Maserati Multi70 ocean-bound and in full flight

Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati Multi70 team ready to return to the ocean on the world’s first trimaran featuring a centreboard with a horizontal load bearing surface on its end to boost lift and stability

Giovanni Soldini and the Maserati Multi70 trimaran team are ready to tackle the 2016 racing season, thanks to their own contribution to the revolution sweeping the flying multihull revolution.
After months of trialling, Maserati Multi70 is now the first trimaran in the world to fly with effortless stability on the horizontal loading-bearing surface of her centreboard, ushering a whole new innovation and experimentation-driven era.

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Maserati MOD70 brilliantly puts into practice the idea put forward by Guillaume Verdier (who worked on the modifications to her appendages, ed.’s note) of flying on three resting points using a load-bearing centreboard, L-foil and a rudder instead of the two rudders and single foil adopted on America’s Cup cats.

Our goal is to be able to sail in open sea and the solution we’ve adopted for Maserati Multi70 means we fly on three points, resting on two weight-bearing surfaces amidships (the centreboard and L-foil), using the aft rudder to stabilise the longitudinal axis. We are the first to prove that it is possible to fly at adrenaline-rush speeds with this set-up. And that includes rough seas.

Since the start of July, the Maserati Multi70 team has been engaged in a challenge as exhilarating as it is complex as they endeavoured to turn Maserati Multi70 (ex-Gitana) into the first ocean-going flying trimaran. An ambitious project that spanned not just Guillaume Verdier’s excellent work but also over 4,000 nautical miles of sailing clocked up by Giovanni Soldini and his team this summer.

The trimaran’s new appendage configuration was trialled for the first time in July with the new carbon-fibre centreboard.  Two months of trialling, 4,000 nautical miles of sailing and  testing in winds of 40 knots in rough waters in the Gulf of Lyon have clearly demonstrated that the trimaran’s stability has been significantly boosted and that she can fly in conditions unthinkable until a month and a half ago.  In short, Maserati Multi70 is now capable of safely tackling big seas.

For her two upcoming events (the Rolex Middle Sea Race starting October 22 2016 and  RORC Transatlantic Race starting  November 26 2016), Maserati Multi70 will be adopting this new appendage configuration which has the advantage of allowing adjustment of the height of the foil and the horizontal load-bearing surface at the end of the centreboard (rather than the rudder) as well as the angle of incidence of the latter surface, thereby efficiently minimising slamming. This is a further guarantee of safe, stable sailing for a genuinely futuristic trimaran.

The challenge is still evolving and as far as we’re concerned, Maserati Multi70’s are already pointing oceanward. We are confident that ocean waves are much longer and that we should be able to fly in a broader range of conditions than in the Mediterranean where the very short waves really stress the boat in terms of impact. We are still at an experimental stage. We are conscious of both the strong points we’ve pinpointed and the weak points of the configuration which will certainly penalise us when there’s very little air because of the larger wetted surface. We can’t wait to try it out in the ocean.