State-of-the-art IMOCA 60 ‘Malizia’ will sail under German flag during the Ocean Race around the world. Photo : Jean-Marie LIOT
In November 2020 in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, Germany’s most successful modern-day offshore sailor Boris Herrmann will start the legendary Vendée Globe, the famous solo non-stop race around the world. Since 1989’s very first ever edition of sailing’s pinnacle solo race no German sailor has made it to the start line, far less the finish line, some 22,500 miles and 75 or 80 days later in Les Sables d’Olonne. But the 38-year-old from Hamburg has his sights set further than just the solo race which promises to the be one of the most competitive editions yet. Just one year later Herrmann is looking to be on the start line of The Ocean Race with a young German-flagged international team, set to take on this pinnacle fully crewed race round the world that was previously known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race.
State-of-the-art IMOCA 60 ‘Malizia’ will sail under German flag during the Ocean Race around the world. Photo : Jean-Marie LIOT.
Herrmann has just registered with the organizers of The Ocean Race, formally signaling his intention to take on the multi-stage race on the highly optimized, cutting edge 60 foot, 18 metre foiling IMOCA Open 60 yacht “Malizia” on which he will compete among a capacity 30 strong field for the Vendée Globe.
“I have known The Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Race since I was very young, and it has always held a massive appeal to me. Now it has been transformed to become ‘The Ocean Race’ and it is to be sailed in the same class of IMOCA high performance ocean racing yachts. As such it with a German-flagged team racing over nine months or so with stopovers in key cities around the world we see it holding a great commercial appeal to companies like our German automotive partner BMW as well”, says Herrmann, who has played a key role on the Executive Committee of the IMOCA class for the past two years helping drive the transition to the Open60 boats which will now be utilized in both pinnacle round the world events, the Vendée Globe and the Ocean Race in the future.
Start of the IMOCA 60s: This class will also participate in the next Ocean Race 2021-22. Photo credit: Eliza Chohadzhieva/Team Malizia
“It’s fantastic to have Herrmann and his team with us”
Executive Director of The Ocean Race Richard Mason is delighted to have Herrmann and Team Malizia sign up to the race. “It is fantastic to welcome Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia as they take the first steps towards competing in the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race. By joining our registered teams, Team Malizia has access to the supportive resources of The Ocean Race as they prepare their campaign. Germany has an impressive history in the Volvo Ocean Race with illbruck Challenge winning the 2001-02 edition. In looking to take on the Vendée Globe and the The Ocean Race in successive editions, Boris really is extending that legacy. And it is great that he and the team are such passionate advocates for ocean health and sustainability which are a big focus area for The Ocean Race as we shape the event for the future.”
During the four-year preparation for the Vendée Globe Herrmann is supported by the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM). His sailing friend Pierre Casiraghi, eldest son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, is the YCM Vice President and founded the team. Compared to other top campaigns their budget is relatively modest, but they already hold second place in the Globe Series the IMOCA world ranking. The long-term support from the YCM is guaranteed but Team Malizia are looking for a strong partner from the business world who will participate in all the upcoming team’s challenges from now on. With numerous stopovers The Ocean Race offers companies with a global operation access to unique hospitality opportunities and a widescale visibility for their brands in the most important markets.
“Just sailing fast isn’t enough”, Boris Herrmann stresses again and again, “we professionals have to do more and make a real difference with our mission.” His objective is to protect the climate and the sea. The Malizia Ocean Challenge campaign deals both scientifically and pedagogically with climate change. In cooperation with leading global institutions, including the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Marine Research in Kiel, the carbon dioxide and salt content of the world’s oceans is measured on all race and delivery routes in order to analyze its significance for global warming. To this end, Malizia has incorporated its own ocean laboratory into its on-board technology, a highly developed measuring system with a special sensor.
At the same time, a school programme is running in several countries, including Germany, to educate and inspire children between the ages of eight and 14 around environmental and marine protection issues at an early age. To date, 4,500 girls and boys have already taken part in the seminars. Teachers and pupils can apply for free participation in the program via the website myoceanchallenge.org.
Boris Herrmann not only promotes sustainability with the Malizia Ocean Challenge but is also the representative of the IMOCA class on the subject. He assists on the coordination with The Ocean Race, as all their yachts are to be equipped with an identical deep-sea laboratory, as the “Malizia” has been carrying on board since last summer.