Soldini and his seven-man international crew brought Maserati Multi70 across the finish line off Charlotte Point in Antigua at 21.33.55 local time Tuesday February 21, (02.33.55 on Wednesday 22 February in Italy), 13 minutes behind Phaedo3.
The Italian multihull completed the course in 1 day, 9 hours, 53 minutes and 55 seconds, finishing 13 minutes after phaedo3.
Lighter, less consistent winds than are characteristic of the Caribbean at this time of year meant neither team was able to improve on the race record time of 31 hours, 59 minutes and four seconds, set by Phaedo3 in 2016.
Maserati Multi70 and Phaedo3 were racing in the MOCRA class for multihull boats and finished far ahead of the rest of the record 80 boat fleet of mainly monohull yachts.
The two crews were locked in close combat for virtually the entire race as they matched each other’s every move around the course play for play.
When Maserati Multi70 was slowed by a calm patch on the approach to Guadeloupe, Phaedo3 gained a 13-mile lead – the greatest distance the two boats had been separated by since the start.
The Italian trimaran came storming back immediately and by the next turning point - Iles des Saintes at the southern end of the racecourse - Soldini’s crew were back challenging for the lead.
A freshening breeze for the final 100-miles of the 600-mile racecourse saw Maserati Multi70 speed around the last two legs at over 30 knots as Soldini’s crew tried everything they knew to overtake their rivals before the finish.
But it was not to be. When Phaedo3 was first to make the final turn around the miniscule Redonda Island and point her bows at the finish line, there were no tactical options left for the Maserati Multi70 crew to try to exploit.
After the finish Soldini was quick to congratulate the winning crew on Phaedo3 who he said had made virtually no mistakes during the race. Exhausted but happy, the Italian skipper also paid tribute to his own crew who he said had sailed a great race.
«We are very happy and I think we sailed a good race», Soldini said on the dock in Antigua. «We didn’t have very much time when the conditions suited us. Mostly it was around 10 knots so our foiling gear in the water slowed us down».
Soldini said Maserati Multi70 – which has a standard MOD 70 foil on the right side and a custom L-foil on the left - was only able to fly on two occasions during the race. The most memorable flight, he said, was shortly after the start when they overtook Phaedo3 at speed.
«This has been an important race for us», Soldini said. «Sailing so close to Phaedo3 has allowed us to try things out and I think we have learned a lot about how to get the most out of our boat».
On board Maserati Multi70 with skipper Giovanni Soldini for the RORC Caribbean 600 race were: Guido Broggi, Vittorio Bissaro, François Robert, Oliver Herrera, Carlos Hernandez, Francesco Malingri and Matteo Soldini.
The next outing for Maserati Multi70 will be the Transpacific Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii in July when Soldini hopes to have the boat configured to fly on both sides. Before then the trimaran will make a long passage from the Caribbean to the west coast of the USA via the Panama Canal.
The challenge is supported by Maserati which, as main sponsor, gives the boat her name, while UnipolSai Assicurazioni is sponsor. The official suppliers to the challenge are Ermenegildo Zegna for clothing and Boero Bartolomeo S.p.A. for hull enamels and paints.