In this Vendee Globe special, we spoke to Will Harris, Boris Herrmann’s Co-Skipper about what his role is within Team Malizia and how they have prepared for the 24,000 non-stop, solo circumnavigation race.

  • What preparations did you make for the Vendee Globe? 

Preparation is everything going into the Vendee Globe! The main focus is testing all the systems onboard to make sure they are reliable and to minimise breakages during the race. We focused on what spares to bring during the race – what do we absolutely need? and what can we do without/ use for more than one purpose?

  • What is your role within the team?

My role within the team involves working on the performance and preparation of the boat in the build up to the Vendee. There is a lot to do for a solo skipper in the build up to the Vendee so my role is effectively taking some of the weight off Boris. I deal with the boat setup, weather strategy planning and food and spares organisation.

  • Since completing the Vendee Arctique race back in July, were there things you have had to change to maximise performance?  

The Vendee Arctique race was our first race test with the new foils fitted to the boat and we learnt so much from this race and the weeks training before. From the race we made big changes to polar speeds, sail choices in different conditions and foil setups.

  • What have you learnt from preparing for the Vendee globe race? 

There is an endless list of things to prepare for a race of this length. The important part of preparation is to prioritise with the time and resources we have available. What is at the top of the list is usually things that could end or stop you from completing the race and working out how to prevent them. The time for each job is also much longer. For example preparing the food takes days and a lot of thought.

  • Has covid impacted upon training and racing?

We were lucky enough to be able to keep slowly working away on the boat. It was quite frustrating to have the 2 transatlantic races cancelled to New York but we had to make the most of the reduced sailing time. Our objective was to complete 15,000 miles before the Vendee to test everything. We only completed about 5,000 so had to make do with the less testing time.

  • What is your favourite Marlow rope on the boat and why?

Our favourite rope is the D1278 core and Vectran®/Technora® cover used for our mainsheet and vang. This rope is probably used the most on the boat and is constantly on a winch. It withstands such high usages for a very long time period and we don’t expect to have to replace it during the Vendee.

  • Why did you choose to partner with Marlow? 

 Marlow has been a brand at the forefront of yacht racing for years. Reliability is crucial in a race of this length so we were excited to partner with Marlow to use their well tested products. We are a fast moving team and need products often at short notice. Marlow have provided excellent customer service and promptly delivered orders when we have needed them.

For more information about our partnership with Boris, click here

Photo credits: ©Vincent Curutchet | IMOCA, ©Andreas Lindlahr / Team Malizia