Boris Herrmann is the new IMOCA Globe Series champion, after a remarkably consistent campaign by his Team Malizia over the last three years.
The championship is calculated by accumulating the scores of skippers and their teams in the major IMOCA Class races, among them the Vendée Globe, the Route du Rhum, the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Bermudes 1000 and the Vendée Arctique.
The German skipper, who is among the very best ambassadors for the IMOCA Class, said the plan for his team going back to 2018 was to aim for the Vendée Globe and to try to put together a competitive entry. That meant doing all the races leading up to the round-the-world race and he said he is delighted to emerge at the end of it as the new champion.
“In order to prepare well, to be safe and to create value for our sponsors and to develop the project, we wanted to sail in all of the IMOCA programme and do as much as possible and we did,” said Herrmann.
“And we finished all the races and we never abandoned a race, which is great. There is a little bit of luck involved, of course, but not abandoning is really important for me and is more important than the result in any specific race.” said Herrmann.
The Vendée Globe apart, Herrmann’s finishes included sixth position in the Bermudes 1000, seventh place in the Rolex Fastnet Race and fifth in the Route du Rhum, all of them races in which the German skipper sailed in his characteristic conservative style, ensuring that his boat made it to the finish.
He says while he is proud of being the top skipper in the ranking, it is important to remember that many of his rivals were not able to complete the full programme as he was, because they may have been waiting for sponsors or preparing their boats. “Of course I am delighted but we have to be honest about it,”he said. “I think Yannick’s project started later than ours and not everyone has the financial means or the planning possibilities to come to all the races.”
IMOCA Class president Antoine Mermod saluted Herrmann’s achievement. “On behalf of all my colleagues at IMOCA we congratulate Boris and Team Malizia who have completed a very impressive IMOCA Globe Series,” said Mermod. “He is a modest champion, but his achievement, at the head of a very competitive ranking, underlines that Team Malizia has set a high standard when it comes to competing in the IMOCA Class and we look forward to seeing them back for the new series.”
Herrmann is already planning to acquire or build a new boat for the next Vendée Globe and is looking forward to another full programme of IMOCA racing in the next few years. “Certainly we stay in the IMOCA Class, for sure,” he said. “We will try to get the best boat we can get our hands on or build and, hopefully, we can race this year with the new owner of our current boat.”
During the Vendée Globe, Herrmann had been in line for a podium finish until the very end, however a collision with a fishing boat 90nm from the finish line meant he had to reduce speed due to damage. He revealed that he had a phone conversation with the captain of the Spanish fishing trawler that he collided with in the darkness in the closing stages of his Vendée Globe:
“We got on very well,” he said. “We are both working at sea, so we are kind of colleagues. I apologised for giving them a stressful moment and they were really deeply sorry for what happened. They follow the Vendée Globe – the captain is a Vendée Globe fan – and they were really devastated that we lost places because of it and they were worried about me. They are good people.”
Herrmann is the top-ranked non-French skipper in the IMOCA standings and in the Vendée Globe finishing positions. He says he wants to improve on fifth position in the round-the-world race and says the IMOCA Class has welcomed him with open arms.
“The French welcome us – we use the same infrastructure in Lorient as they do, and train with them at the Pôle Finistère Course au Large, so it’s great sportsmanship by everyone,” he said.
“We speak to everyone and chat on the dock – it’s such good camaraderie and we are colleagues within the class. I feel that part of my soul is almost French. I speak French, I live there and really enjoy being there too,”he added.
The remaining sailors in the top-10 are Thomas Ruyant in fourth place, Jérémie Beyou fifth, Damien Seguin sixth, Louis Burton seventh, Giancarlo Pedote eighth, Clarisse Crémer ninth and Jean Le Cam in tenth.
Top 10 of the IMOCA Globe Series 2018-21 (more about the ranking to come according to the next arrivals of the Vendée Globe)
1 – Boris Herrmann (GER) – Seaexplorer-YC of Monaco – 526 points
2 – Yannick Bestaven (FRA) – Maître CoQ IV – 517 points
3 – Charlie Dalin (FRA) – APIVIA – 512 points
4 – Thomas Ruyant (FRA) – LinkedOut – 460 points
5 – Jérémie Beyou (FRA) – Charal – 422 points
6 – Damien Seguin (FRA) – Groupe APICIL – 417 points
7 – Louis Burton (FRA) – Bureau Vallée 2 – 415 points
8 – Giancarlo Pedote (ITA) – Prysmian Group – 404 points
9 – Clarisse Crémer (FRA) – Banque Populaire X – 370 points
10 – Jean Le Cam (FRA) – Yes We Cam! – 368 points
See the rest of the rankings here
*Reminder of the official events
- Monaco Globe Series (June 1-8, 2018): double race, coefficient 2
- Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe (November 4, 2018): single-handed race, coefficient 4
- Bermuda 1000 race (May 5, 2019): double, coefficient 2
- Rolex Fastnet Race (August 3, 2019): double, coefficient 1
- Transat Jacques-Vabre (October 27, 2019): double, coefficient 4
- Vendée-Arctique-Les Sables d’Olonne (July 4, 2020): solo, coefficient 4
- Vendée Globe (November 8, 2020, finish early 2021): single-handed, coefficient 10
Each skipper scores a certain number of points according to his ranking and the number of participants and a coefficient specific to each event. Example: if 10 boats take the start of a race with a coefficient 4, the first boat scores 10 x 4 = 40 points, the second boat scores 9 x 4 = 36 points, etc.
To access the ranking of the IMOCA Globe Series and all the events, click here
To access the race tracker to replay the championship races, click here
A new IMOCA Globe Series 2021-25 Championship begins this season, to end after the next Vendée Globe 2024-25.