For the first time in history, a German sailor is set to take on one of the biggest and toughest challenges in competitive sailing: the Vendée Globe.
Hamburg’s Boris Herrmann, 34, has his sights set on competing in the next edition of the solo regatta, which takes place in November 2020 and sees competitors sail non-stop around the world on the Southern Ocean.
Team partner for the campaign is fellow sailor Pierre Casiraghi, founder of the Malizia team, which competes for the Monaco Yacht Club.
BMW is on board as team partner, bringing with it the company’s expertise in automotive manufacturing and its experience of technology transfer in competitive sailing, the company said.
BMW has been involved in the America’s Cup since 2002, and won the most coveted trophy in sailing with BMW ORACLE Racing in 2010. Over the coming year, the foiling Open 60 yacht “Malizia” will be optimised for the toughest solo race in the world.
“Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia campaign is a very ambitious project which will push man and equipment to their absolute limits,” said Sven Schuwirth, Head of BMW Brand. “BMW loves this kind of challenge, which allows us to demonstrate our pioneering and innovative spirit. We look forward to supporting the team and, above all, skipper Boris Herrmann as the first German to take part in the Vendée Globe.”
Herrmann will contest the Vendée Globe with an offshore racing yacht from the IMOCA class. The “Malizia” is one of the latest generation of Open 60 boats and is equipped with L-shaped foils, which can lift the yacht partly out of the water, making it far faster than previous designs. In March, following initial modifications, Herrmann transferred the yacht, which was built in 2015, from the shipyard in Lorient/Brittany to the Mediterranean. It is now at its home at the Yacht Club in Monaco, where it is undergoing further modification for the regattas ahead.
Vice-President of the Monaco Yacht Club Pierre Casiraghi is the youngest son of Princess Caroline. He sails regularly with Herrmann, and is supporting him on the Vendée campaign. Among other things, he will race alongside the German at various Open 60 double-handed regattas. Wind permitting, the duo’s first race outing in 2018 will be next week’s record attempt on the Mediterranean from Marseille (FRA) to Cartagena (ESP).
Last year, Herrmann and Casiraghi finished an excellent third in the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race.
“The campaign is now picking up pace this season, and the partnership with BMW has given us another boost,” said Casiraghi. “I am really looking forward to working with such a renowned and innovative company as BMW. Together, we can achieve our ambitious goals.”