‘Carpe Diem’ Maserati
●Simple navigation error by Phaedo 3 hands honour to Maserati ●Rambler 88 was expected to take Monohull Line Honours
Giovanni Soldini’s MOD70 Maserati, crossed the finish line at the Royal Malta Yacht Club to take Multihull Line Honours at 14.00.01 CET yesterday in an elapsed time of 2 days 01 hours 25 minutes and 01 seconds. In doing so, Maserati has also set a new multihull race record for the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Maserati had trailed Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3 for most of the race, but following what appears to be a simple navigation error by Phaedo3, Maserati seized the moment to claim victory.
Maserati skipper Giovanni Soldini said: “The first part of the race went well more or less. The two of us arrived together. They chose to go in shore and we went a little bit out. They made the right decision and they took an advantage there. We then played the section in the night very well, especially through Messina and we were very close. Then from Messina to Stromboli they did better than us. We stayed too far west.”
“I bet that the best passage along the north of Sicily would be far off the coast and I was nearly right. We almost went past them, but then no and we stopped. It was like a piece of elastic, we catch up then they go away.”
“A race is never over until you finish. Anything can happen. When I saw that Phaedo had tacked, I thought they had broken something. I wondered if maybe I should call them on the radio to ask if they have some problem and they need something. Luckily I didn’t because it took a long time for them to discover their error!”
Damage before the race reduced the potential of Maserati; she had to sail with a replacement non-foiling rudder and daggerboard on the starboard side. Even so, Soldini was pleased with what he saw:
“The different conditions meant we could try different things. I was really impressed with the sail combination and speed just after the start between the breakwater and the first turning mark. I couldn’t tell you if we would have been faster over the whole race if we had not damaged the rudder. It is a bet. In some moments for sure. From here to Sicily way faster and also from Stromboli to the end of Sicily way faster too when we were reaching in 20 knots with a flat see. But who knows.”
Maserati crew member Pierre Casiraghi said: “This was always a race that I have thought about because it is my offshore ‘home race’. I know all the islands we go by since I was a kid, so it is something special for me. I really like offshore sailing, and the key for me is to have a good team and the right boat. With Giovanni it is just fantastic because he has such a good spirit. He manages very simply to put a good team together, everyone trusts everyone and it is just a pleasure to sail with him whatever the result.”
“He has such experience and is always very easy going with everyone, which is really important especially when you are stuck on a boat for a few days. I think he is amazing for that. And this boat. What a boat, it is great to be able to sail on these trimarans. They have been built really well, go really fast and even though they are safer than the old Orma 60s there is still some spice to it. Anytime it can happen and you can flip the boat quite easily. You need a lot of concentration. This is exciting to be concentrated and focused on what you are doing. I have done the Sydney Hobart last year with the team, and for sure would love to do the Fastnet. The boat wouldn’t matter as much as the team. It is a legend of a race and I will do it eventually.”
The Maserati crew comprised Giovanni Soldini, Guido Broggi, Carlos Hernandez, Oliver Herrera Perez, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Francesco Malingri and Pierre Casiraghi.
George David’s American Maxi Rambler 88, was expected to take Monohull Line Honours at around midnight (last night), setting the corrected time for the IRC fleet to claim the overall win.
Maserati arriving at Marsamxett Harbour yesterday afternoon Photo: Jonathan Borg