Vendee Globe: Pip Hare first British skipper to cross finish line in France

Hare completed the race on a 21-year-old IMOCA Medallia

Pip Hare already has plans to return to the Vendee Globe race after becoming the first British skipper to reach the finish in the 2020-21 race.

She arrived in Les Sables D’Olonne on Thursday at 00:57 GMT, in 19th place, 95 days after leaving the French port.

The 47-year-old becomes only the eighth woman to finish the single-handed non-stop round the world yacht race, which was first contested in 1989.

“I am coming back. Now I have seen it, I know what to expect,” said Hare.

“I know where I can improve. I have to be back, it is just an incredible race. It stretches you so much as a person, why would you not want to come and do it again?”

Hare, who dreamt of taking part in the race, did so on a 21-year-old boat, the oldest yet to finish this edition.

She managed to overcome several problems, including rudder damage, but said the “last six hours were the most stressful of the race” after her boat suffered more damage.

“The sea started to get quite slammy and literally I just went over a wave, bang, and I knew straight away it was the keel lines,” she added.

“And I have run out of spare keel lines, so I had to get down inside the boat and work a solution with the old lines.

“We – me and Medallia – are pretty pleased to be here and this boat is sick of me.”

Hare, from Poole, Dorset, was buoyed during the race by a surprise birthday message from Hollywood actor Russell Crowe during the race.

And French ocean racer Jean Le Cam, who finished fourth, said: “She is a ray of sunshine, what she is doing in incredible.”

Yannick Bestaven was declared the winner of the race on 28 January, after being handed a time bonus for his role in rescuing a fellow competitor.

He crossed the finish line in 80 days, 13 hours, 59 minutes and 46 seconds.

Hare, who took 95 days, 11 hours, 37 mins and 30 seconds, covered the 24,365 miles of the theoretical course at an average speed of 10.63 knots and the actual distanced that she travelled on the water was 27,976.87 miles at 12.21 knots.

No woman has won the Vendee Globe, though Britain’s Dame Ellen MacArthur finished second in the 2000-01 race.

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