Please select your home edition
C-Tech 2020 C-Tech 728x90 TOP

Meet the Vendée Globe skippers: Boris Herrmann

by Vendee Globe 20 Oct 2020 06:41 PDT
Boris Herrmann © Vincent Curutchet / IMOCA

He will be on the start line in Les Sables d'Olonne because, he jokes 'I read all the books, Pete Goss, Ellen MacArthur', but suffice to say when he does answer the gun on Sunday 8th November it will be the realisation of a dream he has had since his teenage years. He did his first Mini Transat race in 2001 as an 18 year old and eight years later won the Class40 Global Ocean Race round the world.

Now, armed with the highly optimised Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco, he is ready to take on the world. He is German, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish and represents the Yacht Club of Monaco. Meet Boris Herrmann.


Born May 28 1981, Oldenburg
Lives in Hamburg

My Journey

Studies and professional career outside of sailing. MBA in business economics, never worked as economist but use the learning all the time in my life and programme.

In the beginning:

My first sailing: With my dad at the age of six on a small boat that can sit on a sandbank a Jollenkreuzer and sailed just for fun to start with and then I became more serious during university years racing 505s and 49ers, finishing in the top 10 twice at the 505 world championships.

How / why did your desire to go ocean racing come about? Why and when did it become a life project? I had done some offshore and ocean passages on some older Swans. Then I did the Mini for a while in 2001 and came tenth in the MiniTransat. After my university finished in May and I put together a proposal for sponsors to do a Class 40, I then did the Artemis Transat and the Quebec Saint Malo. When I was 15 or 16 I was reading all the books, Pete Goss, Ellen MacArthur and loved the Vendée Globe, I loved the experience of the MiniTransat. When I was about 17 doing the 470 for example I already knew I had it in me like a virus.

A result or experience that you are most proud of? Winning the round the world race on the Class 40 (The Portimao Global Ocean Race), there were so many cool people in and around it and there were so many people said it was not safe to go round on the Class 40. So it was great to have these memories of Cape Horn and the Lemaire Straits

Short Tacks

Your main quality in life? . I love the idea of being multiskilled and managing the campaign. You set out to be good at everything and now I am happy to be good enough at most things.
What is your main flaw in life? Being too serious, maybe a bit paranoic
If you were an animal? A dog
If you were a plant? Don't think I want to be a plant
Your idea of happiness? Beach, tradewinds, hanging out with a few toys like kitefoil. I like kitefoiling and went with Alex Thomson a couple of years ago in Kiel. Or reading a book, listening to Bach with a Talisker whisky.
A book? Decisive Moments in History by Stefan Zweig
If you were some music? Bach, I like to listen to music on the boat to drown out the noise sometimes, but I love Bach...
Your colour? Red Pantone PMS 186C the flag of Monaco
Your hero in life? Greta Thunberg, she is very cool and has the courage not to be mainstream A to Z, she has her own agenda, does her own thing and she does not depend on people liking her. She does not follow the herd. And also Pierre Casiraghi, Francis Joyon and Giovanni Soldini. The three of them are all original personalities all strong enough to do their own thing.
An aphorism or saying? Never give up. Never Surrender.
If you weren't an ocean racer, would you be? A writer writing books that make people dream

My Vendee Globe 2020

Your ambitions for the Vendée Globe 2020: To do a very good race, to be in the top 10 maybe better, but to do good communications as well, to inspire schoolkids and Germans to make people dream and others to follow their dreams.
What would prevent you from reaching your goal (apart from the damage): Nothing
Your lethal weapon: My total determination
What would a successful Vendée Globe be for you? What do you want to share? I want to be able to share it, to let people live the adrenalin highs and the lows. I want to be fully transparent as I go share it, not just about the competition but the seamanship also.
In three words, the Vendée Globe for you is: Man, machine, nature
Three images you have of the Vendée Globe: The images that came out of Pete Goss saving Dinelli will always be in my mind. That is one, second I was at the start of the 2016 race and I remember watching Seaexplorer (then Gitana) leaving for the start of the race - that memory sticks in my mind. And third, I remember clearly watching Ellen and Alex's videos from on board during their races and hoping one day I would be following in their footsteps.
Which skipper inspires you? Alex Thomson, he is the coolest guy
What would you not go around the world without? : Like Robin Knox Johnston, my bottle of Talisker whisky

