Maserati takes win in Transatlantic Race
Published on January 15th, 2022
(January 15, 2022; Day 8) – After an intense Atlantic battle, Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 (ITA) Maserati crossed the finish line first in the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, finishing today at 05:51:41 UTC to take multihull line honors.
Soldini’s crew was Vittorio Bissaro, Oliver Herrera Perez, Thomas Joffrin, Francesco Pedol and Matteo Soldini, and media man Alberto Origone.
After eight days, Maserati finished ahead of Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, followed by Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo. The three fell short of the elapsed record of 5 days, 22 hrs, 46 mins, 03 secs set in 2015 by Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo 3, skippered by Brian Thompson.
“That was really fantastic,” commented Soldini. “To do a transatlantic race like that with three boat 20 miles from each other is just amazing. We had a big problem the first night as straight away we broke the port rudder (hitting a UFO). However, in the second part of the race, luckily the angle was such that the starboard rudder was in the water.”
Approaching halfway in the race, PowerPlay had been the dominant team. Maserati and Argo, who also sustained port rudder damage, fell behind. PowerPlay launched into the lead which peaked at over 100 miles, but in Maserati and Argo never gave up the chase, and with less than 100 miles to go, it was Maserati that took the lead which they never relinquished.
Maserati’s killer blow came from a decision to round Barbados to the north, some 150 miles from the finish. “We decided to sail to the northwest and for sure it was a good idea,” said Soldini. “We crossed behind everybody (PowerPlay and Argo), but stayed in good wind which shifted right, allowing us to stay at maximum speed and come down to the rhumb line.
“This was an important win for us. We have had some technical problems in recent races and although we have set some records, winning a proper race like the RORC Transatlantic Race has been so enjoyable for us. We are very happy because I think the boat is getting better and better with little adjustments. I think this year we made big steps and we have found out that the boat is very fast.”
Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) was next to finish at 06:46:42 UTC. PowerPlay had led for most of the race, but even after losing by a small margin, right at the end, Cunningham was upbeat about the experience.
“It was the most perfect race in the sense of the last few days, even though the weather wasn’t in our favor at that time and was in Maserati’s absolute sweet spot,” commented Cunningham. “Moonlit nights with breeze and flat water, screaming along at sometimes 30 knots, it was an incredible experience, just magic.
“It wasn’t tough at all (to come second); Maserati with their foils could do things that we couldn’t do, and they made great decisions. At the beginning of the race, when it was rough, PowerPlay was doing things Maserati couldn’t do. I am very proud of the PowerPlay team; our maneuvres and decisions were fantastic. We ticked all the boxes, but the conditions just didn’t favor us.”
Jason Carroll’s Argo completed the multihull line honours podium which lost part of their port rudder on the second night of the race.
“It was incredible that we were all together for an amazing finish,” commented Carroll. “It was phenomenal. At times we were 100 miles apart and at other times we were crossing each other in the middle of the ocean. It was close, outstanding racing. I got into this class because I wanted a different experience from sailing and it is awesome, really cool.”
The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race started January 8 for 256 sailors from 27 different countries. The record fleet of 30 boats set off from Lanzarote for the 3000nm course to Grenada.
Source: Louay Habib