Yacht Class n°15 (dec 2018 / jan-feb 2019)

We knew him determined for his first Route du Rhum and actually he has never weakened. Very well placed at the start of the race, he managed to cover 4 437 miles in less than 14 days aboard his IMOCA, Malizia II, and finished fifth in his category, under the colours of the Yacht Club of Monaco.

Written by Alain Brousse – Photos : Jean-Marie Liot

Before taking the start of this transat solo aboard Malizia II, in the category IMOCA 60 (18.28 m), Boris Hermann had refined his preparation, especially with his usual teammate, Pierre Casiraghi. Also on 4th of November, he arrived in Saint-Malo with nerves of steel, with a target, only one, covering 3,550 miles (great circle distance), whatever the conditions, and reach La Guadeloupe, if not victory, at least with honours. 45 knots of wind and waves of nearly 7 meters from Brittany … An introduction to anything unpredictable, those that we do not wish, of course, barely the French coast in the rear-view mirror, the Bay of Biscay, often, it bumps! Moreover, the abandonment and the “shelters” did not take long. This will not be the case of Boris Herrmann, he holds up and chooses a north route. His foiling monohull swallows the miles at an average speed that oscillates between 12 and 18 knots. No false note on board, he is confident and also he ranks second in his category, behind Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss), second in the last Vendée Globe (2016-2017).

However, it prints a higher rate that does not escape the French Meilhat, Eliès and Riou who, a priori, benefit from more favourable trade winds. Boris Herrmann slips into fifth position. Then, a real bombshell: Alex Thomson runs aground on a Guadeloupean caye, a few miles from the finish! He still managed to get by, but with the help of his engine (penalty of 24 hours decided by the race committee). For her part, without a scratch, Boris Herrmann’s Malizia II completes this Route du Rhum in 13 days, 3 hours and 47 minutes, at an average speed of 11.25 knots, if we refer to the great circle route. (3,550 miles). In fact, Boris Herrmann covered 4,437 miles, so his true average is 14 knots. And he ranks eighth overall! If it is for him the first Route du Rhum, he has already crossed the Atlantic during the Jacques Vabre 2017 (4th in IMOCA 60) and better, in 2008, he won the second place in the category of Class40 of the English Transat. After three “Top 5”, the success may be for soon..

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