Please select your home edition
J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Vendée Globe update: Pip Hare 'I felt tiny'

by Vendée Globe 5 Feb 02:05 PST 5 February 2021

I was standing by the mast last night, shaking out a reef, grinding that sail to the top of the mast, watching the familiar journey of my sponsors logos past my line of vision and was really struck by how small Medallia now seems.

I can still feel the power and it is enough to put me on guard when I hear a creak or a groan from the steering or we heel over fully loaded up but not yet moving forwards. But under the night sky with the deck floodlit against the featureless black ocean beneath us, I was very aware of me on my 60ft little island, in the middle of a huge ocean and I felt tiny.

I think these last two thousand miles of the course have made me feel small as well. The finish seemed close when I was at the equator but our mid -Atlantic detour has taken it further away and now with just about a week left to go we are expecting to meet with at least one big weather system and once again the boat feels small against the size and power of nature. I think the Atlantic in a way is more challenging that the South. It is less organised, the weather systems seem disruptive and I greatly miss the rhythm that allowed me to push so hard in the Southern ocean. It was full on but it seemed more uniform.

Today I has been my first downwind day since mid South Atlantic and it has been so great to feel Medallia grinding up through the gears and preparing to fly again. There was a lot of work, changing sails, leading sheets, managing with my one reaching pole and then moving all of the sail stack to the back of the boat. But once everything was in position it felt like good familiar territory. The breeze has come up a bit now and I am enjoying feeling the rumbling of water past the hull, listening to happy hum of my spare rudder, watching the pilot steer us skilfully through the puffs of wind. I missed this.

I have finally started to look at the route to the finish, it's 2100 miles direct and I will sail around 2350. It doesn't seem close at all because I know that some significant challenges lie between here and there. There are two big depressions which will cross directly over my track. The second I hope to remain ahead of the first I will almost certainly have to encounter and there is no way to avoid it. It is this system that takes all my attention. Every day I am watching, tracking, manipulating my route, trying to understand what it will look like to me. For now the best thing I can do is sail forwards down the track as fast as I can and keep looking. The plan will evolve as the forecast evolves over time.

Right now the sailing is great and I want to make sure I really soak it in and enjoy it. So soon this will not be my life anymore. I'm trying to make sure I give it everything I have got these last few days. I am drinking it in. This whole Vendee campaign has been so short, it's been incredible, from taking over as skipper of Superbigou (as my boat then was)in January 2019 having never sailed and IMOCA before, I am now just 25 months later 2100 miles from having raced single handed around the world.

Because we are in the last week or so of the race I thought I would share with you every day for the rest of the race a memory from my journey to the start of the race and also every day one of my best vendee tracks.

Memory one: I flew to the US to do a coaching delivery of a Class 40 to the Azores. It was a tight schedule, I flew into Boston, the boat was ready, we were due to leave two days later, I would get off in the Azores so my client could do the final leg to France solo and so qualify for the Route du Rhum. When I arrive in Boston I received an email from the owner of Superbigou telling me the boat was available for charter but I had to accept in the next 10 days as other people were interested. I had not seen the boat but I knew this was going to be my chance to do the Vendee. I rang my friend Paul and asked him to go to Lorient to survey the boat. I jumped on a greyhound, went to Portland, jumped on a class 40 and pushed out across the Atlantic. Four days later I received an email mid-Atlantic from Paul telling me the boat was good. At that moment mid-atlantic, with no sponsor, no IMOCA experience and having never seen the boat I took the biggest leap into the unknown ever in my life and I said yes to the charter.

Track one: Of course - Aretha Franklin - RESPECT

Find out more...

Related Articles

Big win for Ruyant and LinkedOut
After a 3-way shoot-out in the Transat Jacques Vabre After a three way battle for the overall victory, fought between LinkedOut, APIVIA and Charal it was was the partnership of Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière which prevailed to score the first major trans-ocean race win for the LinkedOut team. Posted on 29 Nov
21 Vendée Globe skippers set to race the TJV
The strong IMOCA class sees 22 boats racing No fewer than 21 skippers from the last Vendée Globe 2020-2021 will leave to cross the Atlantic Sunday from start line of the Transat Jacques Vabre, the double handed race which this year follows a 5800 nautical miles course finishing in Martinique. Posted on 6 Nov
Alex Thomson: "What they want is to have a father"
Interview after his confirmation he will not compete in the 2024 Vendée Globe To many it comes as a shock, even if he has been unusually quiet since he had to retire from the last Vendée Globe. But British skipper Alex Thomson confirmed that he will not compete in the 2024 Vendée Globe. Posted on 29 Oct
The suspense is at its peak!
Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries is living up to all its promises This first edition of the Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries is living up to all its promises: boats everywhere, total uncertainty about the weather conditions to come... the race is exciting! Posted on 28 Oct
2024 Vendée Globe Notice of Race published
Rules of participation are put in place three years before the start The SAEM Vendée, the organizing entity behind the Vendée Globe, has just published the Notice of Race which details the rules for competing in the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 21 Oct
Louis Duc: This is a boat which wanted to go again
The qualifying route in the Vendée Globe 2024 has many key stages Some one month before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre race, Louis Duc (Kostum - Lantana Paysage) who is looking to race the 2024 Vendée Globe is stepping up his preparations with Marie Tabarly, his coskipper for the Transat Jacques Vabre. Posted on 10 Oct
The Vendée Globe is back on Virtual Regatta
Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries will start on 10th October 2021 The Vendée Globe eSeries: 4 stages of preparation for the e-Vendée Globe 2024. First round: the Vendée Globe Atlantic eSeries will start on 10th October 2021 and registration opens at 18:00 today. Posted on 3 Oct
An ambitious IMOCA project for Armel Tripon
Latest IMOCA boat to be built using carbon fibre remains from AIRBUS in Nantes Latest IMOCA boat to be built using carbon fibre remains from AIRBUS in Nantes. Posted on 1 Oct
Défi Azimut, plenty of promise
What is the Azimut-Lorient Agglomeration Challenge? Last weekend in Lorient, 14 duos contested the last official event before November's Transat Jacques Vabre. While Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat once again demonstrated their talent Posted on 26 Sep
The Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne 2022
The first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024 The SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Globe, will also organize the "Vendée Arctic - Les Sables-d'Olonne" which will be the first qualifying stage for the Vendée Globe 2024. The "Arctic Vendée Les Sables-d'Olonne" will leave from Port Olona Posted on 21 Sep
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERArmstrong-Suptonic-728x90-2 BOTTOMC-Tech 2021 (Spars-QFX Racer) 728x90 BOTTOM