Sailor Boris Herrmann at the Ocean Race: sails overboard, crack in the mast – sport

The good news first, after all, good news is rare for Boris Herrmann these days: “First of all, we’re still in the running.” The next few hours and a Dutch woman at a dizzying height will decide whether and how the race around the world will continue for the man from Hamburg and his crew.

Herrmann imagined the performance on the “monster stage” of the Ocean Race from Cape Town to the coast of Brazil differently. It should be the moment when his Malizia Sea Explorer proves that she can withstand the swells and winds of the South Seas for which she was designed. But before the merciless winds howled across the Malizia at the fortieth and fiftieth latitude, one problem followed another.

First, for reasons that are not clear, a headsail came loose and twisted around the keel and foils in the water. Briton Will Harris had to cut it loose as darkness fell to prevent major damage to the boat. The crew is now missing the sail for light winds, which is a disadvantage, but tolerable. The damage to the mast is more critical: “It’s quite a setback for us,” says Boris Herrmann.

With a video message from on board, the man from Hamburg reported on Thursday: “The sun is breaking through the clouds. The albatrosses are flying behind us.” After the poetic introduction, the message: “But I’m a bit sad. We found a crack in the mast.”

The crack that Dutchwoman Rosalin Kuiper noticed during an inspection at a height of 28 meters is 26 centimeters long. It should be repaired by Thursday. To do this, Kuiper first has to grind the opening at high altitude on the open sea and then apply layers of carbon on top of each other. Then the material has to harden. If the repairs succeed, Herrmann’s team would be confident of being able to continue the stage.

This is how the repairs to the mast of the Malizia are currently being carried out.

(Photo: Antoine Auriol /Team Malizia)

Just a few days after the start on Sunday, the fleet of five boats is already so torn as if the South Sea and the legendary Cape Horn were already behind them. Only a fraction of the distance has been sailed, for which the fleet is said to need about forty days.

Meanwhile, the stage is over for the European team “11 Hour” with Berlin co-skipper Robert Stanjek. The crew has to turn back after hull bottom damage. “It’s a mental slap. Sport can be so brutal.” The troupe is currently dragging itself back to Cape Town. Preparations for a possible evacuation have been made both on board and on land.

Frenchman Kevin Escoffier and his Swiss team Holcim-PRB are unimpressed by the problems of the competition. He has continued to extend his lead and is already over 200 nautical miles ahead of the competition – currently heading into a heavy wind zone of 30-40 knots. Hopefully the good news will stay with him, too.

source site