Giovanni Soldini's dominance of the Class 40 fleet of the Artemis Transat make it a superb showcase
Absolute supremacy: that is the only way to describe Giovanni Soldini’s domination of the Class 40 fleet in the Artemis Transat. He finished in Marblehead this morning, less than 8 hours behind the last of the IMOCA 60s.
Not that Soldini’s victory was any surprise. The 42-year-old Italian sailing his Guillaume Verdier-designed Telecom Italia had complete control in the Transat Jacques Vabre race in November and is gaining an aura of unbeatability.
But of course there’s a reason for this. Soldini is a past master in IMOCA 60s and ORMA 60 trimarans and comes to the class with an unmatched set of skills. The difference between his level of experience and those of a younger group of skippers, many of whom are hoping the Class 40s will take them onwards and upwards, is enormous.
The Artemis Transat has been a superb showcase for the Class 40s, in both the intensity of the racing in a variety of well matched designs, and their durability in some very rough sea conditions. Soldini’s choice to join forces with this lower budget fleet makes it particularly interesting.
What the Class 40s deserve, and what British solo sailing needs as build costs for IMOCA 60s hit ?2 million and running costs ?1 million a year, is for some top level sailors to come in alongside Soldini, mix with a young and hungry generation of racers, boost the circuit with their profile and benefit by sharpening their own skills with close racing in smaller boats.