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Boris Herrmann's boat turns out to be a strong-wind rocket

Boris Herrmann's racing yacht is finally in her element.

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Boris Herrmann's boat turns out to be a strong-wind rocket

Boris Herrmann's racing yacht is finally in her element. The "Malizia - Seaexplorer" plowed through the Southern Ocean at high speed on the 16th day of the king's stage in the Ocean Race with repaired mast damage. Spurred on by second place in the half-time ranking, Team Malizia was chasing the Swiss "Holcim-PRB". As the fastest boat in the fleet, the German-flagged yacht had reduced the gap to the leader to less than 90 nautical miles on Tuesday morning - and continued to catch up.

"I built the boat for the south," said 41-year-old Herrmann with satisfaction. The idea of ​​the hamburger has proven itself after a long wait. His new yacht attracted attention when it was christened on July 19, 2022. Its robust look and the voluminous bow made the "Malizia - Seaexplorer" look bulky compared to the competition. The deckhouse of the 28 meter long foiler has standing height, while the competition has to move and work bent over at only 1.45 meters.

Herrmann's boat pays for this robustness with disadvantages in weaker winds. The lighter rivals often make faster progress. But now the German yacht, which looks more like a four-wheel drive powerhouse than a Formula 1 missile, is in its element. "The shape of her hull carries her over the waves where we drill our way in," not only Amory Ross from the US team 11th Hour Racing observed enviously.

Even before the start of the king's stage, the Berlin Guyot co-skipper Robert Stanjek attested the "Malizia - Seaexplorer" the best prospects: "I think that Boris' boat will perform well on the king's stage. They drive a blatant boot when it's windy. My guess is that some people look at the boat with more humility now.”

At the beginning of the third week at sea between New Zealand and Antarctica, the small but mighty ocean race fleet of four boats rushed east through the South Seas. In the 'Furious Fifties', all teams struggle with breakage and fatigue in their equipment while continuing to push the pace. More than 5000 nautical miles lie behind them on the mammoth stage from Cape Town to Itajaí in Brazil. Around 7000 nautical miles and Cape Horn are still to be mastered.

After the record days at the end of the second week of the stage, in which the "Holcim-PRB" achieved a 24-hour record of 595.26 nautical miles (1102.4 kilometers), the damage lists on board are also growing. A solar panel on the "Holcim-PRB" caught fire, which was extinguished by South Sea waves coming over deck. The situation on board the "Malama" is more dramatic, where the US team 11th Hour Racing considered stopping for repairs due to a huge tear in the mainsail, but has since decided to continue the stage.

Herrmann's crew also had to overcome further repair challenges: the suspension of a headsail broke, the alternator had to be restarted over 20 hours. Finally, a loose attachment of the hydraulic cylinder from the foil box had to be repaired. This did not detract from the valuable knowledge that “Malizia – Seaexplorer” sails well in the Southern Ocean.

Guyot co-skipper Stanjek recalled the christening of the "Malizia" in the Breton sea sailing hotspot Lorient: "Half Lorient made fun of the boat at first, but now it's hard to swallow." Herrmann enjoys the good feeling: "We have built a boat with which we can get through these waves better and safer. That has finally come true. We had to wait a bit for that.”

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