Maritime & Marine

Published: December 20, 2019 | Updated: December 21, 2019

Yachtswoman Pip thanks ‘amazing’ backers as world title challenge moves into new phase

Pip Hare watches as the mast of her yacht, SuperB, is lifted out of the water at the Port of Poole. Picture: Richard Crease/Poole Harbour Commissioners.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A Poole sailor who is now just 11 months away from taking part in one of the planet’s most extreme sporting events has paid tribute to her “amazing” business backers.

Inspirational yachtswoman Pip Hare is to single-handedly race her 60ft yacht, Superbigou – otherwise known as SuperB – around the world, non-stop.

She is one of just 30 international skippers who will line up for the Vendee Globe around the world race in November 2020.

Pip, 45, hopes to break the current female record, set in 2001 by Dame Ellen MacArthur who completed the course in 94 days, four hours and 25 minutes.

Only seven women in history, and fewer than ten British skippers in total, have ever finished the 24,000 mile race which is held every four years.

One of Pip’s biggest backers is Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) which has given a berth for SuperB.

This week a critical part of the build-up to the race was successfully completed when, working with PHC and WQI Marine Ltd, her yacht was successfully lifted out of the water.

The highly complex, and delicate, manoeuvre involved removing the craft and mast separately by crane.

SuperB will now undergo a three month refit over the winter to get her in perfect condition.

Pip said: “We were working to a very tight-frame and we couldn’t take the 29 metre mast out in more than 18 knots of wind – and this week has been very windy.

“In the event everything went just perfectly. The professionalism of all involved was fantastic and I can’t thank Poole Harbour Commissioners and WQI Marine enough.

“It was a really big day and another milestone successfully achieved.”

Kerrie Gray, Poole Harbour Commissioners’ Marinas Manager, said PHC was proud to be supporting Pip. She added: “We are delighted that she has chosen to stay with us. 

“We are keen to help Pip with her fundraising and introduce her to key partners in the area in order to enable her to seek out the necessary support and financial assistance that she needs.

“Pip has ambitious plans to break records and certainly has the determination and grit to do so.”

In addition to PHC, eight sponsors are backing Pip’s attempt on the title.

They are Codestone, Flag Paints & Finishes, Helly Hansen, Marlow, Store & Secure, Wessex Vans, WQI Marine Ltd and Yonder.

A business syndicate has also been formed in order to make backing the challenge as socially inclusive – and affordable – as possible.

Membership costs start from £2,000 plus VAT (personal) and £5,000 plus VAT (premier) and can be spread monthly.

So far 11 companies have signed up: Actisense, Barker, Brandwave, Composite Profiles, Davies Chiropractic and Sports Therapy Ltd, Evolve, Inspire, Intergage, Jeremy Rogers Ltd, Promarine Finance and WQI Marine Ltd.

Pip said: “I want people to be involved, inspired and energised by what I’m doing.

“The business syndicate offers all sorts of exclusive benefits from visiting SuperB, attending events and receiving newsletters to opportunities for the clients of syndicate members to get involved.

“The support I’m receiving from local businesses is amazing but there are still nine places available in the syndicate.

“I am also seeking a title sponsor.

“Now really is the time to get involved in order to fully maximise the benefits as we build up to the race in November.”