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© Yvan Zedda/Alea
Vendée Globe 2020

The Vendée winner of the hearts

Boris Herrmann did not win the Vendée Globe, but he won the hearts of all sailors internationally.

von
Kerstin Zillmer
in
2 Minuten

Boris Herrmann has crossed the finish line. After the dramatic turn on the last evening of the circumnavigation, when the 39-year-old collided with a fishing trawler less than 100 miles from the finish line, the professional sailor from Hamburg has made it. He was the first German ever to take part in the toughest solo race around the globe, delivering consistent performance – until his crash, which knocked him off the podium from a possible second place. Nevertheless, Boris Herrmann is the winner of hearts in this Vendée Globe.

Anything but a introvert salty dog

Because Boris Herrmann embodies a new type of professional sailor: not the weather-beaten, introvert salty dog who only talks when reporting on his heroic deeds. Boris Herrmann is an open and communicative person who prefers to be in company rather than sailing alone. One who has introduced us to sailing and the solitude and nature out there in his many video calls. And who has made sailing an exciting event for those who have not sailed yet, but may do so soon.

  • Boris Herrmann © Yvan Zedda/Alea
  • Boris Herrmann © Yvan Zedda/Alea
  • Boris Herrmann © Yvan Zedda/Alea
  • Boris Herrmann © Yvan Zedda/Alea

The fact that he still found the time to inform the world about his status with a video – despite the collision with a fishing trawler that was obviously invisible in the radar, the shock in the eagerly waiting sailing community, the subsequent emergency repair and the slow final sailing towards Les Sables – all this is a testament to his absolute professionalism to finish the regatta with a cool head and an attitude of sympathy and optimism.

With the time credit closer towards the Top 3

Boris Herrmann comes in fourth place with a time credit of six hours for his part in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier – with 80 days, 14 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds sailed. Then, so close to the finish, after 99.6 % of the distance sailed, came the crash.

Boris Herrmann
Bow with a bump © Yvan Zedda/Alea
Boris Herrmann
The failing foil © Yvan Zedda/Alea

Boris Herrmann had started in November without much prospect of a podium finish. His plan was to end the race in the top 10 – and to bring the boat home in one piece. The man from Hamburg is not a dare-devil like Alex Thomson, who steered his brand-new „Hugo Boss“ foiling yacht right into the storm. But he always sailed very well in the leading group. Until shortly before the end. The Malizia team, which has given him such great support, is happy: being among the top 5 is absolutely great.

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