Funny story, at least I think that it’s funny. I was killing some time on The Ocean Race website this morning reading about the new 24-hour distance record set by Team Malizia. They covered 641.13 nautical miles at an average speed of 26.71 knots. That is incredibly impressive when you calculate that 641.13 nautical miles is a shade under 740 “real” miles.
The funny part of this story is that my son Tom landed in Berlin this morning and with his friends found their AirBnB. The first thing that he noticed on the coffee table was a book by the German sailor Boris Herrmann, who unbeknownst to Tom was the skipper of Malizia when they set the record. Tom remembered Boris staying at our house for a couple of weeks back when Boris was an unknown sailor and Tom was knee-high to a grasshopper. Tom thought to send me a photo of the book. His text dropped into my phone just as I was reading the article. Coincidences huh?
Now let’s put this record in perspective. For us east coasters it’s 706 miles from Boston to Detroit so you would have to drive to Detroit and do a couple of laps around the city to get to 740 miles. For those on the west coast, it’s 750 miles from San Diego to Salt Lake City. Google Maps says that it will take you around 12 hours in your car to make the journey, depending on traffic. For those of you in the south it’s only 660 miles from Mobile, Alabama to San Antonio, Texas. You would have to pass through San Antonio, take a right and end up in Austin to cover the full 740 miles.
While I have been a bit of a critic of The Ocean Race I am definitely not a critic of the IMOCA 60s. They are incredible machines and it takes incredible sailors to sail a boat at that speed for that long. Hats off to Boris and his crew – you deserve all the accolades that you get for this amazing achievement. – Brian Hancock