Maritime & Marine

Published: February 21, 2021 | Updated: February 22, 2021

Pip-Pip Hooray! Yachtswoman returns home after sailing around the world single-handed

Pip Hare returns to Poole on board Medallia after finishing the Vendée Globe. Picture: Richard Crease/Poole Harbour Commissioners.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

The smile – and the thumbs-up – says it all.

Mission accomplished and I’m back home!

Solo yachtswoman Pip Hare returned to her hometown port of Poole on February 18, 124 days after setting sail for the start of the Vendée Globe 2020.

After 95 days, 11 hours, 37 mins and 30 seconds of racing, Pip was the first British skipper to finish the single-handed non-stop round the world yacht race.

She’s only the eighth woman ever to complete the Vendée Globe which is held every four years.

One of her key sponsors, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC), together with Dorset Marine Police, greeted her at the harbour entrance.

She then received a VIP blue light escort back to her home berth at Poole Quay Boat Haven.

PHC gave Pip a home for her yacht, Medallia, in the lead up to the race.

It was also one of the first supporters to back Pip at the start of her Vendee campaign and was determined to give her a warm welcome.

On her return Pip said: “It feels incredible to be back home in Poole.

“It all started here two years ago when PHC gave me somewhere to park my boat.

“Coming home now is just the finish of an incredible adventure.”

Pip sailed a total of 24,365 miles and came in 19th place.

Her race was not without drama.

She overcame one of her most significant technical problems in the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Replacing one of her rudders in big seas and 25 knots of wind allowed her to stay in the race.

Meanwhile Pip’s colourful and comprehensive daily reports, and her cheerful, super positive video messages, gained a global following, not least in France where the race begins and ends.

Veteran French ocean racer Jean Le Cam, who finished fourth in the race, said: “She is a ray of sunshine.

“What she is doing is incredible.”

Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm, who built Pip’s boat, an IMOCA monohull, more than 20 years ago described her as “my hero”.

Pip was welcomed back to Poole by a small crowd of wellwishers.

She was also presented with flowers by Tracy Payne, PHC’s Marketing Manager, pictured.

Captain Brian Murphy, PHC’s Harbour Master, said: “Unfortunately, the ongoing Covid situation, and the current lockdown period we find ourselves in, prevented the local community from giving Pip the hero’s welcome she so deserved.

“We appreciate how disappointed people are that the current rules mean that they could not get out on the water.

“Although this was not the homecoming we had envisaged for Pip, we could not let the occasion go completely unmarked.”

Pip’s epic race was watched closely across the world.

But none more so than by several Dorset businesses which either acted as sponsors or were part of a business syndicate.

Paul Tansey, Managing Director, Intergage: “Pip was a David to the corporate Goliaths in the Vendee Globe event. What she went through to make her dream of competing come true demanded a steely determination few will ever possess. Completing one of the world’s most dangerous endurance events places her in the elite category of sports achievers. Her humility in her achievement places her in the elite category of people. It’s just a privilege to know her.”

Warren Munson, Founder, Inspire/Evolve: “Pip, has been an absolute inspiration. All at Evolve Members and Inspire followed her journey every single day. We have been moved by Pip’s resilience, belief and passion and so proud to have been a member of the business syndicate supporting Pip from her early aspirations to this point in time. Great to have Pip successfully back safe and sound!”

Mark Norton, Managing Director, Composite Profiles UK Ltd: “It has been a privilege to support Pip to fulfil her dreams. She is an amazing inspiration and our team has loved following her journey around the globe. A great example of setting yourself huge goals and never giving up until they are achieved. Pip Hare – simply brilliant.”

Matt Barker, Managing Director, Barker Group: “An amazing achievement. Pip has been a phenomenal inspiration to us all as we have shared her tremendous spirit and endurance from the comfort of our Covid cells. We have also enjoyed sharing Pip’s journey with our clients too. Welcome home and well done from all of us at Barker Group too.” 

Medallia is now back on her berth at PHC’s award-winning, five gold anchor marina, Poole Quay Boat Haven.

Kerrie Gray, Marina Manager said: “There are very few marinas on the South Coast that could accommodate an IMOCA 60.

“It’s been a great honour to be able to provide Pip with a home during her campaign.

“It is great to see Medallia back in the marina.

“Welcome home Pip.”

  • Sponsors are Medallia (title sponsor) and Aparito, Codestone, Davies Chiropractic and Sports Therapy Limited, Flag Paints & Finishes, Flylogix, Helly Hansen, Intergage, Jarrocells, London Biggin Hill Airport, Marlow, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Resilient Nutrition, Satcase, Smartsheet, Store & Secure, Tevent, Wessex Vans, WQI Marine Ltd and Yonder.
  • Business syndicate members are Actisense, Barker, Brandwave, Composite Profiles, Evolve, Inspire, Jeremy Rogers Ltd, Promarine Finance and Saltwater Stone.
  • Pictures of Pip’s homecoming courtesey of Richard Crease/Poole Harbour Commissioners. Aerial picture by Alex Anderson, Maritime Filming UK.