Maserati Multi70 and Giovanni Soldini finished third in the very light winds of the Rolex Middle Sea Race Ph. Alberto Origone
Maserati and Soldini finished third of the Rolex Middle Sea Race
At 22:45 UTC on Monday 24 October (00:45 on 25 October Italian time), Giovanni Soldini and the crew of the Maserati Multi70 crossed the finish line of the 43rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, third on the line in real time, finishing the race in 2 days, 13 hours, 45 minutes and 3 seconds.
Mana, owned by Riccardo Pavoncelli and skippered by Paul Larsen, first to finish of the five MOD70s in the race, with a time of 2 days, 13 hours, 32 minutes and 38 seconds, prevailed by just one minute over Zoulou, formerly Powerplay, owned by Erik Maris and skippered by Loick Peyron.
Snowflake (USA), ex Phaedo 3, owned by Frank Slootman and skippered by New Zealander Gavin Brady, also finished fourth, at a more marked distance.
On the Maserati Multi70, together with Giovanni Soldini, boat captain Guido Broggi, Matteo Soldini, Francesco Pedol, Oliver Herrera Perez, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Alberto Riva and Francesco Malingri (media man).
The 606-mile race - a counter-clockwise tour of Sicily and its islands, starting and finishing in Malta - this year under abnormal high pressure, trapped the entire fleet between flat calms and light winds, with a continuous engagement of the MOD70s in the front line that provided some high- intensity moments at the finish.
Giovanni Soldini's first words from the finish line: "It was an exciting and at the same time very difficult race, which started immediately uphill with adverse conditions for our boat. Despite this we managed to keep a very high pace and I am really happy with the progress made with Maserati even in very light winds".
Every mile was tenaciously won right from the exit of Valletta's Grand Harbour. Maserati Multi70, the only one of the trimarans in flying trim, knew that it would suffer with foils in the water in light wind conditions, but the slow and erratic pace of the race sent the boat into a stalemate and then opened up different vents, and in the slalom of tactical choices and edges to look for some wind, even a mishap: "In a moment of recovery, the race was complicated by a small incident on board," says Soldini, "Fred (Frédéric Le Peutrec) went to a side hull to check our opponents, and from there he put his foot wrong and slipped and fell into the water. It wasn't anything tragic, it was night but the crew was super prepared and we reacted very quickly, we got him back under sail straight away and luckily the whole thing ended with a few laughs and a bit of lost time in the manoeuvres".
In the final stretch, between Lampedusa and Malta, Mana and Zoulou first strengthened and then saw their lead loosen, and Maserati Multi70 took advantage of this to catch up with their rivals without, however, succeeding in the feat, pursued until the photo finish, of overturning the result.