DELMA Ambassador Oliver Heer finishes The Transat CIC keeping dreams of Vendée Globe participation alive

In a display of extraordinary resilience, Swiss skipper Oliver Heer has triumphantly clawed his way across the finish line of The Transat CIC race, keeping his dream of participation in the Vendée Globe 2024 alive.

Crossing the finish line at 00:19 (Central European Time) on Friday 17th May, Ollie finally completed the solo transatlantic race in 18 days, 10 hours, 49 minutes and 32 seconds. Ollie's triumph is a demonstration of resilience and tenacity, pushing both performance and human endurance boundaries to their limit.


The Transat CIC, notorious for its punishing course and unforgiving weather, proved true to its reputation for Ollie. After a promising start, disaster struck on day six. A catastrophic autopilot failure triggered an uncontrolled gybe in heavy seas. Ollie's boat was slammed upside down, and pinned down by waves, leaving him with minor injuries and his vessel in disarray. Sails were damaged and electrical systems were fried, leaving Heer unable to use his navigation and communication systems, without an autopilot or water-maker.

Oliver Heer Ocean Racing Navigating the Ocean
Ollie entered "survival mode" for the next 24 hours. Through sheer determination he wrestled control of his battered boat and jury-rigged a temporary wiring solution from his solar panels, restoring limited power and a glimmer of hope. Yet, the relentless challenges continued. Ollie spent several frustrating days becalmed in a freezing fog bank, completely stuck and unable to make any progress towards the finish.

When the wind finally returned, it was a ferocious 30-40 knots. Without sun to power the autopilot Ollie was forced to hand-steer through the days and nights. Unable to sleep or eat, Ollie was close to exhaustion, his physical and mental reserves pushed to the limit.


"This wasn't a race in the end," Ollie reflected, "It was a battle, a fight to get both myself and my boat to the finish line safely. But more than that, it was a valiant effort to secure my position in the Vendée Globe, which is my ultimate goal. Finishing The Transat CIC to log the miles for the Vendée Globe selection is a crucial step towards that.”

Ollie finished in 25th position and over 6 days behind the previous finisher. Of the 33 IMOCA's which started, 7 retired, nearly a quarter of the fleet, demonstrating the severity of the conditions.
Oliver Heer Ocean Racing Transat CIC
With a vision to become the first Swiss German to compete in the Vendee Globe, Ollie's fight keeps this dream alive. He is one of 41 skippers vying for just 40 coveted spots on the start line of this iconic, solo, non-stop circumnavigation. The miles earned in The Transat CIC keep Ollie off the bottom of the selection table. However, for Ollie, pursuing your passion means no time to rest. He now has less than two weeks to repair his boat and regroup before setting sail once again in the New York Vendée, the return transatlantic race starting on May 29th.

DELMA congratulates Ollie on his perseverance and wishes him continued success in his pursuits. Explore the DELMA Oceanmaster worn by Ollie as he faced the Atlantic ocean and successfully completed the Transat CIC.

Discover the DELMA Oceanmaster Collection

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