Route du Rhum, Malizia II Off to a Super Start


The Malizia II, the Yacht Club de Monaco monohull helmed by Boris Herrmann, is currently in second place on the Route du Rhum.

Waking up to the fifth day of the Route du Rhum competition, we find the Yacht Club de Monaco’s very own Malizia II well-positioned in second place. First-time participant Boris Herrmann is navigating the one-man ship. The Yacht Club’s vice president and initiator of the Malizia II project, Pierre Casiraghi, had this to say about the ship’s progress:

For his first solo transatlantic race, Boris has made a very good start. He is fighting hard in extremely difficult conditions, hitting winds of up to 45 knots last night, causing a small breakage in the J3 level tack, which he managed to repair. The first three days were very selective. Many IMOCAs were forced to turn back; it is a real satisfaction that Malizia is holding on. Everything is fine on board, we are very proud of Boris. –YCM

Conditions: not for the faint of heart

The weather conditions Mr. Casiraghi is referring to are actually gusts reaching over 45 knots with 5 to 10-meter troughs along the watery passage to Guadeloupe. Among the 124 boats in all classes participating in the race, bad weather has already caused several breakages. Because Herrmann opted for a route that was higher north, he may have avoided some of these troubles. The current IMOCA class leader, British sailor Alex Thomson of Team Hugo Boss equally sailed higher north.

There remain a little over 2,500 nautical miles for the Monégasque ship to travel before reaching its destination in Point-à-Pitre. Other trials lie ahead such as the approaching trade winds, and of course competition from the likes of Vincent Riou (PRB), Paul Meilhat (SMA), Stéphane le Diraison (Time for Oceans), and Yann Eliès (UCAR-Saint-Michel).

A dual mission

Beyond finishing the Route du Rhum, Malizia-II also carries the mission of promoting ocean protection. The Malizia My Ocean Challenge is a scientific project to measure the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) around the globe within the next 4 years.

The Malizia II has been fitted with a special sensor allowing for the measurements to be taken in real-time while the boat participates in various races around the world. Schools in Germany and France are following the boat’s progress closely, inspiring interest in the scientific study of the ocean floor.

At the time of this article, Herrmann currently trails Thomson by 55 nautical miles. 

Follow the race on the Route du Rhum live map HERE.