(Not so) Speedy Maltese

Andrea Caracci tells us about his slightly too new Manuard-designed Proto Mini
20th on leg one into Madeira and currently lying 15th on the second leg of the Charente Maritime-Bahia, Italian Andrea Caracci must be a little disappointed with his performance, considering his Speedy Maltese is one of the hot, brand new designs from Mini designer of the moment, Sam Manuard, and this is also his third Mini Transat in a top class Proto. His boat is also one of the most technically advanced in this year’s race. However it looks unlikely that in this race Caracci will better his top Mini Transat result to date – in 2005 he campaigned Manuard’s own 431, Tip Top Too to 10th place overall, following this up with a DNF in 2007 after his boat dismasted between the Canary Islands and Cape Verdes. Prior to the start of this race Caracci was aware of the shortcomings of his present campaign. “The problem this time is that I have built this boat by myself and I spent much time in the shipyard and little time at sea. So now I am ready, but I haven’t sailed a lot with the boat. I qualified sailing in the Mediterranean, but the final testing was never done. It broke and I modified it and made all these things, but I have never tested the full power of this boat. That is a small point!” This was partly due to his only starting the build of his boat in November last year. Speedy Maltese has much the same powerful, beamy hull shape with substantial chines in its aft flanks, as the other new generation Protos and including the other new Manuards - leg one winner Bertrand Delesne’s Entreprendre Durablement and Stéphane le Diraison’s Cultisol-Marins Sans Frontieres, which led the Protos into the Doldrums on the present leg, only to be