The Club will participate in the round-the-world regatta with MaliziaSeaexplorer and his skipper Boris Herrmann, making his debut in the race

The Yacht Club de Monaco returns to the Ocean Race with MaliziaSeaexplorer and its skipper Boris Herrmann, making his debut in this race. Held every three years, the legendary offshore race set sail from Alicante, Spain. Five boats of the IMOCA class – the high-tech foiling and flying racing boats – got underway in the waters off Ocean Live Park shortly after 4pm local time.

Two hours earlier, a fleet of six one-design VO65 boats set off for the first leg of their dedicated, shorter, European-focused event, The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint, which features three legs.

The former Whitbread Round The World Race continues to be exciting 50 years after the first edition. Both fleets are sailing towards Cape Verde, some 1900 miles distant, but if the IMOCAs continue their round-the-world challenge, the VO65s will stop at Cape Verde, before rejoining the IMOCA fleet in Europe in the spring for the last two legs.

Together with Herrmann, the Malizia-Seaexplorer team consists of Will Harris (co-skipper), Rosalin Kuiper, Nicolas Lunven, Yann Eliès, Axelle Pillain and Antoine Auriol (onboard reporter). The brand new 60-footer, which just left the yard last July, has tasted the offshore challenge having raced the Route du Rhum.

“The sensations on this boat are completely different. It is slightly heavier with a slight banana hull shape which brings about a different approach to sailing. It is also taller which means more space inside and an improvement in the quality of life for everyone on board” – says Pierre Casiraghi, YCM vice president and founder of Team Malizia-.

“The boat is designed for the Vendée Globe, therefore solo, but also with crew for The Ocean Race. It is equipped with sensors and electronics. I think Boris and Team Malizia will do very well in this race. He has a lot of experience having sailed around the world with numerous teams and different boats, either as a crew on Maserati (MOD70) or racing with Francis Joyon on Idec (Ultime) amongst others”, he adds.

After the damage suffered during the recent Route du Rhum, the 60-footer was in the pipeline to have the foils replaced: “We’re trying to understand exactly what happened, but it’s not that unusual with such new foils – explains Boris Herrmann -. The team did an incredible job and turned the situation around in record time.”

The Malizia-Seaxplorer crew will return to Monaco in time for the 10th Monaco Energy Boat Challenge.

The regatta will traverse nine cities in the world in the space of six months (Alicante, Spain – Cabo Verde – Cape Town, South Africa – Itajaí, Brazil – Newport, RI, Usa – Aarhus, Denmark – Kiel Fly-By, Germany – L’ Hague, Netherlands – Genoa, Italy). The first leg is a 1,900 nautical mile sprint to Cape Verde, a first leg that will allow competitors, in conjunction with the region’s famous Ocean Week, to focus on the issues of sustainability, a cause dear to the crew of Malizia-Seaexplorer and of the Monaco Yacht Club.

Beginning on 25 January, the second leg sees the fleet head to Cape Town, South Africa before setting sail again for Itajaí in Brazil and completing a record distance of 12,750 nautical miles, the longest leg in the history of the event. The fleet will pass all three of the southern great capes for the first time – the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn – non-stop.

The competition ends in Genoa, which will host the Grand Finale with the first arrivals expected in early July.

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