The ninth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race gets underway from Antigua
The RORC Caribbean Race is renowned as one of the most complex and challenging races in ocean racing. This year’s edition has attracted a record fleet of 80-boats including top ocean racing crews from around the world.
Starting and finishing in Antigua, the course weaves its way through the Caribbean taking in no less than 11 island turning points, stretching as far north as Saint Martin and down to the tiny island of Les Saintes off Guadeloupe in the south.
Relive the race!
Maserati Multi70 crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race
Maserati Multi70 crossed the finish line at 9pm.33.55 local time in Antigua (2.33am in Italy) on Tuesday 21st February.
The trimaran skippered by Giovanni Soldini, has finished in second place in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race.
Maserati Multi70 stages an impressive comeback in line honours battle
Hours earlier the US boat pulled out a lead of 13 miles when a light wind zone temporarily slowed Maserati Multi70 on the approach on the island of Guadeloupe. Soldini’s crew was soon back up to full speed again, however, setting off in a high-speed pursuit of their rivals that saw them touching 26-knots for extended periods.
As Phaedo3 closed in on Iles des Saintes, the southernmost turning point on the course, it was the turn of the US-flagged boat to be slowed by lightening winds, allowing Maserati Multi70 to come storming back to within four miles of the lead.
Maserati Multi70 in a head to head fight for the lead with Phaedo3
After 24-hours of racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race the Maserati Multi70 trimaran skippered by Italian ocean racer Giovanni Soldini is locked in a fierce struggle for the lead with the race record holder Phaedo3.
Maserati Multi70 was slowed significantly for a while by super light winds on the approach to the western side of Guadeloupe, allowing Phaedo3 to quickly pull away.
The Italian boat was soon back up and running again, however, with the crew making the most of fresh breeze to achieve spurts of speed up to 26-knots. By the time they reached Iles des Saintes island and started to turn north the gap between the boats was down to four miles.
The Maserati Multi70 crew continued to make gains and at midday local time (17.00 in Italy) Soldini’s men trailed Phaedo3 by less than half a mile with 185-miles to race until the finish in Antigua.
Lighter winds put Maserati Multi70 13 miles behind Phaedo3
"The first half of the race was in 13 to 15 knots of wind and we were competitive with the other guys", Soldini reported from his boat shortly before dawn this morning. "They are sailing very well and have not made any mistakes. The breeze is up and down and in every light spell they are able to extend a little on us. Now and then it comes up enough for us to make gains back on them. Generally the wind has been stronger than the forecast suggested so we are hoping this continues and we can get into some stronger winds that will suit our flying boat better".
Maserati Multi70 fights for the lead in RORC Caribbean 600 Race
Maserati Multi70 is in a fierce fight for the lead of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race with the American MOD 70 Phaedo3.
The two trimarans have been locked together in a high-speed battle for supremacy ever since the start of the race yesterday morning in Antigua (afternoon in Europe).
At 04.00 local time (09.00 in Europe) this morning Phaedo3 and second placed Maserati Multi70 were separated by just two miles as they sped south at around 18 knots, approximately 14 miles behind the race record pace set by Phaedo3 in 2016.
RORC Caribbean 600 has started
Maserati Multi70 crossed the start line at Fort Charlotte on the south side of the island at 11.40 local time (15.40 in Europe) in 10 knots of wind.
"These conditions are not good for a flying boat like ours, but all we can do is sail the best we can", Soldini said before the start of the race. "These light winds mean the course will be full of traps. We will have to be smart and keep pushing all the way to the finish".
Very light winds forecast - not ideal conditions for Maserati Multi70
"What we are developing with Maserati Multi70 is a flying boat," Soldini explained. "The boat’s performance is dependent on the wind strength. In over 14 knots of breeze our custom foil system begins to work and we can be competitive. But in light winds the foils - particularly the large horizontal one on the central daggerboard - cause drag in the water and slow us down". "We chose this race because there are normally strong winds in this area, but now the weather conditions we are going to face are frustrating".
RORC Caribbean 600 Race kicks off tomorrow
Giovanni Soldini and his international crew aboard the high-tech offshore trimaran, Maserati Multi70, are facing uncharacteristically light wind conditions in Antigua for the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race on Monday February 20.
Soldini’s men have been monitoring the weather situation closely after the formation of a low-pressure storm system far to the north of Antigua disrupted the normal strong trade wind conditions. Forecasts have been calling for 48 hours of dead calm on the 600-mile race. The light air forecast is not good news for the Italian ocean racing trimaran which is designed for much stronger winds.