July 9, 2017, 1200
MaseratiMulti70, the Italian high performance offshore flying multihull yacht skippered by Giovanni Soldini, has broken one of its rudders in a high-speed collision with an unidentified floating object, while in second place in the Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii.
The crew have been able to retrieve the shattered rudder on the back of the starboard (right hand) hull of the trimaran. The other rudders on the port (left hand) and the central hulls are undamaged and the crew are continuing to race towards the finish in Honolulu.
“We were sailing fast at 28 – 30 knots when we heard a big bang,” Soldini reported today. “We immediately stopped the boat and managed to retrieve the rudder blade that was still attached by a retaining line. That was quite a difficult procedure because it was during the night, with lots of wind and waves”.
When the incident happened Soldini’s crew were in second place in the multihull division and in a tight race with Mighty Merloe ahead and Phaedo3 behind. Maserati Multi70 had been sailing well south of the course “rhumb line”– the shortest most direct route between Los Angles and Honolulu – in an attempt to find more wind and to try to avoid the worst of the ocean debris littering the course further north.
“Our choice to stay south was also because we wanted to avoid the areas with more debris,” Soldini explained. “But yesterday, during the day, we saw at least 15 floating objects, including a net, a very big rope line, a buoy with an iron pole, and many smaller buoys. At one point, we caught a large piece of plastic sheeting on one of the rudders.”
The broken rudder is part of a new assembly fitted to the boat before the start of the race, designed to give the crew more control of the boat in fast flying mode.
“The bushes are still intact but the force of the impact completely destroyed the stock and blade,” Soldini said. “The rudder on the other side and the central rudder are OK, but cannot sail too fast on the side without the rudder, as sometimes we lose control and the boat spins out.”
At 16.00 Italian time today, 04.00 in Hawaii, MaseratiMulti70 was third on the water and was sailing south west (230 degrees) at 25.9 knots with 846.7 miles to race. Further north, Mighty Merloe and Phaedo3 were a sailing parallel course with 798.3 and 822.9 miles to go, respectively.
July 8, 2017
July 8, 2017, 2000
Out on the Pacific, midway between Los Angeles and Honolulu, the Italian boat is engaged in a three-way ocean dog fight for supremacy against two non-foiling American trimarans – Mighty Merloe and Phaedo3.
Over the last 24 hours, a light wind weather system to the north of the racecourse has forced the boats south of the course rhumb line in search of stronger, steadier breezes.
At 05.00 today (July 9) Italian time (17.00 July 8 in Hawaii), second-placed MaseratiMulti70 remained the furthest south of the three, sailing south west (138 degrees) at 26.8 knots with 1067.2 miles to go to the finish in Honolulu.
Meanwhile, further north, the race leading ORMA 60, Mighty Merloe, and the third placed Phaedo3 were sailing north west at 22.2 knots with 1026.6 and 1067.8 miles to go, respectively.
July 8, 2017
Lighter winds caused by a high-pressure weather system on the northern side of the “rhumb line” (the shortest direct route between Los Angeles and Hawaii) have slowed the progress of MaseratiMulti70 and the two American trimarans – Mighty Merloe and Phaedo3 – as the multihull trio scrap it out for the Transpac Race line honours lead.
Giovanni Soldini’s crew on second placed MaseratiMulti70 were the first to gybe earlier today to avoid the effects of the high pressure – a common feature of this classic 2,225-mile open ocean yacht race. The two others later followed suit but the foiling Italian boat has stayed furthest south, away from the lightest winds.
“We have been gybing to keep ourselves in breeze,” Soldini reported from the boat today. “We are in half and half foiling mode because we want to sail deep away from the high pressure. All is good on board and we are enjoying this exciting race.”
The three-way tussle for the overall lead in the 55-boat fleet looks likely to continue all the way to the finish at Diamond Head on Monday. Soldini is believes the wind will increase further along the course but expects to have to stay well south of the rhumb line for the best speed.
July 8, 2017
There has been no let-up in the relentless pace being set by Giovanni Soldini and his crew aboard the Italian offshore foiling trimaran MaseratiMulti70 on the way from Los Angeles to Honolulu in the 2017 Transpac Race.
Yesterday (July 7) Italian and Spanish crew overtook the 60-foot American tri, Mighty Merloe, to take the lead on the water in the five-boat multihull division. Today the two boats are locked in a head-to-head scrap for the overall line honours lead in the 55-boat fleet.
Westerly trade winds blowing across the Pacific at 13 – 16 knots have enabled the MaseratiMulti70 crew to put the 70-foot boat’s hydrofoil dagger boards to good use. With the boat in flying mode, the three hulls are lifted completely clear of the water, resulting in speeds up to 30 knots at times.
