This Saturday, Malizia – Seaexplorer, skippered by Boris Herrmann and his sailing crew for The Ocean Race 2023, crossed the finish line of the 48h Azimut race after 1 day 22 h 25 min 05s. In 2nd place for most of the race, the international team arrived 3rd, a very satisfying performance considering they were still working on perfecting their newly launched boat.

Lorient, 17 September 2022 – The highlight event of the Défi Azimut 2022, its 48h Azimut race, has come to an end. Twenty-eight IMOCAs left Lorient, France, on Thursday afternoon for a looped circuit in the Atlantic, with the boats competing in two fleets: a single-handed one with 24 boats, and a group of 4 IMOCAs registered for The Ocean Race and competing as teams. Only Kévin Escoffier (Holcim PRB), who hasn’t announced his crew yet, did the 48h Azimut single-handed.

This exciting first Ocean Race lineup saw Team Malizia’s skipper Boris Herrmann, co-skippers Will HarrisRosalin Kuiper and Nico Lunven, as well as onboard reporter Antoine Auriol, compete against Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team, who finished 1st, and Benjamin Dutreux’ GUYOT Environnement – Team Europe, crossing the finish line 2nd. Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm team, who were impressively ready to race after launching their new IMOCA only a couple of weeks ago, announced their unfortunate retirement on Saturday morning due to issues with a winch support, forcing the crew to set a course back to Port-La-Forêt to effect repairs. After staying in 2nd position for most of the race, neck and neck with the team led by Benjamin Dutreux, Team Malizia finished on the third step of the podium. For the team, this is a very satisfying result considering that their Malizia – Seaexplorer was launched on 19 July 2022, not giving them much training time since then.

Upon docking on the pontoon of the Lorient harbour, German skipper Boris Herrmann commented: “I’m very satisfied with the race, it was quality time as we were in race mode for 48 hours for the first time and with competitors around, which gives us lots of useful information: Are we on the right angle? The right speed? Is the boat actually fast or not? I’m very happy because it seems that the boat has a lot of potential and now it’s up to us as a team to reach that potential. It’s been a great test and a great achievement of the whole team to have a reliable boat so shortly after its launch.”

Team Malizia’s Ocean Race sailing crew as they crossed the finish line of the 48 h Azimut race (from left to right):
Will Harris, Rosalin Kuiper, Nico Lunven and Boris Herrmann © Jimmy Horel

French co-skipper Nicolas Lunven added: “We are very happy, we had a few learnings and things to solve in the night that lost us a bit of ground but nothing serious. The boat is still very new, we are discovering it every day. There were good phases during the race, we found functioning modes with the boat going quite fast. It was great to do the first race of this new boat, and it was great to race as our Ocean Race team and work on the watch system, the decision taking, the manoeuvres… This works really well for us because we have been sailing as a team every time we have been out at sea.”

Overall, Team Malizia is happy to have had an amazing learning opportunity with the new boat, to test it against competitors and to learn more against the fleet. The Défi Azimut will conclude on Sunday with a tour of the Île de Groix, the last crewed competition before The Ocean Race which will start on 15 January 2023 in Alicante, Spain. Until then, the team will practice in crew configuration during training sessions, such as those at Port La Forêt, and during deliveries. Boris Herrmann will also compete in the Route du Rhum transatlantic race from Saint Malo to Guadeloupe this November, his first solo race since finishing the Vendée Globe 2020-21.

Team Malizia is joined in its effort to be one of the most exciting sailing teams and a champion for sustainability and climate action by seven main partners: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, Schütz, the Yacht Club de Monaco, EFG International, Zurich Group Germany and Kuehne+Nagel.

Watch Boris Herrmann’s first reaction after the race (click on the photo):

Press contacts:

Helene Katz
Communications Manager
[email protected]
Mobile: +49 176 6552 1967

Holly Cova
Team Director
[email protected]
Mobile: +49 172 2555754