Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 Maserati Multi70 - the Italian ocean-going foiling trimaran skippered by Giovanni Soldini - is back on the water in San Francisco after a two-month overhaul of the 70-foot multihull’s on-board systems.
The work included the boat being upgraded to full foiling mode in preparation for next month’s 2,225-mile Transpacific Yacht Race. The ‘Transpac Race’, as the classic ocean race is most commonly known, starts from Los Angeles on July 6 and finishes in Honolulu, Hawaii.
It is the fourth major offshore challenge for Maserati Multi70 in the last 10 months - following on from the Rolex Middle Sea Race and RORC Transatlantic Race in 2016 and the RORC Caribbean 600 Race earlier this year.
An international fleet of 55 boats will contest the 2017 Transpacific Yacht Race including the two 100-foot maxi monohull yachts Comanche and Rio100.
The multihull class will start on July 6, when Maserati Multi70 will line up against the ORMA60 trimaran Mighty Merloe, helmed by legendary French ocean racer Loïck Peyron, and arch-rival, Phaedo3 - Lloyd Thornburg’s American non-foiling MOD70 trimaran.
The official multihull record time during the race stands at five days, nine hours, 18 minutes and 26 seconds, set by Bruno Peyron’s French 86-foot catamaran Explorer back in 1997.
Soldini’s men had to work around the clock to get the complex programme of work completed in time to test the boat’s systems before it is moved to Los Angeles for the Transpac race start.
Much of the work on the boat took the form of refinements to the complex systems that enable it to fly above the water on adjustable hydrofoils. New custom designed and built rudder assemblies have been fitted to improve the trimaran’s foiling performance and the surfaces of huge central dagger-foil have been refinished to help reduce drag.
On deck, the standing rigging that supports the enormous mast and sail plan has been upgraded and a new mainsail has been added to the sail boat’s sail inventory.
Encouraging early signs from that testing suggest the boat is now faster than ever. Recently, while sailing in 25 knots of wind on San Francisco Bay the crew achieved a remarkable new top speed of 44.56 knots (82.5 kilometres per hour, 51.2 miles per hour).
“We are all looking forward to taking on the Transpac race with Maserati Multi 70 in fully foiling mode,” said Soldini. “The improvements are based on what we have learned as a crew over the last year and using a development configuration and only able to fly on one side”.
Soldini said his team was hoping for optimum weather conditions – winds around 17 knots and flat water – that could give them a shot at setting at breaking the course record.
“That would be very fast for us, but this is a complex racecourse and there are so many variables in the weather we might have to deal with. Much depends where the persistent high pressure system is located in relation to the course and there are often topical pressure waves that can play havoc with the trade winds. In the meantime, we continue to train and to test the boat.”trimaran back in action ahead of Transpacific Yacht Race.