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Ocean Race: Boris Herrmann realizes a childhood dream

Status: 24.12.2022 09:50

Boris Herrmann is still recovering from the effort of the Route du Rhum in Hamburg – and is looking forward to a contemplative Christmas with his family. But the next adventure is already waiting. “The Ocean Race” kicks off January 15. The circumnavigation is legendary.

by Bettina Lenner and Tom Gerntke

Boris Hermann remembers exactly. The goosebumps, the emotions, the enthusiasm when “the Illbruck” arrived in Kiel. When the fjord was boiling, it was full of boats. And him in the middle. In an inflatable boat, closer to the action.

20 years ago, the “Illbruck” was the first German boat to achieve overall victory in this demanding race. A fabulous triumph – and for the Oldenburg native “an inspiration. Somewhere my life came into intensive contact with this breed.”

“It was a festival vibe, a good mood, an enthusiasm for sailing. A goosebumps feeling.”
Boris Herrmann on Kiel 2002

Further deepen the “ship-skipper relationship”.

Herrmann is now participating for the first time in his life in the most important team regatta in international sailing. It’s the realization of a childhood dream. He has already completed four world tours, now the fifth follows. With the new “Malizia – Seaexplorer”, with which he wants to take a new step on the road to the Vendée Globe 2024.

The goal is to keep testing and improving your new, still young building as part of the ongoing optimization process – but also to build trust. “I’m not very warm with it yet. It takes time. With the old ship, of course, I was also at a very high level in the ship-skipper relationship. But we had been there for four years,” the 41-year-old told the NDR.

The latest solo first with the high-tech yacht during the classic transatlantic Route du Rhum has given way to improvement. After technical problems with the assembly of a wing (“foil”) and defensive tactics, Herrmann sails to the finish in 24th place, but still manages to qualify for the Vendée Globe by arriving in Guadeloupe. .

“Returning to a more offensive approach” in the Ocean Race

“It’s very important for me to arrive and be reliable,” said the man from Hamburg. “I have achieved the minimum objective, namely to make this trip more reliable and to qualify for the Vendée Globe. And of course to keep the ship in a condition that still allows us to tackle the Ocean Race.”

In the chase around the world in seven stages, Herrmann and Co. wants to “take a more offensive approach”. With high pressure will be worked on, improved and tested on the Malizia in Alicante, where the 14th edition of the race will start on January 15. Also on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. “It will all be a short story,” said Herrmann, who is in daily contact with Spain: “But it will be good in the end.”

“It only takes a few years for everything to be perfect. And it’s never perfect. There’s always room for improvement.”
Boris Hermann

No fight against loneliness this time

It is more than 32,000 nautical miles around the world to the Italian port of destination Genoa. The 41-year-old is happy to sail as a team this time around. Don’t struggle with loneliness. The crew is made up of four sailors and a reporter. “It’s more fun and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. But it doesn’t get any easier on the Malizia, which debuts in the Imoca class as one of five boats.

“To succeed in this race will demand everything from us. We have to make the boat roll even harder, with the team it will be even more intense,” explained Herrmann, who also assumes that the race will also be won on land. “Because of the stopovers and the need to repair the boat over and over again in a very short time.”

Additional information


Two new members complete the Hamburg sailing professional’s Malizia crew. The race starts on January 15 in Alicante. Following

Peaceful Christmas with his wife and daughter

After all, it becomes easier emotionally. “I’m not alone and it’s a manageable time.” Nevertheless, the successful skipper is taking full advantage of the Christmas calm with his wife Birte Herrmann-Lorenzen and daughter Malou. “I’m just happy to be at home. Now the race is away and that’s a good thing. After New Year’s Eve I will be fully involved and then I will be involved in the preparation from A to Z for two weeks. And then it’s going to be pretty exciting.”

Certainly also on June 9th. Then a so-called “flyover” of the fleet in front of Kiel is planned. Herrmann should then bring back souvenirs. To a young man in an inflatable boat.

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Sports stream | 28/12/2022 | 11:17 a.m.

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