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An intense 48 hours of racing in the 48 hour Défi Azimut for Team Malizia and Boris Herrmann

by Team Malizia 23 Sep 18:20 PDT

Boris Herrmann and Will Harris crossed the finish line of the 48 hour Défi Azimut race in seventh place this afternoon after 2 days of racing in the Atlantic which saw them face intense and various weather conditions.

From starting off in stormy conditions to being stuck in light winds at the very end, Team Malizia secured a seventh place finish in this year's 48 hour Défi Azimut - Lorient Agglomération race. The international double-handed crew, composed of Germany's Boris Herrmann and England's Will Harris, as well as French-German onboard reporter Antoine Auriol, crossed the finish line in Lorient this Saturday afternoon at 15:22 CEST after 2 days, 2 hours, 52 minutes, and 56 seconds at sea.

"It's almost unfair that the rest of the fleet got weather conditions in 48 hours which we had to sail around the world to find", joked the German skipper after the arrival. "Sailing the looped circuit in the Bay of Biscay, we almost had Southern Ocean conditions at times!"

For Team Malizia, the Défi Azimut was the first competition since The Ocean Race 2022-23, and a good opportunity for Boris Herrmann and Will Harris to transition back to double-handed sailing and train for the upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre in five weeks' time.

"I am happy with this result", said Boris Herrmann. "The race went well, the boat was perfectly prepared, we didn't have any issues, and we went quite fast in certain conditions. We changed a few things during the summer refit and those seem to work well. They are making the boat quicker so we are happy about that." The German sailor added: "We made a few navigation errors during the race, and if we hadn't done those, we could have maybe stuck with the group in the front of the fleet. However, we are happy and this race, which was the first confrontation with the new, strong boats in the fleet, was an important and good training for the Transat Jacques Vabre next month. I think we can do well and the Défi Azimut gave us some good confidence."

Will Harris commented after today's race: "It is really good to come away in seventh place. We had a good fight with the other boats, and I think we had it in us to get a top 5 result but we made a few errors around the course. We had the speed, we kept up with the others, and we overtook a few boats. I think it's a good sign for the Transat Jacques Vabre, the boat is in great condition and I really enjoyed sailing with Boris again in just a double-handed configuration." The British sailor added: "We had more various weather conditions in this race than we had in some legs of The Ocean Race so it was a good test for us to learn how we can set up the boat in different configurations. Getting through the light winds before the finish was tricky and didn't really go our way but we are happy that we managed to hold on until the end. Being back with such a big fleet is great, and the level is super high, but our experience puts us in a really good place and I think we can do very well."

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.

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