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Boris Herrmann christens his new Malizia - Seaexplorer Race Yacht in his hometown Hamburg

by Team Malizia 7 Sep 2022 15:14 BST
Team Malizia as they arrived in Hamburg onboard Malizia - Seaexplorer to christen their new race boat © Moritz Becker

Team Malizia's skipper Boris Herrmann arrived in the Hanseatic city aboard his newly built race yacht to celebrate the Malizia Ocean Festival. Soon after docking in the Traditionsschiffhafen in the heart of Hamburg and being welcomed by several thousand applauding spectators, the Malizia - Seaexplorer was christened by 150 local children.

Hamburg, 6 September 2022 - Boris Herrmann, Germany's best known offshore sailor and Team Malizia skipper, is back in Hamburg. With a new boat, new co-skippers, a bigger team and even bigger ambitions, Boris Herrmann sailed from Lorient, France, to his hometown to celebrate the Malizia Ocean Festival and to christen the newly built Malizia - Seaexplorer race yacht.

Having departed Brittany five days before, Boris Herrmann and his Team Malizia navigated across the English Channel and sailed up the Elbe river on Tuesday morning accompanied by a flotilla of almost 100 boats. Journalists, partners, friends and fans of the team had signed up and joined the IMOCA in Blankenese to share this unique experience on the water, which was also live streamed by NDR for everyone to follow. As the flotilla, lead by the race yacht carrying the striking United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on its sails, neared the iconic Elbphilharmonie it was welcomed by a water-spraying fire boat of the Hamburg Fire Brigade.

At 12:30 sharp, the Mahatma-Gandhi Bridge of the Sandtorhafen opened to let the 27 metre-tall IMOCA enter the harbour. Soon after, Malizia - Seaexplorer docked on the pontoon of the Traditionsschiffhafen under the applause of a cheering crowd. Several thousand people had were standing along the entire length of harbour, from the bridge to the Magellan Terrassen, as well as on the pontoon to be part of this special moment: Boris errmann was back in town together with his team and new boat, for the first time since 2018 and since the end of the Vendée Globe 2020-21, a race that many Germans and fans around the world had followed passionately.

Upon arriving home, Boris Herrmann said: "Being here is a very unusual feeling, I usually walk here with my dog or with my little daughter, and now there are so many people like I have never seen here before! Great and thank you all so much for coming! Hamburg is the home port of the Malizia - Seaexplorer, and also my home. As sailors, we are a bit superstitious and a ship christening is extremely important, so it was important for me to come to Hamburg for this."

Andy Grote, Hamburg's Senator for Interior and Sports, Dr. Andreas Kleinau, CEO of HafenCity Hamburg GmbH, Markus Söhl, CEO of the Stiftung Hamburg Maritim then stepped on the boat to warmly welcome Boris.

German journalist and TV moderator Julia Niharika Sen moderated the event which saw Boris Herrmann, Co-Skippers Will Harris and Rosalin Kuiper and Team Malizia Ocean Educator Birte Lorenzen-Herrmann share their wish for the future of the boat. Then, surrounded by about 150 children from local schools and sailing clubs, Team Malizia's partners and the crowd, the countdown began and the children pulled the rope together to smash a champagne bottle against the boat. As the bottle hit the bowsprit it didn't break, which made the team and the crowd laugh. Boris Herrmann climbed on the bowsprit to fix and set up the mechanism again, and, on the second attempt, the children christened the race machine that will circle the globe twice over the next three years.

A well attended press conference followed with many interested in the next big round the world race, The Ocean Race starting in 2023. Which will see a team of four sailors and an onboard reporter race around the world over the following six months. With Boris commenting that he had his eye on the ultimate goal being another Vendee Globe in 2024.

Then an exciting panel discussion by leading German climate advocates from science, business, pressure groups and charities commenced in a lively discussion around women's role in climate action and advocacy as some of the leading voices taking action today.

As the crowd enjoyed the festival they were greeted by Malizia team members, music and plant-based delicacies and many activities and tents. Including virtual reality of underwater life showcased by Pico and VRtual X, a technical tent showcasing sustainable solutions and materials with partners Solbian, Schütz and Greenboats, kids activations on mangroves and the Malizia My Ocean Challenge education programme, interactive pins to learn more about Zurich's Planet Hero Award, the vernissage of the OPEN-Art "Malizia - Seaexplorer" exhibition on the Überseeboulevard, sustainable coffee workshops with La Marzocco and a great showcase from The Ocean Race and Kuehne+Nagel on sustainability in sea freight. The team also showcased their scientific partnership with Geomar, the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology and Ifremer with an exhibition on ocean CO2, their onboard laboratory and what impact the climate crisis is having on the Ocean.

The festival runs until 10:00 pm and Team Malizia members and partners will end the evening in the famous Hamburg Maritime Museum to enjoy an evening of vegan food and a presentation from Boris Herrmann.

Team Malizia is joined in its effort to be one of the most exciting sailing teams and a champion for sustainability and climate action by its seven main partners: Zurich Group Germany, Kuehne+Nagel, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, Schütz, the Yacht Club de Monaco and EFG International.

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