Although it was not the result he wanted, finishing this difficult race on a newly built boat is a big success in itself.
Upon crossing the finish line Boris commented: “I have always seen the Route du Rhum as an important test run before the Ocean Race. Under tough conditions, I have become a lot more familiar with the new boat with each day of sailing and we as a team have learnt a lot. This was very valuable. Of course, I am disappointed with my position in the race but it does not represent the performance of the boat. I took some risks early on in the race with my routing and unfortunately that didn’t pay off. The issue with the foils is fixable and my team is already in position and ready to deal with this.
The race was full of highs and lows with Boris getting off to a strong start in the newly built Malizia – Seaexplorer. However, early on Boris decided to take a more southerly course which led him and some of his competitors unexpectedly into the doldrums which left him becalmed for some days unable to sail out.
On 18th November 2022 Boris encountered issues with the starboard foil case, which meant that he had to slow and secure the foil in order to reduce any further damage. Boris and his team took the decision to continue and finish the race but at a reduced speed, unable to use either foil. The Team is competing in The Ocean Race 2023 which starts on 15th January from Alicante and this also played a role in the decision to protect the boat in order to ensure the team are at the start line of this round the world race.
Boris Herrmann arriving in Guadeloupe (c) Alexis Courcoux
Completing the Route du Rhum race puts Boris one step closer to the Vendee Globe 2024. Having started and completed a solo race on his new race yacht, he now only has to take the start of a solo race in 2024 in order to be fully qualified for the Vendee Globe 2024, bringing him ever closer to that ultimate goal.
The team have managed an ambitious timeline designing, building and launching a new design boat in time for the Route du Rhum and the Ocean Race. These highly technical race boats take some time to fine tune and perfect and the Route du Rhum has been a great test to allow the team to solve the technical issues in time for the Ocean Race.
The team will now spend a few days in Guadeloupe to repair the boat which will be sailed to Alicante by skipper Will Harrris and co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper who lead a total team of 4 sailors and onboard reporter Antoine Auriol. In Alicante the boat will be met by the Malizia team and the refit work will commence in Alicante to have the boat race ready for the opening of the Alicante Ocean Race village on 7th January 2023.