The Ocean Race: Fandom for Kiel fly-by

Published on June 9th, 2023

Aarhus, Denmark (June 9, 2023) – The last time The Ocean Race was in Kiel was on June 9, 2002, and the German team illbruck was being celebrated for winning the Volvo Ocean Race. In the crowd was a young German sailor beginning his career – Boris Herrmann – and the event made a lasting impression.

“I used to live in Kiel, I finished my studies there, I sailed and trained a lot there, so I have a great connection to the city,” Herrmann said. “I also experienced The Ocean Race myself there in 2002 with the legendary victory of the illbruck. I was on the water and remember that day as if it was yesterday.”

Today, the IMOCA fleet in The Ocean Race returned to Kiel today for an afternoon fly-by, and the crowds were out in force to cheer on Herrmann, now the skipper of Team Malizia.

“Racing into the Kieler Innenförde with my team and boat, after having sailed around the world, and seeing the many fans expected there is something I am really looking forward to,” he said yesterday before leaving Aarhus, Denmark.

But today, the competitive advantage went to Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team, leading the fleet into the fjord, around the turning mark and back out to sea toward the finish in The Hague.

But the love and affection from the crowd in Kiel was for the final two boats, Herrmann’s Malizia and GUYOT environnement – Team Europe with German Olympian Robert Stanjek and national champion Phillip Kasüske on board.

“Look at how many boats there are, it’s unbelievable,” Herrmann said over the television feed with a big smile as his team made their way up the fjord. “This is very, very nice. This moment has been a big motivation for us the entire race.”

In the VO65 fleet, the racing has been fast after making the turn at the Langesund marker just off the coast of Norway. Pablo Arrarte’s WindWhisper Racing Team led the fleet around the mark and remains in a close battle with the Mirpuri / Trifork Racing Team. Further back, three teams have split away, staying close to the coast, led by Team JAJO.

“It’s been tough since the start,” said Joy Fitzgerald on Team JAJO. It was a really long first night, with a lot of manouevres, a lot of sail changes, and so we’re all just trying to catch up on a bit of sleep now.

“We’ve had no wind, a little wind and then we had all the wind! It was pretty wet on deck as well!!”

As of 1600 UTC today, the VO65 fleet is charging south towards an offshore turning mark, before heading back towards the west coast of Denmark and then being freed up to head to the finish in The Hague.

The finish for both fleets in The Hague is expected on June 11.

IMOCA Rankings at 21:15 UTC
1. 11th Hour Racing Team, distance to finish, 551.9 nm
2. Holcim-PRB, distance to lead, 14.2 nm
3. Biotherm, distance to lead, 16.6 nm
4. GUYOT environnement, distance to lead, 25.0 nm
5. Team Malizia, distance to lead, 25.1 nm

VO65 Rankings at 21:15 UTC
1. WindWhisper Racing, distance to finish, 412.8 nm
2. Team JAJO, distance to lead, 4.6 nm
3. Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team, distance to lead, 6.1 nm
4. Austrian Ocean Racing – Team Genova, distance to lead, 9.0 nm
5. Viva Mexico, distance to lead, 12.8 nm
6. Ambersail 2, Did Not Start

Leg 6: From Aarhus, Denmark to a mark at Kiel, Germany and then back up and around the top of Denmark to the finish in The Hague, The Netherlands (800nm)
Leg 7: From The Hague, Netherlands, down the coast of western Europe, though the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean Sea for the finish in Genova, Italy (2200nm)

Race detailsRouteTrackerScoreboardContent from the boatsYouTube

IMOCA Overall Leaderboard (after 5 of 7 legs)
1. 11th Hour Racing Team — 28 points
2. Team Holcim-PRB — 27 points
3. Team Malizia — 24 points
4. Biotherm — 17 points
5. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe — 2 points

IMOCA: Name, Design, Skipper, Launch date
• Guyot Environnement – Team Europe (VPLP Verdier); Benjamin Dutreux (FRA)/Robert Stanjek (GER); September 1, 2015
• 11th Hour Racing Team (Guillaume Verdier); Charlie Enright (USA); August 24, 2021
• Holcim-PRB (Guillaume Verdier); Kevin Escoffier (FRA); May 8, 2022
• Team Malizia (VPLP); Boris Herrmann (GER); July 19, 2022
• Biotherm (Guillaume Verdier); Paul Meilhat (FRA); August 31 2022

The Ocean Race 2022-23 Race Schedule:
Alicante, Spain – Leg 1 (1900 nm) start: January 15, 2023
Cabo Verde – ETA: January 22; Leg 2 (4600 nm) start: January 25
Cape Town, South Africa – ETA: February 9; Leg 3 (12750 nm) start: February 26
Itajaí, Brazil – ETA: April 1; Leg 4 (5500 nm) start: April 23
Newport, RI, USA – ETA: May 10; Leg 5 (3500 nm) start: May 21
Aarhus, Denmark – ETA: May 30; Leg 6 (800 nm) start: June 8
Kiel, Germany (Fly-By) – June 9
The Hague, The Netherlands – ETA: June 11; Leg 7 (2200 nm) start: June 15
Genova, Italy – The Grand Finale – ETA: June 25, 2023; Final In-Port Race: July 1, 2023

The Ocean Race (formerly Volvo Ocean Race and Whitbread Round the World Race) was initially to be raced in two classes of boats: the high-performance, foiling, IMOCA 60 class and the one-design VO65 class which has been used for the last two editions of the race.

However, only the IMOCAs will be racing round the world while the VO65s will race in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint which competes in Legs 1, 6, and 7 of The Ocean Race course.

Additionally, The Ocean Race also features the In-Port Series with races at seven of the course’s stopover cities around the world which allow local fans to get up close and personal to the teams as they battle it out around a short inshore course.

Although in-port races do not count towards a team’s overall points score, they do play an important part in the overall rankings as the In-Port Race Series standings are used to break any points ties that occur during the race around the world.

Held every three or four years since 1973, the 14th edition of The Ocean Race was originally planned for 2021-22 but was postponed one year due to the pandemic, with the first leg starting on January 15, 2023.

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