Some words about your environmental projects

We aim to help scientists to better understand climate change with the installation of our onboardco2 laboratory.This machine is constantly measuring important CO2data including ocean salinity, PH and temperature as well as surface CO2. In partnership with IOC-UNESCO,Max Planck, Geomar and Ifremer we make this data available for free worldwide via the SOCAT database. This data is hard to obtain as it can only be retrieved via a vessel, not via satellite - therefore Seaexplorer as a vessel of opportunity, vital in providing this data, particularly in the hard to reach, remote Southern Ocean where almost no data exists. We have also been deploying drifter Argo floats in partnership with UNESCO and partnering with scientists to create greater outreach on these key topics

Related Articles

Alain Leboeuf new President of the Vendée Globe
A long and successful career in the service of the Vendéens This week the Board of Directors of SAEM Vendée unanimously elected Alain Leboeuf as the new President of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 24 Jul
Benjamin Dutreux raises his game for 2024
With the purchase of 11th Hour Racing IMOCA Benjamin Dutreux, the French solo racer whose home town now is Les Sables d'Olonne, confirmed on Tuesday this week that his team have purchased the IMOCA 11th Hour Racing. Posted on 16 Jul
Summer, little time to pause for IMOCA skippers
'Holiday time' for the Vendée Globe stars episode #1 Don't think for one minute you'll find them lazing around on a beach. Almost six months after they reached dry land, those who took part in the Vendée Globe are planning a hard summer of studying and won't have much time to enjoy themselves. Posted on 11 Jul
Antoine Cornic living an adventure
Wanting to take part in the Vendée Globe adventure in 2024 At the age of 42 and a resident of the island of Ré, where he runs a restaurant, Antoine Cornic, who was born and bred by the sea, has always dreamt of sailing away and enjoying every moment out there. Posted on 5 Jul
Vendée Globe - Vision 2024
The tenth edition, starting November 2024, is on everyone's mind Almost 6 months after the first skippers crossed the Vendée Globe finish line already the tenth edition, starting November 2024, is on everyone's mind. Posted on 20 Jun
Champions All, Vendée Globe prize-giving
Thirty-one of the 33 skippers muster in Les Sables-d'Olonne Thirty one of the 33 skippers who competed in the 9th Vendée Globe mustered in Les Sables-d'Olonne on Saturday for the official prize-giving and closing ceremony which saw Yannick Bestaven (Maître-CoQ) receive top award as the overall winner. Posted on 23 May
A new Medallia for Pip Hare for 2024 Vendée Globe
The new owners of the IMOCA Bureau Vallée 2 British skipper Pip Hare and her sponsors Medallia have confirmed they are the new owners of the IMOCA Bureau Vallée 2 which Louis Burton sailed to third place on the Vendée Globe. Posted on 16 May
All you need to know about the new IMOCA rules
A limit on foil size, measures to reduce environmental impact and contain costs The updated IMOCA rule seeks to limit foil size and limit environmental impact and to contain costs. The new rules which are in force until 2025 were unveiled by the IMOCA Class last week. Posted on 7 May
Vendée Globe - On course for 2024
A starter for 10... they have done it before and already said 'yes' The huge wave of enthusiasm for the Vendée Globe during and after the last edition means there are more and more solo skippers intimating their plans to do the next race which will start November 2024. Posted on 4 May
Interview with Catherine Chabaud MEP
First female Vendée skipper now cares for ocean health Back In 1997 Catherine Chabaud became the first female sailor to complete the Vendée Globe, taking sixth place and in so doing becoming the first woman to race solo non stop around the world without assistance. Posted on 28 Apr
Sea Sure 2021 - FLO - FOOTERupffront2021 Summer Offers FOOTERCyclops 2020 - SmartlinkNano - FOOTER