Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad 728x90px_Tourist

Transat Jacques Vabre: What Boris did next

by Soazig Guého 22 Oct 20:49 PDT 27 October 2019
Boris Herrmann and Will Harris, skippers of the Imoca Malizia II - Yacht Club de Monaco, are posing during pre-start of the Transat Jacques Vabre , duo sailing race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, on October 22, in Le Havre, France. © Jean-Marie Liot / Alea

Two months after delivering Greta Thunberg on a zero-emissions trip across the Atlantic on Malizia II, Boris Herrmann is gearing up for his next challenge: the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre.

Herrmann, the 38-year-old German skipper, will "only" have Britain's 25-year-old Will Harris as crew this time on his 60ft foiling monohull for the longest and toughest transat in the racing calendar.

The 14th edition of the 4,350-mile bi-annual race starts from Le Havre, France on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 13:15 (French time) and takes the crews across to the Equator to the finish in Salvador de Bahia.

The 2019 edition is already shaping up to be historic. This is the first time since the creation of the "Route du Café" in 1993 that so many competitors have wanted to brave the Atlantic double-handed. There will be 59 boats from 11 nations, that is 120 sailors, spread across the three classes of boat - 27 Class40, 3 Multi 50 and 29 IMOCA.

Unite behind the science

Malizia II's mainsail bears the same message "Unite Behind The Science". Herrmann will doubtless always look back fondly on his two-week delivery of Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate change activist, to the UN Climate Action Summit, but the demands of a foiling IMOCA move you on quickly.

"Everybody is focusing on the race now and so are we. This is something, we've done, it remains with us, the message we keep on the sail," Herrmann said. "The people we meet on the dock, the sailing community, have all discussed it at length, so no one asks, 'how was it with Greta?' They have read about it, it was fine, some people think differently than others, but it happened a couple of months ago.

"It was really fun to do it with her because she's very reliable and relaxed. She coped so well with sailing on this kind of boat. She said, 'you adults, you worry about small things.' She worries about the planet, she feels this, it's an existential threat. It really stresses her out, the boat is simple for her. I think that's what's going on in her mind, there's much bigger things to worry about than a bit of comfort and she's right."

#NoPlasticChallenge

Herrmann's outreach work for climate change and reducing carbon emissions continues apace and the wind is now blowing his way. Climate change has become a foreground issue for sailing event organisers and sponsors in the last few years. The Transat Jacque Vabre has signed France's new Charter of the 15 eco-friendly commitments for sporting event organisations and is running a #NoPlasticChallenge on site. Malizia II is one of three IMOCA with 4myplanet and Newrest - Art et Fenètres that will launch a two-metre long 30kg profiler during the race that will measure ocean salinity and temperature and will be tracked and picked up after three years. It is a joint project with IFREMER Brest, Jcommobs and UNESCO-IRS.

"For the Malizia Ocean Challenge, we measure CO2 data in the ocean in the context of climate change," Herrmann said. "And the other aspect of the project is kids' education and to get them fascinated with the ocean and protection of the planet. It's with 8-12 year-olds. They all know about climate change and Greta, but we started with this a long time before Greta started her school strike. It merged together coincidentally.

"Greta was giving a speech in Hamburg and we saw her and thought if she needs to sail somewhere we can offer to take her. Then she asked on Twitter for a boat and we suggested it to our team boss, Pierre Casiraghi, (the son of Princess Caroline of Monaco) and he loved the idea. It was really natural and they saw that we weren't just bandwagoning her fame.

"Also, in parallel we had the plan to make the boat zero emissions, we had just put the solar panels in and we could say, 'look, we have a boat that's ready and zero emissions and fast enough to go around any hurricanes.'"

Avoiding hurricanes will be the one similar part of the plan for this high-speed Atlantic crossing.

For more information visit www.transatjacquesvabre.org.

Related Articles

Huusela first Finnish to finish the TJV 2019
Ari Huusela became the first Finn and Scandinavian in an IMOCA to finish the Transat Jacques Vabre Ari Huusela became the first Finn and Scandinavian in an IMOCA to finish the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre on Friday as he and Irish co-skipper, Michael Ferguson, forced Ariel II across the finish line in the Bay of All Saints. Posted on 15 Nov
TJV: Goodchild and Delahaye take sweet second
Pip Hare set for IMOCA nail-biting IMOCA finish today Sam Goodchild and Fabien Delahaye, on their 40ft monohull, Leyton, have finished second in the Class40 of the 14th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia Posted on 14 Nov
Crédit Mutuel wins Transat Jacques Vabre Class40s
Ian Lipinsky and Adrien Hardy arrive in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil Ian Lipinsky and Adrien Hardy, on their 40ft monohull, Crédit Mutuel, have won the Class40 of the 14th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Posted on 14 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre: Merron speeds for cheese
The Anglo-French paid on Campagne de France next home Salvador de Bahia is preparing to welcome the next IMOCA and the only couple on a boat in this race, Britain's Miranda Merron and her French partner on land and sea, Halvard Mabire on Campagne de France at the end of the evening (local time, 23:00 UTC). Posted on 13 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre: Goodchild feeling the heat
"Yesterday, Adrien made bread and today he's making a crumble" - the menu of champions Sam Goodchild is running out of race track in his bid to become the first Briton to win the Class40 of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre. Posted on 13 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre: Class40 podium is set?
Harris reflects on risks and rewards as penalties overturn IMOCA order After arriving in the Bay of All Saints on Monday morning to complete his first transatlantic, Britain's Will Harris, 25, recounted the moment he heard the boat alongside them in the middle of the North Atlantic - Hugo Boss - had hit something Posted on 11 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre with a lot of twists & turns
Top 10 decided in the IMOCA category After the winners, Charlie Dalin and Yann Eliès finished yesterday on Apivia, the top 10 was decided in the IMOCA category during the night in Salvador da Bahia (Brazil), with some closely fought duels for the podium, the top five and the top ten. Posted on 11 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre IMOCA podium decided
One of the closest podium finishes in the history of the event After Apivia coasted to a moonlit victory in the IMOCA class 15 hours earlier, the Bay of All Saints witnessed one of the closest podium finishes in the history of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre in glorious sunshine on Sunday. Posted on 10 Nov
Apivia wins Transat Jacques Vabre IMOCA division
Charlie Dalin and Yann Eliès arrive in Salvador de Bahia Charlie Dalin and Yann Eliès on their 60ft monohull, Apivia, have won the IMOCA class of the 14th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre after crossing the line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Sunday Posted on 10 Nov
Transat Jacques Vabre day 14
America's 11th Hour Racing into fourth, Goodchild pressing in the Doldrums The French duo of Charlie Dalin and Yann Eliès on the latest generation 60ft foiling monohull, Apivia, appeared to be coasting to victory, literally, in the Transat Jacque Vabre Normandie Le Havre on Saturday afternoon. Posted on 9 Nov
PandB 2019 Autumn Sale - FooterGul 2019 GAMMA FooterNorth Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Footer