Yesterday at 11.30 AM, Giovanni Soldini and Maserati crossed the starting-line of the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race after the traditional cannon shot rang out from Fort Charlotte, overlooking the English Harbour at the southern tip of Antigua. Maserati started upwind with a group of other yachts. Sailing in an 18-knot easterly and amid 2.5-meter waves, the Italian VOR 70 chose to hug the coastline before rounding the southernmost point of Antigua and setting a course for Barbuda. Maserati is currently sailing with peaks of 12 knots towards the southeast island of the regatta – Guadeloupe – fighting for first place against the boat “Rambler”.
On-board with Soldini is an international crew of 11 including: Italians Guido Broggi, John Elkann, Andrea Fantini, Matteo Ivaldi, Francesco Malingri, Corrado Rossignoli and Gigio Russo; German Boris Herrmann; Spaniard Oliver Herrera Perez; Frenchman Gwen Riou; and Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco.
There are 64 boats competing in the race in all, including the formidable Rambler, Leopard and Bella Mente. The route meanders 600 miles between 11 Caribbean islands before winding its way back to the finish-line in English Harbour, Antigua.
“The crucial passages in the race will be on the leeward sides of the islands, with Guadeloupe particularly delicate as it has very high mountains. The strong completion will also make it a tough challenge: Bella Mente is a recent 72’ which won last year and the light trade winds should work to her advantage. Rambler is a just-splashed 88’ carbon-fibre yacht designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian who also penned Maserati. She has a super crew and, with her electric winches, is practically an aeroplane. Owner George David also holds the race record which he set in 2011 (40 hours and 20 minutes). Leopard is a 100’ Farr with electric winches; she’s a big, light boat with a canting keel. We’ll be giving it our all as usual!” stated Giovannia Soldini, just before departure.