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Vendée Globe: Getting back to 'normal' part 2 - the internationals

by Vendée Globe 25 Feb 06:24 PST 25 February 2021

It is more than two weeks now since Pip Hare finished her Vendee Globe and she is now back at home in Poole, England. Didac Costa has returned to work with the Fire Service in Barcelona and Kojiro Shiraishi has flown back to Japan where he has two weeks of quarantine to serve before he can rejoin his family, friends and sponsors.

Meanwhile it is less than a week for Miranda Merron who is enjoying a gentle decompression in Les Sables d'Olonne not least waiting to welcome back Sam Davies on Friday

Pip Hare GBR (Medallia)

"I am getting back to normal slowly. One thing for sure is that people are horrified a the volume of food I have been eating and the speed I have been eating at. It would even put a Labrador to shame! But I lost about eight kilos of weight which is too much. I did not feel it so much until closer to the end when I felt I was really struggling to move sails around. I did not notice much in the tropics and then largely after that you are back into layers and so you are not aware so much of your body shape and how it has changed. But I have lost a lot of muscle and can wait to be back in the gym. But I have to be careful not to injure myself. I have an amazing chiropractor and sports therapist and so had sessions booked for as soon as I got back. But I am looking forwards to getting back into condition.

I am very focused already on 2024 and am looking for a boat. We are having conversations with Medallia and it is not a done deal, we need to put work into it, but I definitely want to be on the water again soon.

Medium term I want to be back for the 3 Peaks Race in September (sail and running race taking in 3 highest mountains in the UK, Snowdonia in Wales, Scafell in England's Lake District and Scotland's Ben Nevis) and win it. So I have time to train. I don't know what boat it will be. And I want to be back out doing some fun round the cans racing and sailing, like I sail on a ¼ tonner Belinda of Tom Hill which I love racing.

I did not really keep anything back in terms of secrets or confessions, I told everything."

Didac Costa, ESP, (One Planet One Ocean)

Who went back to work last week with the Barcelona Fire Service... "It has been great to be back on land and I have adapted slowly. The one thing I have enjoyed is quietness. There is always so much noise on the boat. I worked on the boat a lot before I left doing some minor repairs and checks and I spent a lot of time talking to the Spanish media who were very interested in my race thankfully. And I spend time with the Les Sables d'Olonne firefighters who are like my family in Les Sables d'Olonne.

Short term my objective is just being back at work. Mid term I am dreaming up my next sailing project and hopefully sailing again soon.

Confessions, 'sometimes I was so cold I started the engine to get some warmth and towards the end my watermaker was not working well and so I tried to add sweet dry food to the water to make it drinkable."

Kojiro Shiraishi JPN, (DMG MORI One)

"My return to land has been great. It feels great to have a more stable and steady life. I am grateful when my plates of food on the table isn't moving out of control."

"The next step for our project is to bring the boat to Japan. Dr. Mori the owner of the boat and the CEO of DMG MORI wants to make ocean racing and offshore sailing more popular in Japan. He is keen to bring young skippers to off shore sailing. And we will let you know very soon what we are going to do in the near future with this boat. I did not eat very much during this race in fact I still had three weeks of food left at the finish. As a result of this I lost nearly 10 kg of body weight. It's something I need to really take care of on for future races."

Miranda Merron GBR (Campagne de France)

For Miranda Merron the English skipper is still coming to terms with what she has achieved she admits to being a bit "in denial": "I absolutely do not realize that I have been around the world solo nonstop. On the one hand, I'm super proud and on the other hand, I don't realize it, it has not sunk in."

Physically Merron says that within hours of finishing the aches and pains really started. "In my head I am 20 years old and that was well and good during the race but after the finish...

"About two hours later the adrenalin had dissipated and everything, everything started to hurt and the aches and pains started."

She lost less weight than Hare and Shiraishi as she made a big effort to look after herself as soon as she realised she was losing weight, "I lost weight the first few weeks and then I managed to eat well. In all I lost 3 kilos."

And a final lesson to be learned from this Vendée Globe: Neptune doesn't like vinegar, Merron jokes, "Crossing back across the Equator I offered some wine that had 'turned' (gone off) and that is probably why I then had such a rotten passage up the Atlantic thereafter."

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