With an average speed of 26.71 knots (50 km/h) over 24 hours in Leg 5 of The Ocean Race, Boris Herrmann’s Team Malizia has gained a new monohull world record sailing 641.13 nautical miles over 24 hours.

Team Malizia’s crew took a brief moment to celebrate after hearing that they had won the hard-fought-for world 24-hour distance record late on Friday night during Leg 5 of The Ocean Race! The crew, composed of skipper Boris Herrmann, co-skippers Will Harris, Rosalin Kuiper, Yann Eliès, and onboard reporter Antoine Auriol, have broken the distance record for a monohull, having covered 641.13 nautical miles in 24 hours at 22:40 UTC time on 26 May 2023. 

On hearing the good news, the sailing crew cheered, praising the boat and joyfully shouting about the record, in a message sent back to the shore team who had been impatiently waiting on the edge of their seats for the race committee to confirm the numbers. 

Setting this new benchmark means a lot to skipper Boris Herrmann who collaborated closely with French designer VPLP to create this new breed of IMOCA. After winning the long Southern Ocean Leg, winning The Roaring Forties Trophy (fastest Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn passage) and now breaking the 24-hour world distance record, there can be no doubt that the designer and Boris made some bold but wise decisions. The Malizia - Seaexplorer race yacht sailing under the flag of The Yacht Club de Monaco has broken both the IMOCA and crewed monohull 24-hour distance records.

© Antoine Auriol - Team Malizia

Boris Herrmann commented last night: “Congrats to all the team, it feels a little bit unbelievable and still like everyone is hesitant to celebrate but we are super happy and have only good vibes. It’s great to see that the boat can do so well. We had exceptional conditions with a flat sea, the wind steady from the right direction, the right angle for such a long time. No sail changes, actually, we took a reef in and out, so we slowed down for these two moments, but apart from that, nothing slowed us down for a longer time. Sometimes, the waves got a little bit shorter and we would slow down to 18 knots and get a bit stuck in the sea. Most of the time the boat would pass the sea perfectly and fly at 27 to 34 knots, it felt really relaxed.”

The German skipper added: “In a way, it didn’t feel like pushing and we didn’t think we would be able to break the record, so we were quite relaxed most of the time except in the three last hours where the excitement of maybe breaking the record built up. And then there was an epic, funny, exciting moment, such a good team spirit and thanks to all the team here and on land and our partners that have made this possible and have built this amazing boat, I am super proud of everyone and Malizia - Seaexplorer.”

“Being the fastest monohull in the world in 24 hours is the dream of every sailor,” commented Team Malizia co-founder and vice-president of the Yacht Club de Monaco Pierre Casiraghi. “I am so proud of the team and all the work that has been done to get there!”

© Antoine Auriol - Team Malizia

Leg 5 of The Ocean Race has been a record-breaking one, with Swiss Team Holcim-PRB extending the record previously held by 100-foot maxi-monohull Comanche, which was crewed by 15 sailors, from 618 to 640.9 nautical miles. Less than 24 hours later, Team Malizia beat their Ocean Race competitor with a new distance of 641.13 nm, well and truly shattering the Comanche record.

Co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper said: “What an incredible feeling and an unreal feeling, it is a sailor's dream to break the world monohull speed record. There are teams that are planning this for years and waiting for the right time slots and we are doing this in an Ocean Race. I am so proud, I am proud of the boat and I am proud of the team. We pushed and we proved to the world that we have a very fast boat, we have the fastest boat in the world, we show it to everyone. It is an incredible feeling, a sailor's dream, for me this has more meaning than anything else, it is a very special moment. I am very happy!”

© Antoine Auriol - Team Malizia

The leg started slowly for the German-led team, who struggled to find their pace in the opening days. Since then, they have pushed ahead striving for every inch of distance to try and reach the record, drastically closing the gap to the two leading boats, and scoring a maximum of points when they cross the finish line in Aarhus. Digging deep and not giving up is something that Team Malizia has become synonymous with after the troubles with the mast in the Southern Ocean leg, fighting back to gain this record is yet another sign of that spirit. In true sailor fashion, the team toasted the achievement with a bottle of Talisker x Parley Wilder Seas Whisky, to commemorate the momentous occasion and to thank the Ocean and elements for the success.

Leg 5 is expected to finish in Aarhus on Monday, with less than 1,000 nautical miles left to sail, there is still all to be played for in this intense, fast, and double-point counting leg. The Baltic Sea can be hard to navigate but hopefully, native Boris Herrmann will have some tricks up his sleeve in order to finish strong. 


Source: Team Malizia