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Team Malizia finishes The Ocean Race Leg 6 - Rosalin Kuiper welcomed by Dutch King and Queen

by Team Malizia 11 Jun 2023 10:37 PDT 11 June 2023
Team Malizia's Dutch sailor Rosalin Kuiper grabs third place in The Hague in Leg 6 of The Ocean Race © Marie Lefloch / Team Malizia

What a welcome in The Hague! Team Malizia's crew with local hero Rosalin Kuiper, skipper Boris Herrmann, co-skippers Will Harris and Axelle Pillain, and onboard reporter Antoine Auriol accomplished a podium finish this Sunday in Leg 6 of The Ocean Race after an incredibly intense battle with runner-up Team Holcim-PRB.

Just after the finish line, Team Malizia's crew received a very special welcome by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of The Netherlands who stepped onto Malizia - Seaexplorer to congratulate the Dutch sailor and the Malizia crew. Thousands of people had gathered on the shoreline, cheering for the team and ready to start festivities.

Team Malizia kept their hopes alive and arrived only 1 minute and 20 seconds after their Swiss competitor, and 13 minutes and 43 seconds after Leg 6 winner 11th Hour Racing Team. The German-entry team crossed the line today at 12:39:15 local time (10:39:15 UTC) after having raced 903.42 nautical miles from Aarhus, Denmark, to The Hague, with a Kly-By in Kiel, Germany, in 2 days, 18 hours, 25 minutes and 35 seconds.

"It's incredible to come into The Hague like this, we pushed, we pushed...", said co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper. "It was such an intense fight, especially in the last hours. We sailed about three days but slept only 8 hours or so. However, having my friends, my family, our team, and all the Dutch supporters that follow the race and are present here today is an incredible feeling. I cannot even begin to explain how I am feeling right now!"

The Dutch sailor added: "It was unbelievably special to have King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima come on our boat and dock in with us. It was such a nice moment, they are very passionate about watersports and sailing, and I feel very fortunate that they took the time to come and experience the arrival in my home country with us. It is the crown on the work we have done so far in sailing around the world."

"I'm jealous of Rosie who got to stop in her home country, I would have loved to stop in Kiel", joked German skipper Boris Herrmann as he arrived on the dock in The Hague. "The Fly-By on Friday was such an exceptional and emotional moment, there were so many people. Already 12 hours before sailing into Kiel, many boats followed us through the night, until the next day, it was incredible. And then coming here now we have the feeling of entering 'Rosieland', everyone is cheering for her and the team, it's really, really cool."

The stopover in The Hague will be very short as the seventh and final leg of The Ocean Race will start in four days, this Thursday 15 June. "My body is really tired", comments Rosalin Kuiper, the only female sailor who will have done all of the legs in this edition of the race. "We sailed around the world, spent over 90 days at sea in the past 5 months, and I can feel it's taking a toll on my body. But with this energy here is lifting me up and I am ready for this very busy stopover. I am really happy to meet all the fans, talk to the media, meet local children, participate in the Malizia Sustainability Panel Debate on women empowerment tomorrow, and talk to our partners, friends and family about this unbelievable adventure. And I'm also ready to finish this Ocean Race strong!"

Team Malizia is currently third in the overall ranking with 27 points. Leg 6 winner 11th Hour Racing lead the overall scoreboard with 33 points, and Team Holcim-PRB is second with 31 points. Biotherm finished Leg 6 in fourth and GUYOT environnement - Team Europe in fifth position. After the start in Aarhus and during the Fly-By in Kiel, Team Malizia was sailing in fifth position but managed to close the gap and overtake the other boats during the night.

"We did a very good comeback", adds Boris Herrmann. "We went up to second position with an advantage of a few miles on Team Holcim-PRB during the night and this morning. There were some funny lines of wind in the North Sea. They got a line, then we did, then they had to stop at one moment because they caught something around their keel, it was really intense and amazing racing. We did a 30-nautical mile comeback on them and are pretty happy with that although we are missing it by just over a minute... So we were missing four minutes in Aarhus, one minute now, so I think in Genova there is some room to play!"

The IMOCA fleet will depart one last time for the final leg of The Ocean Race next Thursday. The crews will race 2,200 nautical miles and enter the Mediterranean Sea to the finish line in Genova, Italy, concluding a 31,300 nautical mile-long lap around the world.

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: EFG International, Zurich Group Germany, Kuehne+Nagel, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, Schütz, the Yacht Club de Monaco. 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 after Leg 6

  • 11th Hour Racing Team - 33 points
  • Team Holcim-PRB - 31 points
  • Team Malizia - 27 points
  • Biotherm - 19 points
  • GUYOT environnement - Team Europe - 2 points

Team Malizia's sailing crew for Leg 6

  • Boris Herrmann (GER) - Skipper
  • Will Harris (GBR) - Co-skipper
  • Rosalin Kuiper (NED) - Co-skipper
  • Axelle Pillain (FRA) - Co-skipper
  • Antoine Auriol (FRA/GER) - Onboard reporter

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