German ocean racer Boris Herrmann has announced an audacious attempt to take on two major around the world races in the space of 12 months.
The 38-year-old from Hamburg was already registered to take part in the single-handed Vendee Globe non-stop around the world race which is scheduled to start from Les Sables D’Olonne, France in November 2020.
This week Herrmann confirmed his registration for The Ocean Race (formerly The Volvo Ocean Race), a multi-stage around the world race for professional race teams.
For both races Herrmann will race under the colours of Team Malizia, a professional racing team founded in 2016 by Pierre Casirgahi, Vice-President of the Yacht Club de Monaco and a close friend and sailing partner of Hermann.
Competing in two major ocean races in under 12 months is a major challenge – especially given the team intends to use the same IMOCA 60 for both races.
If he is successful in completing the Vendee Globe Herrmann – who finished fifth in last year’s singlehanded Route du Rhum transatlantic race – will become the first ever German skipper to do so.
Meanwhile he says his inspiration to take on The Ocean Race stems from the memory of the German Illbruck Challenge winning the 2001-02 edition of what was then called the Volvo Ocean Race, famously leading the fleet into a home finish in Kiel, Germany.
Herrmann described that victory as a pivotal moment for him as a young sailor.
“At that time I was 19, I had just finished the Mini Transat, and it inspired me to continue on to become a professional sailor,” he said in a video interview with The Ocean Race earlier this year.
Although he has never raced solo around the world Herrmann is no stranger to circumnavigating the globe having been part of Francis Joyon’s crew aboard the maxi-trimaran IDEC for a Jules Verne Trophy attempt in 2015.
“The Ocean Race is one of the ‘big four’ sailing races alongside the Vendée Globe, the America’s Cup and the Olympic Games and is therefore potentially attractive for our German automobile partner BMW as well,” says Herrmann.
“This is a unique opportunity for us and the entire sport of sailing in Germany.”