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The Ocean Race – Boris is back

Boris Herrmann will be back as skipper of Team Malizia for Leg 3 of The Ocean Race, following the burn injury he sustained from Leg 1 to Cabo Verde

“I went to a burns specialist who had a very special treatment approach that is different from what most people would experience in Germany or anywhere in Europe. It’s a more advanced and modern treatment that has worked well for me.”

Getting burned is an ever-present risk while handling boiling water and pouring it for making hot drinks or rehydrating freeze-dried food. Herrmann admitted he was the problem rather than any shortcomings in the cooking equipment. “It was me being stupid. We are making some modifications which will be ready before the start of this leg so as to make it [the cooking equipment] as safe as it can be. We just put our freeze dried food under the valve and open the valve, which means we don’t need to move the pot with the hot water.”

The team has put aside enough food for 40 days of sailing. “It’s actually 36 full days and then a bit extra, so that when we see an immediate need we have a little bit of margin in our every-day bags. On the last leg the team found they were able to stretch some days in between, which means you always have some left over. This would be enough for the last four days or so you might need if the race is slower than expected.”

Herrmann’s return to the boat means that British crewman Will Harris steps back from the temporary skipper’s role he held for Leg 2. It won’t change the day-to-day much on board Malizia however, says Harris. The routine will remain the routine. “Everyone’s involved in every decision, whether it be a tactical discussion or whether it be safety, whether it be fixing the boat. It was a great experience for me to be skipper on the last leg. I think I learned a lot and it made me appreciate the responsibilities that Boris has being the skipper on this boat. It’s nice to learn what’s involved in the role, and now on this next leg hopefully I can apply the knowledge

“My goal is to be a useful asset to the team. We all feel like we’ve all found our niches. We’ve bonded as a team and we have found our cogs in the clock. We have a strong team, a strong boat for this next leg and really I think we have a lot of potential for the next leg. I’m really enjoying the close racing in the fleet and pushing these boats hard in all conditions, that’s what I’m looking forward to getting back to in a few days.”

Herrmann shared Harris’s optimism. “I’m looking forward to the leg because I really feel that we could perform very well. It’s not very often that you have a program in place, where the conditions seem to be aligning well for our strengths. Of course you can never be certain of the wind, if some high pressure system comes in as we sail out of Cape Town. But we’re expecting strong winds as we get into the leg and I think we are well prepared for that. Going around Cape Horn will be one of the great moments of the race. It’s such a cool landmark that I hope we can see it when we go past and be in a good place [in the race] at the same time.”

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