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What an emotional moment - Boris Herrmann's Team Malizia flies by Kiel in The Ocean Race

by Team Malizia 10 Jun 2023 02:19 PDT
Malizia - Seaexplorer escorted by hundreds of spectator boats during the Kiel Fly-By - The Ocean Race © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

Twenty-one years to the day after the legendary victory of the Illbruck, The Ocean Race returned to Kiel with a Fly-By in which Germany's most famous offshore sailor Boris Herrmann got to sail past tens of thousands of fans.

At approximately 17:40 local time, Team Malizia skippered by Boris Herrmann and crewed by Will Harris, Rosalin Kuiper, Axelle Pillain, as well as onboard reporter Antoine Auriol passed the turning mark in the Kieler Fjord. An incredible amount of fans had come to see the Malizia - Seaexplorer race yacht and got to enjoy the action up close at the mark located only a few hundred metres away from the shoreline.

After having departed Aarhus for Leg 6 yesterday afternoon, the fleet of 5 IMOCA boats had a long first night, with light winds and numerous manoeuvers on their way south to Kiel. "We didn't get much sleep, maybe only 20 minutes here and there", said Will Harris in a live call to Team Malizia guests who were impatiently waiting in Kiel to see their favourite boat sail by. "Seeing the number of spectator boats already in the night and early this morning really kept us motivated and excited to reach Kiel as fast as possible!" Team Malizia had fallen to the back of the fleet, struggling to catch up with the boats in front. In the end, 11th Hour Racing Team was the first boat to enter the fjord, followed by Team Holcim-PRB in second, Biotherm in third and GUYOT environnement - Team Europe in fourth position.

Rounding the mark in fifth position didn't stop the crowds and the team from enjoying a very emotional moment. "This Fly-By in Kiel was such a special highlight, like the passage of Cape Horn", said Boris Herrmann in a voice note as he headed out the fjord. "I'm never going to forget this, thank you to everyone that came to Kiel. So many people, so much energy, the crowds cheering for the teams... The conditions were quite challenging, quite gusty, and of course a narrow passage which is unusual for us with lots of manoeuvres."

It wasn't only the Malizia sailors that received a warm welcome - the Malizia shore team were also on site and warmly welcomed by the many German fans sporting Malizia-branded hats and T-shirts. The team took selfies and signed T-shirts with the strong German crowd. The team also got involved in the communications with their Ocean Educator and Kiel-native Birte Lorenzen-Herrmann opening the Fly-By yesterday and being interviewed on TV today just before sailing action on the water. Team Director Holly Cova was interviewed on the main stage about the work Malizia is doing and what it means to be a Malizian, whilst Partnership Manager Cornelius Eich was getting the crowds cheering and shouting commentating the actual Fly-By. The excitement and the interest from the fans have been fantastic.

The German sailor added: "Kiel has shown how to organise this Fly-By perfectly, the passage was safe but of course, we were a bit nervous and very focused, so not so much time to wave to the crowds. But it was super fun and now we are looking forward to the next nautical miles to The Hague. It's going to be tricky but we are going to give it our all, and push, push, push!"

Malizia - Seaexplorer is now racing north to pass Aarhus, to then sail around Skagen and head back into the North Sea in the shortest but also one of the most complex legs of The Ocean Race. This Sunday, the boats are expected to arrive in the Netherlands, Rosalin Kuiper's home country: "Kiel has been amazing, let's see what The Hague has in store for us, I cannot wait!"

Team Malizia's A Race We Must Win - Climate Action Now! mission is only possible due to the strong and long-lasting commitment from its seven main partners: the Yacht Club de Monaco, EFG International, Zurich Group Germany, Kuehne+Nagel, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, and Schütz. These partners band behind Team Malizia to support its campaign, each of them working towards projects in their own field to innovate around climate solutions.

Overall scoreboard at the start of Leg 6

1. 11th Hour Racing Team - 28 points
2. Team Holcim-PRB - 27 points
3. Team Malizia - 24 points
4. Biotherm - 17 points
5. GUYOT environnement - Team Europe - 2 points

Team Malizia's sailing crew for Leg 6

1. Boris Herrmann (GER) - Skipper
2. Will Harris (GBR) - Co-skipper
3. Rosalin Kuiper (NED) - Co-skipper
4. Axelle Pillain (FRA) - Co-skipper
5. Antoine Auriol (FRA/GER) - Onboard reporter

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