Please select your home edition
Marine Resources 2022 - LEADERBOARD

Vendée Globe update: Pip Hare 'back in the groove'

by Vendée Globe 5 Feb 2021 23:46 PST 6 February 2021

Pip Hare writes this morning: We feel like we are back in the groove today. I've done sail changes, reefs in and out all day and Medallia has been cruising her way through the waves in that downwind style we got so used to at the beginning of the race. It has been utter bliss.

I am pushing hard. There is no question that I am going to encounter gale force conditions between now and the finish line and at the moment, the more miles I can make to the East the less time I will have to spend in the gale. It's taken a bit of time to find the groove as the wind this morning was very unstable but finally, as the sunset approaches I feel we are making a decent speed and it feels good. The nights are long at the moment, there is no moon and I am starting to encounter quite a bit of commercial shipping so my instruments are all set to sound in the event of traffic or wind shifts and we will push on through the night to gybe mid-morning.

I have to admit to being nervous about the oncoming weather system. The grib file shows I may encounter 30-34 knots for 12 hours and this would have seemed like business as usual in the Southern Ocean but after 13 weeks at sea I know that the power of the wind and the waves will find any weakness that may have been developing and regardless of the confidence I have built in heavy weather during this race, it is still incredibly challenging managing a boat this size safely in rough conditions. I have checked the whole boat from bow to stern today. Two days ago I made a further fix to the steering quadrant on my port rudder which is not a great fit and has been slowly slipping. I checked that today and it is holding fast. I want and need to push, I am still racing the clock and aspiring to finish in the best time I possibly can but I don't want to make a stupid mistake or overlook at detail at this stage. It doesn't matter how close to the finish, I am still only ever a step away from a race ending mistake. If there was a way around this weather I would take it but there is none so I just need to keep being thorough and meticulous and work my way through it with caution.

I guess I am nervous because the stakes seem high but I need to trust that I can get through this well. I never doubted myself before and it seems a bit odd that I feel this way now.

Vendee Memory two: My first solo sail on an IMOCA was only my second sail ever on this boat. I had spent the month of January 2019 getting the boat lifted, mast out and surveyed, commissioning the boat back into sailing condition after it had sat unused for ten months in Lorient. I had a 36 hour weather window to delivery the boat from Port La Foret to Poole in February. I decided to do it alone, after all I had to go out solo at some point. I left under engine in calm conditions in the afternoon and was absolutely terrified by the size of the boat and the delivery ahead. There was no wind and I motored until Ouesant. An alarm went off and I needed to go forward to investigate if there was a leak. But every time I tried to crawl through a tunnel I would hear a noise on deck and be paralysed with the fear that the pilot had stopped or something was loose and would leg it back out on deck to check. It took me six hours to get around the whole boat and reassure myself everything was ok. By the time I got to Ouessant the breeze had built and I rolled out my J2 to reach across the channel. Slowly the wind built and despite my starting with the assertion I would make the delivery with two reefs and a J3, before I knew it I was reaching at 15 knots with 1 reef and the J2, dolphins on the bow and loving it. I made it to Poole just as the next weather front came in and had a hairy entrance to the port. From that moment I knew I had made the right decision stepping up to an IMOCA. It was going to be tough but I could do it.

Today's motivational Vendee Tunes: Going Undergroud - The Jam.

Find out more...

Related Articles

Thousands honour Vendée Globe skippers
Emotions and celebrations suppressed by the pandemic for over a year came bursting to the fore Tens of thousands of partying, passionate Vendée Globe race fans and well-wishers lined Les Sables d'Olonne's Grand Plage, the main sea front promenade, last night (Friday) to honour the heroic 2020-2021 skippers. Posted on 5 Jun
Dalin: "The year couldn't have started better"
With victory in the IMOCA Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race Charlie Dalin (Apivia) won the third edition of the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race which in fact is his first solo victory in IMOCA and his fourth overall IMOCA race win since 2019 in all different formats combined. Posted on 22 May
25 skippers for Vendée Arctic-Les Sables d'Olonne
A race of discovery to the northern waters of the Arctic Circle Alain Leboeuf, President of SAEM Vendée and the Department of Vendée has just presented the skippers of the second edition of the Vendée Arctic - Les Sables d'Olonne, more than 2 years from the 10th edition of the Vendée Globe. Posted on 20 May
2020 Vendée Globe skippers grand parade
Taking place on the Remblai in Les Sables d'Olonne on Friday 3rd June To launch the summer season, the festivities will begin on Friday 3rd June 2022 with the Grand Parade of the 2020 Vendée Globe Skippers, to celebrate these men and women of the sea. Posted on 14 May
The dream makers - Episode 4
Marrying up skippers and sponsors It is a long and mostly difficult path to the start line of the Vendée Globe and not everyone makes it. Here is number four in our series of those team members who work behind the curtain in a while variety of different roles Posted on 21 Apr
Vendée Arctique: Two months to go
Skippers will leave Les Sables d'Olonne and head north towards icy waters of the Arctic Circle At 5:00 pm on Sunday 12th June 2022 will be given the start of the Vendée Arctique, the first chapter of the Vendée Globe 2024 adventure. Posted on 13 Apr
The vanguard of a new generation
Harayda sets his course for the 2024 Vendée Globe In a few days time young British skipper James Harayda will take over his new IMOCA 60, Stéphane Le Diraison's 2007Groupe Finot designed and built A Time For Oceans, and his ambition of taking on the 2024 Vendée Globe takes one enormous step forward. Posted on 3 Apr
Twice as many cellulose fibres as microplastics
Fabrice Amedeo collected 53 samples using the microplastics sensor fitted aboard his sailboat A study by three French institutes: Ifremer, the University of Bordeaux and the IRD (a public research institution), reveals that the surface water of the Atlantic Ocean is twice as polluted by cellulose fibres as it is by microplastics. Posted on 2 Apr
Éric Bellion creating thefirst Vendée Globe “team”
One of the best rookies of the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe returns Now, just these past days having turned 46, Eric Bellion - who was one of the best rookies of the 2016-2017 Vendée Globe - is is off and running again. Posted on 21 Mar
NOR for Vendée Arctique 2022 is published
IMOCA skippers will leave from Port Olona on June 12th The President of SAEM Vendée, the organisers of the Vendée Arctique and the Vendée Globe, publish the Notice of Race detailing the rules for participation in the Vendée Arctique - the first qualifying race for the Vendée Globe 2024 Posted on 18 Mar
Cyclops 2022 May FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTERLloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px2 BOTTOM