A More Intelligent and Cleaner Approach
Published on March 28th, 2019
In 2020, Boris Herrmann will become the first German to compete in the Vendée Globe, the solo non-stop round the world race in the IMOCA 60. It will obviously be his first attempt at the course, but he is no novice in the class.
After earning fifth place in the Route du Rhum, Boris may take the lead in the IMOCA Globe Series if he gets a good result in the Bermuda 1000 Race, where he will be one of the eighteen skippers lining up on May 8th for the 2000-mile solo race course from Douarnenez to Brest, via Fastnet Rock and the Azores.
In his preparation, Herrmann is also seeking a strategic and symbolic advantage as a new feature on his boat are the solar panels which weigh less than 30 kg.
“Our hope is they perform as well as we expect,” explains Herrmann. “With their installation and the hydrogenerators, which work really well in most situations, we hope to supply 100% of the energy required without having to use the engine. I don’t want to do the Vendée Globe with 250 or 300 litres of diesel. I’m looking at taking 40-50 litres aboard in case there is a problem.
“I hope to free myself from that energy constraint. It is part of my quest for performance and a great symbol, as I shall be attempting to sail all the way around the world without using a drop of diesel. IMOCAs require a lot of energy and we simply cannot take more and more diesel aboard. We need to have a more intelligent and cleaner approach. That is why it is so interesting to have some efficient alternative energy supplies.”
One liter of diesel fuel weighs approximately 850 grams, so Hermann hopes his net weight savings is in the range of 170 kilos or 375 pounds.