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Cape2Rio: Maserati and Giovanni Soldini sweep the boards Race record, line honours and both overall victory and the IRC 1 prize after handicaps
Next up for Maserati: the west-east Atlantic record

Maserati and Giovanni were the undisputed stars of last night’s prize-giving ceremony held at the Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club, taking every single one of the Cape2Rio honours: race record (10 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds), line honours, and both overall and IRC 1 victories in handicap time.

The Italian VOR70 and her crew were first over the finish-line of the 14th edition of the Cape2Rio on January 14th at exactly 23.29 GMT, having covered the 3,300 nautical miles separating Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro in a blisteringly fast time of 10 days, 11 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds, thereby also setting a new race record. The previous record belonged to the American 72’ maxi Zephyrus IV – she clocked a time of 12 days, 16 hours, 49 minutes.

After all the yachts taking part in the race had arrived into the Brazilian port, the race organisers announced the times after handicaps had been imposed: Maserati once again topped the standings and, as a result, took both the overall and the IRC 1 prizes also.

Soldini was flanked in his endeavour by a 9-strong international crew: Italians Guido Broggi, Corrado Rossignoli and Michele Sighel; German Boris Herrmann; Spaniard Carlos Hernandez; Jacques Vincent and Gwen Riou from France, Dane Martin Kirketerp Ibsen; and Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco.

A minute’s silence was also held at the prize-giving ceremony in memory of Angolan sailor António João Bartolomeu, who died on January 5th during the ferocious storm that engulfed the Cape2Rio fleet just a few hours after it started from Cape Town. Forty-seven year old Bartolomeu was crewing aboard the Bavaria 55 Bille which capsized in the very high winds and huge waves.

On February 10th, Maserati casts off from Rio de Janeiro bound for Jacksonville in Florida where she will undergo maintenance work at the St. John's Boat Company in preparation for her next attempt on the west-east Atlantic speed record (New York-Lizard Point).

“We are delighted with this result in the Cape2Rio,” Soldini declared during the prize-giving. “We proved that Maserati is a solid, efficient and high performance boat. Everyone in the crew did a very good job. We didn’t make any mistakes. We chose what turned out to be the right route. Now we’re facing into two months in the yard in Florida to give Maserati the best possible prep we can. Then from June, we’ll be on stand-by in New York for our second attempt on the North Atlantic record. We’re hoping this time will be the right one.”

Photo : © Sharon Green / ultimatesailing.com
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