After his 3rd place in the Rolex Fastnet Race, Pierre Casiraghi decided to enter the IMOCA 60’ Malizia II – Yacht Club de Monaco for the 13th Transat Jacques Vabre. Known for being very demanding, the biennial race for double-handers leaves Le Havre on 5th November 2017.
First time for a Monegasque boat
Supervised by Pierre Casiraghi and led by German sailor Boris Herrmann, it will be the first time a boat flying the Yacht Club de Monaco’s colours will be on the Route du Café. “In line with our Club’s sailing policy as well as preparation for the Vendée Globe, it seems important to me that the Yacht Club de Monaco’s offshore flagship Malizia II is able to compete in internationally renowned events to inspire our young sailors to dream big and get them considering new vocations,” comments YCM Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi who has chosen Frenchman Thomas Ruyant to complete the team.
With three Transat Jacques Vabre under his belt, including 4th in 2015, and the last Vendée Globe on Souffle du Nord pour le Projet Imagine, the Dunkirk sailor is an experienced ocean racer.
Malizia Team – up for any challenge
“With this young team, our ambition is to be there on the start of the most prestigious races, be it GC32 regattas or offshore races on the IMOCA 60’. Both are high performance foiling boats which epitomise modern sailing,” adds Pierre Casiraghi.
A reminder that the Malizia adventure started in 2016 on his initiative on the GC32 Racing Tour, a new generation of foiling catamarans, and continues on the IMOCA 60’ which arrived in June 2017.
Malizia symbolises the Grimaldi family’s attachment to the sea, a tribute to Francesco Grimaldi “The Cunning One” (La Malizia in Monegasque), a Genovese who arrived by sea in 1297 and established the Grimaldi dynasty. For the Monegasque skipper, there’s an emotional aspect to the choice: “I always wanted to give this name to a race boat for what Malizia represents for us in the Principality.”
Engaged alongside Pierre Casiraghi on his many sailing projects, Boris Herrmann has been there from the start. “Since Malizia II joined the Yacht Club de Monaco’s fleet, we have covered nearly 12,000 nautical miles. The Rolex Fastnet Race, our first official regatta, was a great test over a short distance. The Transat Jacques Vabre is one of the longest and renowned for being particularly challenging both for boats and sailors. As Pierre is not able to be on board, although he will be accompanying us as we prepare the boat and I’d like to thank him for his confidence and support, I am teaming up with Thomas Ruyant. He’s an all-round sailor for whom I have profound respect and admiration. We know each other well. We were sailing together on the IMOCA Neutrogena. This year we will probably be the pair that have done the most miles together before the start. And we both have the same dream: to do the 2020 Vendée Globe,” says Boris Herrmann who has already competed in three round the worlds including the Jules Verne Trophy and Barcelona World Race.
On the “Coffee Route”
The race starts at Le Havre (Seine-Maritime) Sunday 5th November 2017, on a route inspired by the historic itinerary the clippers took when bringing Brazilian coffee to France. On the programme: 4,350 nautical miles ending in Salvador de Bahia in Brazil. Thirteen IMOCA 60s are expected on the start. Transat Jacques Vabre organisers are holding a press conference in Paris tomorrow.
Source: Yacht Club de Monaco