Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia lead fleet around Cape Horn
The German team rule the south, leading past the iconic Cape Horn and winning the Roaring Forties trophy
Team Malizia, who were contemplating a return to Cape Town after mast damage in the first days of leg 3, and who approached Cape Horn nursing an injured crew member, have overcome all these obstacles and more to lead The Ocean Race fleet past the iconic landmark.
Boris Herrmann, skipper of Team Malizia, commented on this, his fifth passing of the landmark: “Cape Horn holds many memories for me, and crossing this line in first almost means more than winning the leg, not in terms of points but in terms of what it means. I am proud of the team and this boat! The boat has really proved itself in the Southern Ocean and shown how tough she is.”
“It’s a huge achievement for the whole team to be here,” added Malizia’s Will Harris. “And especially to be here in the lead. If we think back to the start of the leg – the issues with the mast, and then the big winds the last few days, I think we’ve done an amazing job to be here. So we are proud of the full team to make it this far and also grateful to everyone back on land who has made this possible.
“It’s really cold down here at the moment. It’s slightly lighter winds, which is a relief after the last few days of pretty brutal conditions. And I hope as we get around the Horn, it will be calm enough that we get a good view of it. First bit of land we’ve seen in 30 days.”
Team Malizia passed the longitude of Cape Horn at 16:23 UTC on Monday 27 March, 29 days, 4 hours and 8 minutes after the start in Cape Town.
In the process of leading around the Horn, Malizia skipper Boris Herrmann and his team join the ‘legends of the south’ as winners of the Roaring Forties Trophy – awarded for the fastest passage between the Cape of Good Hope in Africa and Cape Horn in South America.
The Malizia crew take the Cape to Cape title in 27 days, 17 hours and 31 minutes.
With leg 3 being the longest leg in the history of The Ocean Race, this marks the first time the trophy will be awarded for a non-stop passage between the two Capes that mark the eastern and western boundaries of the south Atlantic Ocean.
Racing in the southern latitudes – what The Ocean Race sailors call the Southern Ocean – is never easy. Each and every passage of Cape Horn has to be earned, and this race has been no different.
On Sunday, Team Malizia had a scary situation on board when Rosalin Kuiper was thrown from her bunk and hit her head, suffering a cut and a concussion. Fortunately, with the support of expert medical advice, the team was able to close the wound and Rosie has been able to rest and recuperate. Early indications are that she is recovering well on board and she commented today:
“This is a cinematic hospital that I am sitting in watching the beautiful passing of Cape Horn – this wasn’t how I imagined passing Cape Horn, but I also couldn’t ask to better looked after – I am really grateful to the guys!”
Incredibly, on the 30th day of racing in leg 3, Team Malizia have crossed the longitude of Cape Horn with a lead of less than 20 miles over Team Holcim-PRB, with both boats finally gaining some separation from Biotherm and 11th Hour Racing Team who have dropped 250 miles behind.
“It will be a fight all the way up to the finish in Itajaí,” is the assessment from Harris. “Team Holcim-PRB is only a few miles behind us. They’re doing an amazing job of pushing us as well. We’ll need our best game. It’s a long way to go – 2000 miles – and we’re looking forward to it.”
The light conditions which have hurt Biotherm and 11th Hour Racing Team over the past 12 hours are expected to give way to stronger winds, but at 250 miles behind, their passage of Cape Horn is still some 18 hours away, now expected on Tuesday morning UTC.