The intense tactical battle between MaseratiMulti70 and the smaller and lighter Mighty Merloe looks set to rage all the way to the finish line at the Diamond Head buoy off Hawaii. The pair have been trading the lead between them since the Italian boat opted to be the first to gybe to the south to stay in the strongest winds.
The Mighty Merloe crew – which includes legendary French ocean racers Loïck Peyron, Jacques Vincent and Franck Proffit – opted to hold their westerly track which gave them the race lead, at least in terms of distance to finish.
At 17.00 Italian time this afternoon (Saturday July 8), 05.00 in Hawaii, MaseratiMulti70 had gybed back towards Hawaii and was sailing north west (288 degrees) at 23 knots, with 1346,9 miles to go. Further north and yet to gybe, Mighty Merloe was sailing at 24 knots on a parallel course, 1341.9 miles from the finish. Meanwhile, third placed Phaedo3 was sailing at 22 knots and had 1370.9 miles to go to the finish.
Time will whether MaseratiMulti70’s southerly route will pay dividends as later today the two leading boats pass the halfway distance point in the 2,225-mile race.
July 7, 2017
The crew of the MaseratiMulti70 trimaran skippered by Giovanni Soldini are today locked in a high speed three-way battle for the lead of the multihull division in the Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
Light inshore breezes around six knots at the start of the 2,225-mile race’s five-strong multihull division initially disadvantaged the Italian boat which needs at least 14 knots of wind to pick up and fly on its hydrofoil dagger boards.
The two American non-foiling trimarans, Howard Enloe’s 60-foot Mighty Merloe and Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3, led MaseratiMulti70 past the western tip of Catalina Island – but only by around a mile.
Keeping their rivals close at this point had been a key pre-race strategy for Soldini’s team and the leading trio remained tightly grouped as they poked their bows into the 14 – 16 knot north westerly trade winds that lay 40 miles offshore.
Once into the new breeze, MaseratiMulti70 was able to put its foiling capability to good use to overtake Phaedo3 and close up on Mighty Merloe at speeds up to 30 knots.
At midnight local time in Hawaii on July 6 (midday on July 7 in Italy) the Italian trimaran was officially third in the multihull rankings, within 0.7 miles of Phaedo3, sailing south west (217 degrees) and with 1956.9 miles to race to the finish in Hawaii.
The Italian boat has strategically pushed further south – a move that the crew will be hoping will pay dividends as the race plays out over the next few days.
July 7, 2017
The Maserati Multi70 trimaran is in second place in the multihull division after nine hours of racing in the Transpac Race.
Giovanni Soldini’s Italian and Spanish crew on the Italian foiling trimaran picked their way smartly through the light winds at the start of the race that significantly limited the foiling boat’s performance, to round Catalina Island in third place behind the non-foiling 60-foot Mighty Merloe and 70-foot Phaedo3.
Having passed Catalina with around a mile deficit to the two American boats, Maserati Multi70 began to come its own once the fleet encountered the stronger trade winds further offshore.
By 18.00 local time in California (03.00 in Italy) MaseratiMulti70 had used its potent foiling ability to claw its way past Phaedo3 and begin to reel in the multihull frontrunner, Mighty Merloe.
July 6, 2017
At 13.30 local time (22.30 in Italy) Giovanni Soldini’s flying ocean racing trimaran, Maserati Multi70, together with four other multihulls crossed the start line off the Point Fermin headland of the 2017 Transpacific Race from Los Angeles, California to Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ahead of Soldini and his handpicked six-man crew of skilled offshore sailors lies 2,225 miles of open ocean sailing before they reach the finish at the Diamond Head navigation buoy off Hawaii.
The light winds at the start penalised Maserati Multi70 and handed the advantage to their closest rivals, the two high-performance American trimarans, Phaedo3 and Mighty Merloe – neither of which are set up for foiling.
Immediately after the start gun, Soldini’s men found themselves in the wind shadow of the two American boats but managed to tack into clear wind of around 8 – 10 knots and on a layline to the western tip of Catalina Island, some 35 miles away. Once around that point, the crew will look to turn their bows towards Hawaii.
July 6, 2017
“The forecast looks good, even though there will be light winds at the start” Soldini said. “The trade winds should be stable and in the range of 13-20 knots. We start to fly in winds above 14 knots and really get going fast in the range up to 20 knots. But the real challenge of the race will be to avoid the objects and debris floating in the water that could damage our foils or rudders. The infamous island of plastic is in the Pacific Ocean and we have seen a lot of debris in the water here when we have been training.
“Apart from that, we are really excited: the boat is fine and really fast. We have had some tiring months in the boatyard and the Maserati’s team have worked hard to get us ready for this race. Now, we can’t wait to get started.”