Maserati and Soldini return to compete on the 600-mile course
With 24 hours to go until the race, a spectacular 75-boat fleet is ready for the 13th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, sponsored by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.
In the start sequence from Fort Charlotte, Antigua, the rules state that the MOCRA class will start last, half an hour behind the first group. The appointment on the starting line for the multihulls is therefore set for tomorrow, Monday 21 February, at 11:30 local time (15:30 UTC, 16:30 Italian time).
Giovanni Soldini, together with the crew of Maserati Multi70, in flying trim will challenge 7 other multihulls, among which his direct rivals: Peter Cunningham's PowerPlay, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, with legendary French navigator Loick Peyron on board; and Jason Carroll's Argo, with Brian Thompson. Antoine Rabaste and Jacek Siwek will participate with the 80ft Maxi Multi Ultim Emotion 2.
The race, fast and tactical, full of manoeuvres and rapid changes of direction of winds and currents, develops along a 600-mile course that from Antigua heads north, rounds Barbuda, Nevis, Saba and Saint Barth, doubles the island of Saint Martin and heads south to turn around Guadeloupe, aiming at the last buoy off Barbuda, and so back to Antigua.
The multihulls will sail with an eye on the regatta's speed record, set in 2019 by Giovanni Soldini himself, who crossed the finish line with a time of 1 day, 6 hours and 49 minutes aboard Maserati Multi70. To break the record, one of the competing trimarans will have to finish the race before 22:19 UTC on Tuesday 22 February.
Weather forecasts indicate a not too strong and fairly stable trade wind around 13/14 knots, with some passages, particularly Tuesday morning downwind of Guadeloupe, and Tuesday night south of Guadeloupe, where there could be significant drops.
"I'm sure it will be a very hard-fought race," comments Giovanni Soldini, "PowerPlay and Argo are two top-level teams and the boats are very similar. We're ready for it and we're going to see some great things".
Maserati Multi70 is participating in the RORC Caribbean 600 for the fourth time after having raced the 2017, 2019 and 2020 editions. In this regatta, Giovanni Soldini will be accompanied by a crew of 7 sailors. Guido Broggi is back on board and the team that won the RORC Transatlantic Race a few weeks ago is joined by French navigator Gwénolé Gahinet.
Maserati Multi 70 - The crew
With Giovanni Soldini:
Guido Broggi (ITA) - born in Milan in 1971, he is passionate about vintage boats and has thousands of miles on the ocean to his credit. From 1998 to 2005 he was team leader in the construction and sporting preparation of the 60' Fila and Giovanni Soldini's trimaran Tim, taking part in all the regattas as a crew member: record attempt in the North Atlantic New York-Cape Lizard in 1998, Transat Jacques Vabre in doubles in 1999, Quebec-St Malo in 2002 and 2004, two record attempts Marseilles-Tunis in 2002. From 2005 to 2011 he was responsible for the construction of the special cables in Pbo of Gottifredi & Maffioli (America's Cup and special projects).
Boat captain since 2011 of Maserati Vor70 and now of Maserati Multi70.
Vittorio Bissaro (ITA) - born in 1987, he started sailing as a child, on Optimist and Laser, and then switched to catamarans. He participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the Nacra 17 class finishing in fifth place and won the Nacra17 World Championship in 2019. Aboard Maserati Multi 70 he participated twice in the RORC 600 Carribean (in 2017 and 2019), in the 2017 edition of the Transpacific Yacht Race, as well as taking part in training and transfers. He also participated in the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2018 and was part of the trimaran's crew on the occasion of two records set in 2021.
Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA) - 35 years old, he is an experienced French navigator and naval engineer. He has many years of experience behind him: he has competed and won several races, including the Mini Transat 2011, the Transat ag2r 2014 and the Solitaire du Figaro in the rookie category, and was co-skipper of the maxi trimaran MACIF with François Gabart. He is also the holder of the Jules Verne Trophy, a world record for crewed sailing in 40 days and 23 hours, achieved aboard the 100ft trimaran Idec Sport.
Oliver Herrera Perez (ESP) - born in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands in 1987, he started sailing at the age of 9 in an Optimist, before moving on to racing as an adult on Ims 500s, Swan 45s and Rc44s. Already part of the crew of the Maserati VOR 70, he continues to race as bowman on the Maserati Multi 70. He has participated in most of the trimaran's regattas, records and transfers.
Thomas Joffrin (FRA) - from the Côtes-d'Armor in Brittany, he is 22 years old and has been working in the sailing world since 2018. He was part of the Ultim Emotion 2 maxi trimaran team for two years and in June 2021 he participated in the Ocean Race Europe with the Austrian team. He has 4 transatlantics to his credit and over 50 thousand miles in race and transfer.
Francesco Pedol (ITA) - professional Skipper, he is experiences in long distance deliveries and has many Atlantic crossings to his credit.
Since May 2021 he is member of the Maserati Multi 70 Team, both as a crew member and shore team.
Matteo Soldini (ITA) - is member of the shore team and has been involved in the Maserati Multi 70 project since its inception, having taken part in almost all the transfers of the Maserati VOR 70. He has numerous Atlantic crossings under his belt and has participated in many offshore races. On board Maserati Multi 70 he has participated in the vast majority of regattas, records and transfers carried out, accumulating many miles of sailing.