After nearly 35 days of racing and a battle royal with Holcim-PRB, Malizia-Seaexplorer skippered by Boris Herrmann and his cosmopolitan crew arrived in Brazil to clinch victory in the 3rd Leg of The Ocean Race. The IMOCA crossed the finish during Saturday-Sunday night after 34 days 17 hours 10 minutes 28 seconds at the end of a 14,714 nautical mile course. It is the longest leg in the history of this crewed round the world race with stopovers, this leg being from Cape Town, South Africa, to Itajaí in Brazil via the Southern Ocean.


A victory for the team 

As he stepped onto the dock, an elated Boris Herrmann commented: “Winning this leg is an unreal moment, it’s taken time to realise what we have achieved, that the dream is coming true. Dreaming of doing The Ocean Race, doing this amazing leg through the Southern Ocean, finishing it after all the trouble we had early on, and winning it!! Four weeks ago, if I had been told ‘Repair your mast because you might win this leg’, I would not have believed it and said that’s not possible, we are too far behind and can’t push the boat anymore. But it worked out beyond our expectations. This was a full team win, and I’m very proud of what we achieved”.


The German skipper from Yacht Club de Monaco can be proud of this victory.

Boris Herrmann and his crew (Will Harris, GB, Rosalin Kuiper, PB, Nico Lunven, FRA, and Antoine Auriol, FR/GER, discovered a few days after the start that their mast was seriously damaged.


After considering returning to the Cape, they eventually spent nearly two days repairing the mast at sea, with no guarantee as to the outcome. “When I think back to that day, we had just started, we’d lost a sail and damaged the mast, we really thought about going back to Cape Town,” said Will Harris.


This setback allowed Team Holcim-PRB to take the lead by hanging on to a depression that left them 600 nautical miles ahead. Malizia-Seaexplorer set off in hot pursuit, gradually gaining ground.


As the fleet headed to the south of New Zealand and southern edges of the Pacific Ocean, the teams were within 10 nautical miles of each other and traded places as they skirted the ice exclusion zone. A power struggle so intense that Rosalin Kuiper was thrown from her bunk and hit her head. With priority given to Rosie’s recovery, the crew was stretched to a three-person shift rotation for the rest of the leg.


Storm on the Friday 

The neck and neck continued and as they rounded Cape Horn Team Malizia-Seaexplorer was ahead by just 30 nautical miles. The final sprint up the South American coast to Brazil was a hard battle between the two lead boats caught in a storm on the Friday.


A low pressure system generating 40-plus knots of wind and horrendous seas dominated Friday / Saturday night. “We were on the home straight, we had to keep pushing and pushing to keep the boat straight and balanced, I must admit it was pretty tense,” said Boris who remained totally focused up to the final tacks. Kevin Escoffier’s Holcim-PRB team was second but with two stage wins under their belt retains the lead in the overall ranking. Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team and Paul Meilhat’s Biotherm are still racing, while Guyot Environnement – Team Europe was forced to retire.


Leg 4 starts 23rd April heading for Newport.


The Ocean Race 2022-23 – 2 April 2023. The Ocean Race 2022-23 – 2 April 2023. Team Malizia wins leg 3.