The Ocean Race is widely regarded as one of the toughest challenges in all of sport. It is one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympic Games and America’s Cup.
The winner is the team that finishes in the shortest time. The last edition of the race was the closest in history, with Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team winning by only 16 minutes after 126 days of racing spread across 11 legs.
The 2022-23 race will see sailors compete in either the IMOCA 60 class or the VO65 class boat. There are currently five teams signed up for the IMOCA 60 class of which the one Monaco is most excited about is Malizia-Seaexplorer helmed by Boris Herrmann of the Yacht Club de Monaco together with the five members of the crew.
Imagine 32,000 nautical miles to cover in six months of sailing.
Can the brand new 60 foot Malizia-Seaexplorer, which left the yard last July, improve on Yacht Club of Monaco Grant Dalton’s second place in 1997-1998 aboard the WOR 60 Merit Cup ( MY 700). Heavier and higher and packed with advanced electronics, sailing her will be full of new sensations.
But a good omen was when Malizia-Seaexplorer won the first coastal race organized in Alicante, ahead of the start of the Ocean Race.
Well Team Malizia have already thrown down the gauntlet already in Ocean Race’s Leg 1 with Boris Herrmann leading his team to a third-place finish in the sprint covering the 1,900 nautical miles from Alicante to Cape Verde and finishing behind winners Holcim-PRB and the 11th Hour Racing Team.
Ocean Race Leg 2
From January 25, the racing yachts will head from Cabo Verde, 4.600 nautical miles to Cape Town in South Africa for the second leg.
Team Malizia skipper Boris Herrmann will miss this leg of The Ocean Race after suffering a severe foot burn in the opening leg from spilled boiling water. Boris received medical advice to rest due to the risk of infection while at sea. But he is planned to be back for Leg 3.
Luckily, world-famous and long-time coach Yann Elies will join the crew in this part of the race, allowing 29 year old British sailor Harris, who was originally pencilled in to take on skippering duties for Leg 4, to take over as skipper for Boris in Leg 2. This had always been the plan for Leg 4, which was the leg Boris had originally not intended to do.
Seven Legs and nine towns to visit over six months before arriving in Genoa.
After the racers reach Cape Town in the next Leg they face an incredible challenge.
Ocean Race Leg 3
Leg 3 of the race from Cape Town to Itajaí, Brazil takes the fleet on a monstrous 12,750-nautical mile (14,672-mile/23,613-kilometre) Southern Ocean passage three quarters of the way around the bottom of the world.
The Southern Ocean – also known as the Antarctic Ocean, South Polar Ocean, Austral Ocean – is the world’s wildest and most remote expanse of open ocean.
On the way from Cape Town to Itajaí the crews will pass far south of the world’s three Great Capes: The Cape of Good Hope close to the tip of Africa; Cape Leeuwin Australia’s most south-westerly point; and the notorious Cape Horn on Hornos Island – the most southerly headland on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile. It is impossible to overestimate the significance of this leg – the longest in the race’s history – or the challenge it poses for the sailors taking it on. The route is expected to take around 34 days to complete.
Then will come:
- Leg 4: Itajai to Newport, Rhode Island, leg start on April 23, 5,500 nautical miles
- Leg 5: Newport to Aarhus, Denmark, leg start on May 21, 3,500 nautical miles
- Leg 6: Aarhus to The Hague, Netherlands, leg start on June 8, 800 nautical miles
- Leg 7: The Hague to Genova, Italy, leg start on June 15, 2,200 nautical miles
The grand finale is scheduled for Genoa, Italy on July 1.
Can’t wait to see Malizia-Seaxplorer after the race at her home port at the Yacht Club de Monaco, on the occasion of the 10th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge, focusing on new alternative energies.