What’s in a name?

The two 11th Hour Racing boats in France during the naming ceremony, Malama on the left and Alaka’I at right.

A boat’s name is an important part of its appeal, and recently the 11th Hour Racing Team had a ceremony in Concarneau, France, that firmly established the identities of two of the team’s 60-foot race boats. Previously, the boats had only carried the numbers 11.1 and 11.2. The naming ceremony was conducted by philanthropist and 11th Hour Racing co-founder Wendy Schmidt, alongside 11th Hour Racing co-founders Jeremy Pochman and Rob MacMillan. 

11th Hour dipped into the Hawaiian heritage of team CEO Mark Towill, and the brand new IMOCA 60, previously nicknamed 11.2, was named Mālama (to care for). The team’s second boat, known as 11.1, was named Alaka’I (leadership). In a press release, 11th Hour wrote, “…both boats will carry the Team’s message focusing on the urgent need to restore the health of the world’s oceans, aligning with the mission of title sponsor 11th Hour Racing.” The racing team, based in Newport, R.I., aims to compete in The Ocean Race 2022-23, a crewed, around-the-world contest. 

According to 11th Hour, the newest boat, Mālama, is the first in a new generation of IMOCA 60s, uniquely designed for round-the-world, crewed offshore racing. Most IMOCA 60s have been built for the Vendée Globe Race, which is sailed solo. In contrast, Mālama is optimized for sailing with up to five sailors onboard. Mālama was designed by Guillaume Verdier Studio, and the builder was CDK Technologies along with performance partner MerConcept.

A striking feature of Mālama is the boat’s vibrant livery which was conceived by two Italian designers, Stefano and Marco Schiavon, along with French yacht design specialist Jean-Baptiste Epron. The Schiavon brothers call their style “Gothic-pop.” The graphics of the livery were designed to interpret the theme of “What’s Under The Surface Connects Us All.”

By Story and photos by Craig Smith