Team Malizia Races Towards The South In Leg 2 Of The Ocean Race

Today, at 17.10 hours UTC, Malizia - Seaexplorer skippered by Will Harris took the start of stage two of The Ocean Race, which will see the IMOCA fleet sail about 4,000 nautical miles from Mindelo, Cabo Verde, to Cape Town, South Africa. With unusually light wind conditions at the start, the crews can expect difficult strategic choices and a leg duration of about two weeks.

Mindelo, São Vicente / Cabo Verde, 25 January 2023 - Team Malizia, who finished in third position in Leg 1, docked off this Wednesday afternoon under the applause of a cheering Capeverdeancrowd. This stopover marked the first time The Ocean Race has been hosted by a West African country. Besides lasting only four days, the visit to the archipelago was quite eventful for the international sailing team. Boris Herrmann sustained a burn on his foot from boiling water at the end of Leg 1 and had to sit out Leg 2 in order to recover in time for the Southern Ocean leg. Will Harris stepped in as the skipper and Yann Eliès completed the crew roster.

“It had always been planned that I would take over the role as skipper from Boris for one or two legs, it’s just happening a bit earlier than expected”, said the young British sailor before jumping on Malizia - Seaexplorer this Wednesday afternoon. “I have sailed so much with the team and with the boat, I am just feeling ready for it. It was a bit of a shock to find out that Boris couldn’t do this next leg, and we are obviously gutted. We really found our rhythm and pace during Leg 1, also always making sure we were having fun as a team doing this race. We have a great replacement in Yann Eliès, he brings with him a lot of experience. It will be my first time sailing in the tricky waters of the Southern Ocean, so it is really exciting to have both Yann and Nico Lunven onboard. I want to bring the team together and make sure we get every bit of expertise out of these guys to push the boat and get the best result possible.”

“I’m lucky to be part of a team that managed the first leg very well”, explained French sailor Yann Eliès. “Now, I have to learn what they learned during Leg 1 as fast as I can to be as close as possible to their level for the start of this leg. As for suddenly learning that I was going offshore a few days later, it is always difficult to leave people behind on land, so I want to jump on the boat and race as soon as possible. I know the way to Cape Town and through the Southern Ocean very well, this won’t be a new experience for me, it’s another one.”

A laughing Nico Lunven added: “Yann and I just found out that our fathers competed against each other in the 1970s in the Figaro circuit, and then did the very first Whitbread Round The World Race together on the same boat in 1973. Now, 50 years later, Yann and I - who have been competing against each other for 10 years on Figaros - are doing The Ocean Race together! We had no idea!”

After the start gun, the fleet of five IMOCAs performed a short mandatory course consisting of various reaching marks right before heading to sea. Team Malizia had a late start, crossing the line in fifth position shortly behind the rest of the fleet. As the fleet navigated the inconsistent winds approaching the lee of São Vicente, Team Malizia managed to reclaim the lost ground and find themselves in the mix. At the time of this release, Team Malizia is fighting for 3rd and 4th positions with Holcim-PRB. 

“The wind situation is looking super light and tricky to get down to the doldrums, which brings with it even more light wind”, described Will Harris. “The first part of the race is going to be very tactical, and there are a lot of opportunities to make a jump on the fleet, so we will all have to be very switched on right from the word “Go”. When we get further into the race there might be opportunities to come back depending on what the South Atlantic holds in store for us.” This leg is particularly interesting as it will bring the crews through many different weather conditions, from the light and hot doldrums to the cold and stormy southern ocean, they will need to have their wits about them to ensure they arrive in Cape Town in good shape

Team Malizia Sailing Crew for Leg 2 of The Ocean Race:

  • Will Harris (GBR) - Skipper
  • Yann Eliès (FRA) - Co-skipper
  • Rosalin Kuiper (NED) - Co-skipper
  • Nicolas Lunven (FRA) - Co-skipper
  • Antoine Auriol (FRA/GER) - Onboard reporter

Overall Leaderboard:

  1. Team Holcim - PRB - 5 points
  2. 11th Hour Racing Team - 4 points
  3. Team Malizia - 3 points
  4. Biotherm Racing - 2 points
  5. GUYOT Environnement - Team Europe - 1 point

Source: Press info by Team Malizia