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Oliver Heer arrives in St Malo ahead of the Route Du Rhum 2022

On Wednesday 26 October, Swiss Sailor Oliver Heer and his IMOCA Gitana 80 entered the Port of St Malo, after a successful day of final training and preparation ahead of the Route Du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe race, which starts on Sunday 6th November.

The team left Port La Foret on Monday evening ahead of a building weather front for a fast downwind sail to Dinard. The boat entered the race village via the famous St Malo lock accompanied by fellow skippers, including Paul Meilhats - Biotherm, Pip Hares – Medallia and fellow Swiss Sailor Alan Roura. With the French crowds greeting the skipper in the dark with an amazing welcome as they sat in the amphitheatre created by OC Sport.

For Oliver Heer, being in St Malo and taking part in the Route Du Rhum race is a significant milestone on his journey to the 2024 Vendee Globe start-line and signifies the first major single handed race in his IMOCA career. Over the next week Oliver Heer and his team will make the final preparations to the boat, and a full check of the systems and equipment to insure everything is ready for the safety inspection, as well as packing spares, food and everything else that is required for the race.

Ollie is no stranger to race starts and what is required to get an IMOCA “off the dock” and over the start line as he was previously boat captain for Alex Thomson Racing on his IMOCA Hugo Boss, and sailed over 50,000 on Alex Thomsons IMOCA 60 from 2018 to 2021.


“Having Gitana 80, my IMOCA berthed alongside 37 other IMOCA’s is a dream come true and it’s finally hitting home that I am no longer a team member and am an IMOCA Skipper. The boat is ready and my team has done an amazing job. I can’t wait to go sailing and I am very excited to start the race and really see how both myself and my boat perform while alone at sea during my first solo race.”

Skipper – Oliver Heer


The next few days will see the team welcome partners, family and friends on board, and launch their partnership with the Swiss Polar Institute, who have provided the latest Sub C Tech Ocean sensor which will collect critical environmental data to be shared on an open source platform.

If you are in St Malo over the next few days, stop by and say hello.

About Oliver Heer Ocean Racing

Oliver Heer Ocean Racing, was established in April 2022, as a global IMOCA 60 sailing team, with Swiss roots. Managed and skippered by 34 year old Oliver Heer. The objective is to compete in the 2024 Vendee Globe, the solo, non-stop, unassisted round the world race, that takes place every four years. The next edition starts in November 2024. The management headquarters are based in Zurich, Switzerland, where Oliver was born. The skipper has a family and home in the Hamble, UK and a French registered IMOCA sailing out of Port La Foret in Brittany, France.

The race program for 2022/23:

  • Route Du Rhum - ST Malo to Guadeloupe – November 2022

  • Bermudes 1000 - Brest to Brest, France – May 2023

  • RORC Fastnet Race - Cowes, UK – July 2023

  • Defi Azimut - Lorient, France – September 2023

  • TJV - Le Havre to Martinique – October 2023

  • Back to Basics – Martinique – November, 2023

Sustainability and Climate Change

As a wind-powered sport, ocean racing is intrinsically linked with positive conversations about sustainability, climate change and environmental preservation. The team will carry the tag #RaceForChange and wants to influence behavioural changes in society that can contribute to protecting the planet for future generations.


The team is still looking for title partners and side partners to #Joinusonourjourney

For further information please contact


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