Co-skippers Yann Eliès and Axelle Pillain are joining skipper Boris Herrmann and co-skippers Will Harris, Rosalin Kuiper, and Nicolas Lunven as well as onboard reporter Antoine Auriol for the iconic round-the-world race. They will compete with Malizia – Seaexplorer, which has just successfully completed the Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe 2022 race skippered by Boris. The crew (without Boris) is currently sailing the boat back across the Atlantic to Alicante, Spain, where the entire team will be based until the beginning of the start of The Ocean Race on 15 January 2023.
The crew members – ranging in age from 27 to 48 – include sailors with a lot of experience in offshore solo races and The Ocean Race as well as younger talents, eager to make a mark in the most iconic crew race. Boris Herrmann comments:“I am very excited to be part of a crew that is such a promising mix of people from different countries and with different experiences.” Team director Holly Cova adds: “It is exciting to grow the team and to welcome these new talents into Team Malizia.“
Yann Eliès © Antoine Auriol | Team Malizia
Yann Eliès, 48, is a world-renowned French sailor and one of the most respected Breton skippers with a wealth of experience in many classes, including IMOCA. Growing up in Saint-Brieuc, Yann has been surrounded by the sea and the sailing world since a very young age. At 23, he took part in his first solo race, the Solitaire du Figaro, an event he would compete in 17 times and win 3 times, in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Although a solo racer at heart, Yann has won the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre three times (2013, 2017 and 2019). He has also distinguished himself on multihulls, winning a Multi 50 race alongside Erwan Le Roux in 2013 and the Jules Verne Trophy twice (2002 and 2005). He has competed in the Vendée Globe twice (2008-2009 and 2016-2017). For several years, Yann Eliès has been an advisor and coach to Boris Herrmann and his team, a relationship now celebrated by competing alongside each other in the upcoming Ocean Race. Yann commented “I am excited to take on this new challenge with Boris and his team and am looking forward to competing on the new Malizia – Seaexplorer”.
Axelle Pillain © Jimmy Horel | Team Malizia
Axelle Pillain, 32, traded medical school for offshore sailing in 2019. By then she had already completed a PhD in applied mathematics for brain imaging. Axelle fell in love with sailing when she was six years old. She went out in dinghies close to her hometown, next to Brest in the west of France. After finishing a successful career in gymnastics, she started to compete in sailing, taking part in races like the Mini Transat or doing technical navigation on maxi trimarans like Spindrift and IMOCAs such as Corum L’Épargne. Axelle can mostly be found on or in the water engaging in all kinds of sports. You might also see her running through nature, since she has been an avid sprinter for many years.
Yann Eliès and Axelle Pillain join Boris Herrmann, Will Harris, Rosalin Kuiper, Nicolas Lunven
and onboard reporter Antoine Auriol for The Ocean Race 2022-23 © Yann Riou
Source: Team Malizia