for a couple of hours in complete darkness. Flying between the Atlantic waves at 33/36 knots with not even a sliver of moon was quite stressful but we’re happy with how the foils are coping with the long ocean waves".
"Overnight we decided to head north of Las Palmas because we thought that going south, on the leeward side of the island, as Phaedo3 did, would lose us too much time. However, we ended up meeting several big wind-killing clouds and very little wind. But now we’ve caught some clean wind again. We’re counting on our route paying off over the next couple of days and being faster through the becalmed zone in mid-Atlantic" said Giovanni Soldini.
As of 13.00 GMT, Maserati Multi70 was lying 2,610 from the finish-line at Grenada, while Phaedo3 had a lead of around 130 nautical miles on the Italian trimaran.
Maserati Multi70 spent her first night both of the race and on the ocean sailing upwind as she attempted to bridge the gap with her only direct rival in the multi class, the American trimaran Phaedo3 which is currently leading the fleet.
The two trimarans have now left the Canary Islands in their wake and are racing west at a speed of between 16 and 20 knots in a North/North-Westerly of around 12 knots (as per reading at 13.30 GMT). They have, however, made different tactical choices: Maserati Multi70 has headed north of the direct line to the finish at Grenada, while Phaedo3 chose to sail south.
"The transatlantic crossing we’re facing into is strange: we came here to compete in a Caribbean race – and that means high pressure areas, Trade Winds, steady winds. But the actual weather situation is completely different to that. There are various tropical depressions with fronts very far south"
"We can’t wait to fly on the ocean. We are delighted to be in this race because it’s a big step for us: after three months of research and development, it is the first time we’ll be getting to sail on the ocean in our flying trim – on one side at least. We’re hoping that pitting ourselves against this ocean will teach us a lot and help us make progress"
The RORC Transatlantic Race started at 13.00 Italian time (12.00 local time). A fleet of 14 craft lined out, including Maserati Multi70 manned by skipper Giovanni Soldini and his team who were extremely eager to embark on this first ocean challenge.
Maserati Multi70, her closest rival Phaedo³ and the rest of the fleet started the RORC Transatlantic Race in an 8-knot SW crosswind. Once they have made their way down the channel to the south of Lanzarote, however, they’ll be sailing upwind and the wind is expected to freshen towards evening.
Tomorrow at 12 starts the third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race: the 2865 miles long ocean regatta crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Lanzarote (Canary Islands) to Grenada (Caribbean Sea). There’s a definite whiff of the big ocean regattas on the docksides in Marina di Arrecife these days as the 15 crews entered in the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race busy themselves with last-minute boat preparations, and navigators and skippers pore over the weather predictions for the first couple of days at sea.
The race multihull record to beat was set by Phaedo3 just last year in a time of 5 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 3 seconds.