Maserati takes Transatlantic Race multihull line honours

Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) has taken Multihull line honours in the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race, crossing the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada at 05:51:41 UTC on Saturday 15th January (Corrected: 6d 18h 51m 41s).

After eight days of extraordinary racing, Maserati finished ahead of Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield, followed by Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo. Maserati was crewed by Giovanni Soldini, Vittorio Bissaro, Oliver Herrera Perez, Thomas Joffrin, Francesco Pedol and Matteo Soldini.

Maserati’s margin of victory was less than 20 miles over PowerPlay and Argo. Giovanni Soldini has enjoyed many great successes in his glittering career, and this was one of the finest.

Maserati arrives in Grenada – Arthur Daniel, RORC pic

The camaraderie and sportsmanship between the top three multihulls was exemplified by Soldini’s Maserati crew waiting for PowerPlay to finish, cheering them through the line. Then Argo’s shore team put on a dockside barbeque at 4am, all washed down with ice cold beers provided by Port Louis Marina.

“That was really fantastic,” Soldini commented. “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 boat. Maserati and Argo, which had both sustained port rudder damage, fell behind. PowerPlay launched into a lead that peaked at over 100 miles, but in Maserati and Argo never gave up the chase. With less than 100 miles to go, Maserati that took the lead and did not relinquish.

Peter Cunningham and team on PowerPlay after the finish – Arthur Daniel, RORC pic

Maserati’s killer blow came from a decision to round Barbados to the north, some 150 miles from the finish, as Soldini explains: “We decided to sail to the north-west and for sure it was a good idea. 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 rhumbline.

“This was an important win for us. We have had some technical problems in recent races. 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.”

Less than an hour after Soldini’s Maserati had crossed the line, Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) finished after leading for most of the race. Even after losing by a small margin, right at the end, Peter Cunningham was upbeat about the experience.

Argo (USA) crosses the Grenada finish line – Arthur Daniel, RORC pic

“It was the most perfect race in the sense of the last few days, even though the weather wasn’t in our favour at that time and was in Maserati’s absolute sweet spot,” Cunningham explained.

“Moonlit nights with breeze and flat water, screaming along at sometimes at 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 team; our manoeuvres and decisions were fantastic. We ticked all the boxes, but conditions just didn’t favour us.”

Jason Carroll’s Argo completed the multihull line honours podium. Argo had 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,” Carroll said. “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.

Jason Carroll (Argo) and Peter Cunningham (PowerPlay) shake hands after a great race – Arthur Daniel, RORC pic

“I got into this class because I wanted a different experience from sailing and it is awesome, really cool. I would have loved to give my congratulations to Giovanni, but unfortunately, due to Covid, that wasn’t possible.

“I really appreciate the Royal Ocean Racing Club and organisers of this race giving us the opportunity for these three boats to race against each other. I will have to congratulate Giovanni and his team when we all meet again in Antigua at the RORC Caribbean 600 in February.”

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