Published: August 22, 2021 | Updated: August 23, 2021
Biz Gallery: Reception in honour of Pip fires the starting pistol for her 2024 Vendée Globe race
“I feel so lucky and so well supported.
“A huge thank you to PHC for giving me a home.”
The words of inspirational solo sailor Pip Hare.
She was speaking at a reception hosted by Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) at Poole Quay Boat Haven.
The event followed her decision to accept the offer of a berth for her new boat, Medallia.
It effectively fired the starting pistol on her campaign to sail single-handed, non-stop, around the world as a competitor in the 2024 Vendée Globe.
She is only the eighth woman in the world to ever complete the race after finishing the 24,296 mile 2020/21 Vendée Globe in 95 days, 11 hours and 30 seconds.
Poole became Pip’s home port for the first time in 2019.
Back then things were very different, she recalled.
“I had a clear vision but a bank loan, an old boat and I needed to find a home,” Pip told assembled guests.
But a ‘white knight’ came in the form of Kerrie Gray, PHC’s Marina Manager, pictured with Pip.
She won the support of her bosses for her suggestion to offer Pip a berth at Poole Quay Boat Haven.
It allowed the sailor to concentrate on her 2020/21 race where she finished as the first British skipper, and in 19th place overall, despite having one of the oldest boats in the fleet.
Reflecting on her 2020/21 campaign, Pip said: “The race was more than I dreamed it could be and I enjoyed it more than I thought was humanly possible.”
This time things couldn’t be more different.
The 47-year-old now has her boat, key sponsor – Medallia – and a home berth all in place with more than three years to go before the start of the next Vendée Globe race in November 2024.
Jim Stewart, PHC’s CEO, pictured, said he was “slightly wary” when it was first suggested that a berth should be offered to Pip in 2019.
However, over the following months he had got to know her well, describing Pip as an “extraordinary human being”.
She was ferociously competitive with communication skills which were second to none while her heroism was “just astonishing”.
Above all, Jim said, Pip was “one of the nicest, most inspiring people I’ve ever met.”
He added that he had been utterly captivated – along with tens of thousands across the globe – as he watched Pip’s progress on social media.
Pip’s boat for the 2024 Vendée Globe is a much newer generation IMOCA, the 2016 foiling Verdier/VPLP model.
It was raced as Bureau Vallée II by Louis Burton in the 2020/21 Vendée Globe to third overall.
Guests at the reception were given a tour of the craft.
Dorset Biz News Gallery – pictures courtesy of Richard Crease/PHC.