Kiel goes all out with The Ocean Race

The Ocean Race returned, 21 years later, to Kiel for the Fly By (the passage through the beacon in the canal) this Friday during the dispute of Stage 6 (Aarhus-The Hague) and the public turned to cheer on the IMOCA. Of course, one boat stood out above the rest: the German Team Malizia. His time at ‘home’ was spectacular and skipper Boris Herrmann explained that “Arriving at the Kiel Fjord with my team and my boat, after having sailed around the world, and seeing the thousands of fans waiting for us there is something that made me very excited.”

The last time The Ocean Race was in Kiel was on June 9, 2002, when the German illbruck team, with Spanish Joan Vila on board, celebrated their victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. Among the crowd was a young Boris Herrmann and the event made an indelible impression on him: “I lived in Kiel, finished my studies there, sailed and trained a lot there, so I have a great connection to the city. I also experienced The Ocean Race myself there in 2002, with the legendary victory of Illbruck. I was in the water and I remember that day like it was yesterday,” Hermann said.

As for the competition, Charlie Enright’s 11th Hour Racing Team, which led the fleet to the fjord, set up the run-off mark and headed back into the Atlantic, with Sunday’s finish in The Hague as the next target. As for the VO65 fleet, which did not perform this Fly By in Kiel, it heads south towards a diversion beacon in the high seas, before returning to the west coast of Denmark towards The Hague (the estimated time of arrival it’s on Sunday). Pablo Arrarte’s WindWhisper Racing Team led the fleet past the Langesund mark, off the Norwegian coast, and remains in a close battle with the Mirpuri/Trifork Racing Team with Chuny Bermúdez de Castro as skipper. Further back, three teams have broken away, staying close to shore, led by Team JAJO. “It’s been tough from the start. The first night was very long, with a lot of manoeuvres, a lot of sail changes, so now we are trying to get some sleep. We’ve had no wind, then we’ve had a bit of wind, and later we’ve had full wind and got pretty wet on deck,” said Team JAJO’s Joy Fitzgerald.

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