Brutal regattas begin: Boris Herrmann embarks on an unpredictable race
The brutal sailing regatta begins
Boris Hermann springs into the unpredictable
01/15/2023, 09:09 AM
German sailing superstar Boris Herrmann sets off on his next adventure. Ocean Race is the most important team regatta in the world. The King Athletes cruise took over 12,750 nautical miles at the end of February. It’s a long clip historically.
Roaring storms, icy challenges in the Southern Ocean, sweltering calm zones. With astronaut food in their luggage, break repair materials on board, emergency kit for injuries and plenty of determination, five international sailing crews embark Sunday in Alicante, Spain, on one of the last great sporting adventures of our time: the ocean race around the world. “The only sure thing is that nothing is certain. In an ocean race you always have to reckon with the unexpected,” says Boris Herrmann.
Hermann is the star among the four German participants in the fourteenth Ocean Race. The man from Hamburg starts with his team Malizia under the German flag in the most important regatta teams around the world. Robert Stanjic from Berlin is co-captain on Team Guyot, which also includes Philip Kasowski from DC. Olympic silver medalist Suzanne Buick of the Schleswig-Holstein Strand joins the Swiss team Holcim-PRB. Never before in the 50-year history of racing had German players used so many boats.
Of the 2,085 sailors in the last 13 courses, 85 have come from Germany. Four yachts under the German flag, the only German victory of “Illbruck” in 2002, and individual players such as Tim Kruger of Hamburg, Toni Kolb of Munich, Michael Müller of Kiel, the classic sailing sport that began in 1973 as the “Whitbread World Tour” The race’ is in the first format in 40 years. In the past decade, the Germans have been missing out. Now they are celebrating their amazing comeback.
“I’ll cry when you cross the starting line.”
“Boris showed the way. Germany’s strong presence in the ocean race is also the embodiment of his success in the last Vendée Globe,” says Berlin’s Jens Koppal, praising the German sailing star and his upcoming competitor. Kuphal is an experienced music producer, musician, composer and former manager of artists such as Nena or Alphaville.
Together with world champion Star Boat Robert Stanjek, Kuphal founded Offshore Team Germany in 2017 with the aim of participating in the Ocean Race. Together with French captain and boat owner Ben Dutroux, they now appear on the starting line as Guyot Environment – Team Europe. “I will cry when our team crosses the starting line on Sunday,” said Team Principal Kopal, reflecting on the bumpy road to participation. With a seven-year-old but proven boat, Team Guyot is looking for an opportunity against the other four builds that are new to the field. A budget of about four million euros is not enough for giant leaps, but it goes all over the world.
“Jaiot is predictable,” said Boris Herrmann. “All five participating teams can win a stage or a race.” At the age of 41, the family man and the fifth Vendée Globe is about to make his ocean-going debut after completing four voyages around the ocean. His new build “Malaysia – Seaexplorer” recently had surprising problems with chips and wings on his fuselage. “It was a serious setback for us,” said Hermann. However, the team was able to successfully find and install replacement chips.
Fine line between speed and material protection
Susan Buick has the largest learning curve. The 31-year-old made the switch from Olympic sailing to offshore sailing in early 2022. She’s training in France for her long-term goal, the Vendée Globe. The fact that she got a job in ocean racing after only one year in the new environment makes Beucke a great flyer as she came second in the Olympics from Japan. It is expected to be used for the first time in the second phase from Cape Verde to Cape Town.
For the first time, the Ocean Race will be sailing on Imoca boats. It is well known that there are 18m long flakes of solo circumnavigation around the Vendée Globe, where they must be tamed by soloists. At Ocean Race they are now driven by crews of four. Therein lie the opportunities and the risks: “Our job is to sail the boats as a fast team so they don’t get stuck,” explains Herrmann.
The opening two stages from Alicante to Cape Verde and then to Cape Town mark the beginning of the six-month Ocean Race. At the end of February, the longest regal stage historically follows: It drives through a brutal 12,750 nautical miles past the Cape of Good Hope to Itagay in Brazil. “That alone is half a circumnavigation,” says Herrmann. In April we will continue to Newport, USA. There, in May, the fleet will make the hop across the Atlantic back to Europe to Aarhus, Denmark. The penultimate stage starts via “Fly-By” in Kiel on June 9 to The Hague. The grand seal will be celebrated in the Italian destination port of Genoa in July.