Setback for Boris Herrmann and Malizia at the Ocean Race
Segler Boris Herrman and his Malizia crew suffered a severe setback on the king’s stage of the Ocean Race. The Malizia crew’s Seaexplorer yacht lost a vital sail Tuesday night. The large Code Zero headsail had, without warning, released itself from its latch lock in the yacht’s masthead and fallen into the water. With moderate wind and wave conditions in the southern Indian Ocean, co-skipper Will Harris managed to fix the problem.
The downwind sail had wrapped around the keel and foils and had to be cut loose by Harris. “Now it has a huge hole,” said 41-year-old Herrmann from Hamburg. The crew had to react quickly when darkness fell. “We pulled it back on deck and stowed it below deck through the forecastle hatch. This problem cost us a good hour of work and caused us to drift backwards. We’ve lost at least 20 nautical miles and a sail. But everyone is fine, everyone has done a good job.”
“It’s better for the crew and the boat”
The five teams participating in the Ocean Race are allowed a maximum of eight sails per leg on board their Imoca yachts, which are around 18 meters long. The variety of the different sails is carefully coordinated with a view to the winds to be expected on the third leg, which takes about 40 days from Cape Town past Australia and New Zealand to the east coast of Brazil. With the Code Zero sail, the Malizia team is now missing an important sail in the fight for stage success.
The German-French Guyot team with Berlin co-skipper Robert Stanjek had it much worse than the Malizia crew. Due to disturbing hull movements after two loud consecutive noises, the crew decided to suspend participation in the regatta for the time being, return to Cape Town and investigate the damage found more closely. “Unfortunately, given the current position of the boat and the distance to the Itajai destination, it is better for the crew and the boat to turn back,” said Thomas Cardrin, Guyot team’s technical director. At the time of the decision, the crew was sailing about 600 nautical miles southeast of Cape Town.
In the Southern Ocean, the Stanjek crew around skipper Benjamin Dutreux was in second place and was traveling well at a speed of 20 knots until the time of the damage. A decision as to whether the team can continue the entire Ocean Race can only be made in Cape Town.
On the third day of the almost 13,000 nautical miles (about 23,600 kilometers) longest and toughest stage of the six-month circumnavigation, the Swiss Holcim team with French skipper Kevin Escoffier continues to lead. Behind them at a distance of between 90 and 180 nautical miles are the American team 11th Hour Racing, the Biotherm crew from France and the Malizia crew around Boris Herrmann.