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Leaderboard Q1 2023

Team Malizia accomplishes a podium finish in Leg 1 of The Ocean Race

by Team Malizia 21 Jan 13:36 GMT 21 January 2023
Malizia - Seaexplorer arriving in Mindelo, Cabo Verde © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

Early this Saturday morning, Team Malizia's sailing crew composed of Boris Herrmann, Will Harris, Rosalin Kuiper, Nico Lunven and onboard reporter Antoine Auriol crossed the finish line of Leg 1 of The Ocean Race taking third position.

The crew arrived in Mindelo, Cabo Verde, at 07:35:21 UTC on 21 January 2023 after an elapsed time of 5 days 16 hours 35 minutes and 21 seconds.

Aboard Malizia - Seaexplorer, the cheerful crew managed to close the gap to the previous boat in fast downwind sailing angles in the Atlantic, after facing intense and challenging weather conditions exiting the Mediterranean. Securing a podium finish in the opening chapter of the crewed round-the-world race is a very satisfying reward for the team that invested a tremendous effort in their pre-race preparations, having only replaced their damaged foils a week before the start.

"I'm super happy with the performance of the boat and the team," said an overjoyed Boris Herrmann as he stepped onto the pontoon. "We got through the tough Gibraltar Strait and out of the Mediterranean very well. We used the red storm jib, which is very rare on an IMOCA and my first time in over 10 years! We found some good speed and caught up with the two leaders. It took nearly three days before we could even speak to each other as the boat was so loud and brutal in the tough conditions after the start. Then we started an almost champagne sailing situation, quite fast and nice. Our adventure in The Ocean Race starts really well."

As she was approaching the Cape Verdean islands, Malizia - Seaexplorer was clocking in 34 knots at times on her new and under-tested set of foils, catching up with 11th Hour Racing Team's yacht in a battle for second position. "We were celebrating the hourly updates, seeing we were gaining a few miles", recounts Boris Herrmann. "We then had an epic evening last night, we were sailing into the sunset after a jibe and we got the drone out, all looking at the drone screen while Antoine was filming, with Will on the pilot. Antoine was saying "Can you go faster Will?!" and Will replied, "I'm going 30 knots, what more do you want me to do?!". We were going straight into the sunset, with spray all over, the sun and rainbows around the boat... That's when you realise how beautiful this is... We lost the drone though! We don't have any footage of this but it will stay in our memories" said a cheerful Herrmann.

The sailing crew will now rest for a few days, complete a few checks on the boat and make some repairs themselves whilst meeting the Capeverdian public before the start of Leg 2 to Cape Town, South Africa, on 25 January. In Cabo Verde, as in every stopover, Team Malizia will be spreading their A Race We Must Win - Climate Action Now! message, raising awareness amongst children about ocean protection and climate change through their My Ocean Challenge educational programme. Skipper Boris Herrmann will be a panel speaker at The Ocean Race Ocean Summit on 23 January.

The team's mission is only possible due to the strong and long-lasting commitment from its seven main partners: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, Schütz, the Yacht Club de Monaco, EFG International, Zurich Group Germany, and Kuehne+Nagel. These partners band behind Team Malizia to support its A Race We Must Win - Climate Action Now! mission, each of them working towards projects in their own field to innovate around climate solutions.

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