At exactly 11:54:33 Hobart time yesterday, Maserati became the fourth craft to cross the finish-line in the 71st edition of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, one of the most gruelling events on the international sailing calendar. The Italian VOR 70 covered the 628-mile distance between the Australian mainland and Tasmania in just 2 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes, 33 seconds.
Line honours went to the American yacht Comanche in a time of 2 days, 8 hours, 58 minutes, 30 seconds. She was followed into Hobart by the Australian yacht Ragamuffin 100 (2 days, 19 hours, 47 minutes, 30 seconds) and the American craft Rambler 88 (2 days, 19 hours, 51 minutes, 42 seconds).
Skipper Giovanni Soldini was flanked aboard Maserati by a first-rate international crew : Italians Guido Broggi, Matteo Ivaldi, Francesco Malingri, Corrado Rossignoli and Carlo Castellano; Spaniards Carlos Hernandez and Oliver Herrera; Pierre Casiraghi from Monaco; Brit Sam Goodchild; Australians Elizabeth “Liz” Wardley, Drew Mervyn Carruthers, Trevor Brown and journalist and special guest Nick Vindin.
“It was a fantastic race!” – the words of Giovanni Soldini as he disembarked from Maserati at Hobart having just crossed the finish line in fourth position in his first-ever Sydney-Hobart yacht race. “Yet again Maserati proved herself a solid boat following excellent preparation. The crew were excellent too – very tight and efficient. We had a bit of everything thrown at us in this race. At the start, we ended up with three buoys and at least 50 metres of line tangled around the keel and wasted half an hour freeing ourselves of them. The other competitors had moved ahead by about a dozen miles by then. Once we got going again, we decided to just run our own race and maintain a level of calmness which turned out very well for us in the end.
The sailing was excellent for the first part of the race, we were always in step when the wind turned and we had some great angles. In fact, we managed to not only catch up with Ragamuffin, a 100 footer, but also engage in a fabulous match race with her. Unfortunately, a high pressure area arrived and Ragamuffin was able to make a speed of 10 knots in a five-knot wind. We got stuck in a couple of big clouds with absolutely no wind and our arrival into Tasmania wasn’t entirely favourable to us either. In the end, we managed to get beyond the high pressure area, catch a northerly and then made landfall at Hobart. This marks the end of our adventure with the VOR 70 after three years of sailing around the world and I’m happy to complete this cycle on such a high note.”
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