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28 May 2008, 02:56 pm
SOLDINI Wins Class 40 Transat Battle
Giovanni SOLDINI wins the Class 40 race in the Artemis Transat
Giovanni SOLDINI wins the Class 40 race in the Artemis Transat

Artemis Transat 2008

Giovanni SOLDINI sailed Telecom Italia across the finish line in Marblehead today to win the Class 40 battle in the Artemis Transat.
At 07:11:27 local time (11:11:27 UTC), Italian solo sailor, Giovanni SOLDINI, crossed the finish line of The Artemis Transat race in Marblehead, USA. On a crisp, clear early morning with a biting 18-20 knot northwesterly breeze, SOLDINI and his one year-old Proto Class 40, Telecom Italia, completed the North Atlantic crossing in 16 days, 22 hours and 11 minutes, having lead the 11 boats in the fleet since passing Lizard Point on the south coast of England during the first night of the race.

Since crossing the start line on Sunday 11 May off Plymouth, Great Britain, SOLDINI's enormous experience and tactical analysis kept him at the front of the pack: "I'm feeling very good, obviously," the 42 year old said after stepping onto the pontoons after the finish. "The race for me was pretty good." One major feature that intensified tactics was the inclusion of an ice gate, installed by the Artemis Transat Race Direction team to keep the competing yachts clear of an area of icebergs drifting southwards off Newfoundland: "The ice gate was difficult, making me go against the Gulf Stream and stay in the south. Normally, we would sail a much more northern route, so we were a bit limited in our tactical options."

SOLDINI's tactical decisions ensured that Telecom Italia usually kept a good distance over the rest of the fleet: "I think I was good in the race," he admitted modestly. "It was a good choice to stay in the north in the beginning and through the first high-pressure. Then, in the second high-pressure we went south and I put a lot of good miles on the others."

However, the Italian yachtsman was quick to admit his own faults and also to praise the other competitors in the race: "In the final days, I didn't do so well, so they caught me up. Beluga Racer [Boris HERRMANN] especially, he was very good in the last two days."

The Artemis Transat is the third victory for SOLDINI's one year-old, Guillaume Verdier-designed Class40, Telecom Italia, after first place in the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre in November 2007 and the Grand Prix Petit Navire in France earlier this year.

Artemis Transat - www.theartemistransat.com

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