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Oliver Heer Ocean Racing participate in their first IMOCA event at the Defi Azimut 2022

Updated: Jan 31

The first non foiling boat in the speed trials on day one, a slow finish for the 48 hour race and an incredible 3rd out of 28 IMOCA's in the Tour de Groix race.

We are very happy coming away from the 2022 Defi Azimut achieving all our objectives, testing the boat, making new friends and becoming part of the IMOCA family.


"Le Defi Azimut is first time that we have had the chance to race against other IMOCA's and the first time we have competed in local French waters that have created so many of the Vendee globe sailors that we have so much respect for. Most of the fleet have sailed in previous Vendee Globe editions so with that in mind we came away from this event achieving everything that we wanted to achieve. Can we make the boat competitive ? .......  absolutely we can! The Route du Rhum is just around the corner and it's essential we make that start line in the best shape possible to race the distance across the atlantic."

Oliver Heer, Skipper


The speed trials took place on a rather foggy Wednesday, with poor visibility and unstable winds, OHOR were in Group Two, and they had the opportunity to do two speed runs over a mile course between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Ollie missed out on round two by just one second, that is how close and competitive this level of racing is, however the top 12 were all foiling machines, so it was probably the right time to bow out. Still, Oliver Heer Ocean Racing was the first non foiling generation hull which is a great place to end the day on.

The Solo 48 hour race gave Ollie some great time on the water to get into the routines and rhythms that will be required to race for much longer periods. However, after a bad start, it was mixed feelings for Ollie, as he got locked out on the startline and determined the rest of the race.

It’s a new boat for him and the team, and so naturally and quite rightly there is some protectiveness in close quarters, but while Ollie learns and tests how the boat responds, he knows he could have been more aggressive to get a better line off the start. Later on day one, there was a problem with the pilot, so Ollie spent most of the rest of the race steering by hand, but that is sailing!

The final day of the "Defi Azimut" saw the team smash the start, and Ollie led for two thirds of the race around the Ile De Groix. There were just 27 seconds between 1st and third and it was fantastic to end on a high!

"Coming 3rd on the final day was such a highlight of this week's racing and gives us the reassurance that in the right conditions, we have a great performing boat. Spirits were high as we realised quite what the boat is capable of. As always we have lots now that we want to go away and work on but it's a very solid start in an extremely competitive and experienced fleet.

The atmosphere has been amazing and it's such a privilege after years of being at these events to now be a skipper alongside so many greats of this race. I am very happy overall with the boat's performance and no doubt as I continue to learn how far I can push, those results will also translate to solo events. I now can’t wait to get started on the Route du Rhum.

Many thanks to all our partners and the team behind me making my dream to be at the start line of the Vendee Globe startline 2024. This has been the first major event of that journey and I have loved every minute of it. "

Oliver Heer - Skipper

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