After departing Brittany, they navigated the English Channel before sailing up the River Elbe on the morning of Tuesday, 06 September to the accompaniment of a flotilla of around 50 boats and in front of partners, local dignitaries, friends and family and the media.
The Mahatma Gandhi Bridge of the Sandtorhafen was opened to let the 27-metre tall IMOCA boat enter the harbour and Malizia – Seaexplorer docked to the applause of a cheering crowds, who welcomed Boris Herrmann, his crew and the boat back into town for the first time since 2018.
On his arrival, Boris Herrmann said:
"Being here is a very unusual feeling, I usually walk here with my dog or with my little daughter, and now there are so many people like I have never seen here before! Great and thank you all so much for coming! Hamburg is the home port of the Malizia – Seaexplorer, and also my home. As sailors, we are a bit superstitious and a ship christening is extremely important, so it was important for me to come to Hamburg for this."
Boris Herrmann, co-skippers Will Harris and Rosalin Kuiper, and Team Malizia Ocean Educator Birte Lorenzen-Herrmann shared their hopes and dreams for the future of the boat, in front of 150 children from local schools and sailing clubs and an enthusiastic crowd. The countdown then commenced and as the children gathered to pull a rope, champagne smashed against the hull, officially christening the boat that will go on to circle the globe twice over the next three years.
A well-attended press conference followed the ceremony, with the media showing particular interest in Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia's next big challenge, The Ocean Race. A team of four sailors and an onboard reporter will embark on the six month 'round the world' race, which starts in January 2023 in Alicante.
The Malizia Ocean Festival continued with an interesting panel discussion by leading German climate advocates from the science, business and charity sectors, focusing on the role women play as some of the leading voices taking action in the current climate.
The gathered crowd took in the Festival atmosphere and enjoyed a range of activities, which included an opportunity to meet Team Malizia face to face, a fascinating virtual reality display of underwater life, a technical tent showcasing sustainable solutions and materials, and an exhibit focusing on the team's 'My Ocean Challenge'. 'My Ocean Challenge' is Team Malizia's programme aimed at children and has a mission to promote ocean science, protection and education around the world.
Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia's 'A Race We Must Win' movement is all about increasing the global ambition around climate action and the team showcased this with an exhibition focused on ocean CO2, their onboard laboratory and the impact climate change is having on the ocean.
We wish Boris Herrmann, Team Malizia and Malizia – Seaexplorer all the very best as they embark on their epic journey and we are proud to partner with such an exciting and dynamic sailing team, who do so much to champion sustainability and climate action.