• A Trimaran Mad Dash To The Finish

    The last miles...

    With Howard Enloe's ORMA 60' Mighty Merloe already tied to the dock at Ali Wai Harbor, the two MOD 70's,
    Phaedo3 and Maserati were still working their way to the Diamond Head Finish Line. But you might ask, how does an old
    rehabilitated trimaran beat two more modern boats in a dash across the Pacific?

    According to Zan Drejes, who has sailed with and against Howard and knows the subtle differences, it's a combination
    of wind speed, sea state and the guys aboard. " The Orma is lighter, and wider,with less wetted surface area and can be tweaked more, especially by the kings of offshore multihull sailing, the French." With Franck Proffit, Jacques Vincent and Loick Peyron aboard, Mighty Merloe
    had that in spades, plus a talented young crew of US sailors, Will Suto, Steve Calder, Jay Davis and Artie Means and add winds that stayed on the lighter side, the Mighty Merloe
    had just the right conditions and crew to pull off the upset!

    Phaedo3 @ Phinish... image Lauren Easley

    Phaedo3 charging towards Diamond Head: image Rachael Fallon-Langdon

    Quote from Lloyd Thornburg - Owner Skipper
    "....A hearty congratulations to a perfect race sailed by Mighty Merlot! Team Phaedo sailed a very good race and I am very proud of our team while we gave it our best it was not quite enough for Mighty Merlot's epic light air down wind speed. Now that the racing is behind us we are here in Hawaii enjoying the unparalleled hospitality of our Hawaiian welcome and many well wishers. Aloha!!!.."\

    Quote from Simon Fisher- Navigator
    "... It's great to be in Hawaii after 4 days of really intense racing, after a bumpy first night and the realisation that we had some very intense competition from Mighty Merloe and Maserati it feels like we have thrown everything including the kitchen sink at our bid to get line honours in this race. Having realised that in the conditions we had we weren't going to win on boat speed alone we worked hard on making a more southerly tactical option work. After gybing on what felt like every shift between LA and Hawaii we have to take our hats of to the crew of Mighty Merloe who sailed a faultless race. Despite our efforts we couldn't find a way past them. It has been a really solid effort from the crew to achieve what turned out to be a solid second place despite hanging it all out there for a chance of glory and the win!

    Giovanni Soldini and his crew crossed the finish line at Diamond Head off Honolulu at 11.18 and 55 seconds Italian time today, July 11 (23.18 and 55 seconds July 10 in Hawaii) – four days, 12 hours, 48 minutes and 55 seconds after leaving Los Angeles on Thursday July 6.

    MaseratiMulti70 finished the 2,225-mile race in third place.

    Giovanni Soldini’s MaseratiMulti70 crossed the Transpac Finish finish line off Honolulu under a full moon at 11.18 and 55 seconds Italian time today, July 11 (23.18 and 55 seconds, on July 10 in Hawaii).

    Wind conditions during the 2,225-miles long race were in the 13 – 21 knot range – excellent for fast multihull sailing. Soldini’s men made good use of MaseratiMulti70’s capability to fly above the water on its hydrofoil dagger boards and on the second day at sea they edged ahead of their main rivals – the non-foiling American trimarans Phaedo3 and Mighty Merloe.

    However, the situation changed on Sunday when MaseratiMulti70’s starboard rudder assembly was destroyed by a collision in the dark with an unseen solid chunk of ocean debris. The crew stopped the boat and despite strong winds and choppy seas they managed to retrieve the snapped off rudder blade remained attached to the boat by a control line.

    “We were lucky to be able to save the rudder,” Soldini said. “It took a long time for two of us to pull it in near to the boat. It was jumping around behind us in the waves like a big fish. Eventually, we got it close enough to attach a halliard and wrestle it on board.”

    It took a little over an hour before the Italian boat was back in the race and although limited by the missing rudder on port gybe, MaseratiMulti70 could sail at full speed on starboard gybe. The sailors pushed the boat to its limits to try to claw back some of the miles lost to their rivals and at one point looked to be gaining ground. Ultimately though, they had to settle for a third-place arrival in Hawaii.

    Soldini said the crew was tired but happy to have made it safely to Hawaii, but also disappointed to have lost so much time and distance with their broken rudder.

    “We are a little sad to have lost out so much because of the rudder,” he said. “I think we had sailed a good race up until then and we were enjoying the battle with the other two. We lost an hour retrieving it – that is 25 miles in these multihull boats”.

    “Afterwards, we were at least four knots slower without the rudder on that side and when the central rudder loses its grip, the boat spins out and you have to completely ease all the sails to get going again. It takes about 20 minutes to recover and it happened at least 15 times.”

    Although they did not get the result they were looking for, the MaseratiMulti70 crew sailed a total of 2,636 miles on the four-and-a-half day crossing and were able to gather lots of valuable performance data that will help with their quest to fully master the art of offshore foiling.

    “It was our first time sailing the boat when we could fly on both sides,” Soldini explained. “We learned a lot of new things about how to sail the boat and now we have a ton of data to analyse on the computer. Our goal is to build an accurate table that will help us better determine when are the best times to fly and when it is better not to."

    “We are committed to the concept of an ocean-going flying boat and more than ever convinced that this is where the future of ocean racing lies. We need to put some thought into how we deal with the risk of ocean debris damaging the rudders and we have some innovative ideas to consider.”
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2017 Transpac: Go South Young Man started by Photoboy View original post