Malizia-Seaexplorer, Boris Hermann’s new IMOCA, designed for both The Ocean Race 2023 and the Vendée Globe 2024 by naval architects VPLP, was launched in Lorient on 19 July 2022.
Prior to the previous Vendée Globe, VPLP had already worked with the German sailor, equipping his old IMOCA with large foils to make her more competitive. Just a few months after his return to Les Sables d’Olonne where Boris Hermann secured a very fine 5th place, the initial studies were launched in order to begin construction of the forms as quickly as possible before the start of the summer 2021. Having witnessed the extreme brutality of the foilers, especially during deceleration and acceleration at sea, Boris Herrmann is convinced that things need to change to make life aboard a little less uncomfortable. “The objective no longer revolves around designing the fastest boat at all costs, rather it is to allow the sailor to be as at ease as possible to get the very best out of the boat,” confirms Quentin Lucet, in charge of the IMOCA boats at VPLP. As such, the idea is not to have the fastest hull, but to work on the boat’s average speed.
In this way, to facilitate the boat’s passage through the sea and avoid jolting, a serious amount of work has gone into the design of Malizia-Seaexplorer’s hull, with a fairly high bow, foils with a smaller surface area capable of better self-regulation, as well as a freeboard enhancing the boat’s seakeeping and making her less exposed than the previous generation. Finally, the cockpit has been carried forward, with a coachroof which provides the skipper with greater protection as well as enabling good vision to the outside. In addition, the German sailor insisted on a solid platform, because given his busy schedule - Route du Rhum, The Ocean Race, Transat Jacques Vabre then Vendée Globe – a refit to reinforce the structure for example would be very tricky to fit in.
Indeed, the boat has been designed for five sailors to live aboard during the crewed round the world race. The cockpit is higher and wider, with numerous portholes to see up forward and behind. A scale model of the cockpit was even manufactured in the run-up to her construction.