Southern Ocean 12th March 2023: Holcim PRB crossed the line in first place, followed by Team Malizia in second. 11th Hour Racing Team are hot on the heels of Team Malizia with Biotherm currently sitting in fourth place.
Leg 3 of the race started on February 26th 2023 departing from Cape Town to Itajai, and they are now on day 14 of the race. The crew consisting of skipper Boris Herrmann, co-skippers Will Harris, Rosalin Kuiper and Nicolas Lunven and onboard reporter Antoine Auriol have been pushing hard to be in this position to gain the points at the scoring mark. There is always a balance between maintaining the boat and avoiding too much damage and pushing hard to win. The line is a fine one but important and a hotly debated topic onboard Malizia - Seaexplorer.
From following the videos and podcast of the team it appears to be Will Harris, who has been the most determined at pushing the boat in the last days. You can see the nerves and excitement are palpable between the crew. They know that they are in a strong position and that these are really the most favourable conditions for our type of boat, but they also know that one wrong move could have cost them a place.
The team moved into 2nd place during Sunday morning with the scoring gate forcing the teams to ramp up their speed, driving hard towards the imaginary line which holds so many points. In doing so, the team passed incredibly close to 11th Hour Racing and continued to drag race with them for the whole of Sunday. Currently, Holcim PRB is only 125nm ahead of Malizia, a gap which couldn’t be closed before the scoring gate. However, Team Malizia has been slowly chipping away at this lead and with a distance like this it is possible to catch them before the end of the race.
Life on board has become harder for the team. The conditions are very grey and damp, and the wind has been consistently strong for a long time now, which is good for racing but makes living harder. As the race goes on you do get into a rhythm but you also feel lonely, restless and further away. In order to combat this, Rosie and Boris have started the podcast “End of Watch”. The aim is to spend 25 minutes at the end of Rosie’s watch to discuss life at sea, the highs and the lows and to share their thoughts with our listeners. If you would like to listen to their podcast “End of Watch”, choose your platform here: https://podcast.team-malizia.com/share
Now that they are through the scoring gate it is likely that the teams will ease up a little to take stock of the boats and check for any damage. There is still a very long way to go until Itajai and preserving the boats still has to be a focus for the teams. The team celebrated in true Team Malizia style by calling the team on land with Whatsapp to pass the line together and having a small swig of Rum at the line.
Quotes from the sailors:
Boris Herrmann, Malizia skipper commented: “I am so happy we have crossed this line in second place. We pushed really hard and this marker meant a lot to us as a team. For the last 48 hours I was really focused on getting the boat over the line in one piece. The sea state was quite difficult to navigate safely and there is always a balance between pushing and preserving the boat. I think we found that balance and the boat sails amazingly well in these conditions.”
Will Harris co-skipper commented “I am so happy, so relieved that we managed to come away with second place. It has been such a fight to even still be in the race after having to fix the mast a week and a half ago and not being sure we could continue, and now we are here crossing the line in second. This has been some of the closest offshore racing I have ever done, we crossed 11th Hour Racing within only 200 metres. It is a big relief that we have crossed the line second, we have proved our potential, I can sleep well tonight and then look forward to the Pacific. I am really so happy!”
Rosalin Kuiper co-skipper commented before crossing the line “my heart was full of fire and I felt so alive when we went past 11th Hour Racing, this was one of the most special moments of the race so far”. On crossing the line Rosie sent the message to shore saying “I am super happy, I have tears in my eyes. This crossing means more than just crossing a line, it is the next level of endurance, teamwork and having a mission and pushing through as a team. It is emotional, I haven’t been emotional the last weeks because we were pushing and now I can be because this is an emotional moment. We overtook 11th Hour Racing yesterday and we really saw what our team and the boat could do. We will go back into the racing mode now but we take a moment to do a small celebration! I can’t wait to sail around the world with these guys, they are my brothers and my friends, we are taking care of each other - but now back into the racing mode. Thank you to the team on land too, as we did this as a team together.”
Nicolas Lunven commented “we are really happy to have crossed the scoring gate in second place, it was hard to get here and we have pushed a lot. The race is not even half way through yet though and I am already looking ahead to the next stretch of the race and running the routings for this.”
This mission is only possible due to the strong and long-lasting commitment from Team Malizia’s seven main partners: Zurich Group Germany, Kuehne+Nagel, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, Schütz, the Yacht Club de Monaco, and EFG International. These partners band behind Team Malizia to support its A Race We Must Win – Climate Action Now! mission, each of them working towards projects in their own field to innovate around climate solutions.
The video and photo content of them crossing the scoring gate line will be available on our image bank (link below) from around 3am UTC and video content will be available on our YouTube.
Source: Press info Team Malizia