LOCAL Hobie sailing enthusiasts were this weekend treated to a visit from British sailing heroine Pip Hare, who recently raced around the world solo in the famous Vendée Globe.
The race – aptly nickname the ‘Everest of the Seas’ – commenced in November 2020 and saw Hare circumnavigate the world, sailing its biggest oceans and travelling a course of more than 21,600 miles in just over 95 days.
This weekend, sailors in Jersey were able to hear some of Hare’s stories from the race when she visited the Island and delivered a talk on Saturday evening at the Royal Channel Islands Yacht Club.
‘It was great. It’s the first time since I’ve got back from the Vendée Globe that I’ve had the opportunity to give an in-person talk because in the UK we are not able to gather in groups,’ said Hare. ‘It was a little bit nerve-wracking as all the talks I’ve done so far have been online, but I was really touched that so many people wanted to hear about it.’
Meanwhile, RCIYC commodore James Wilding said it was a great opportunity for members to meet such a high-profile sailor. ‘Pip has just finished her Vendée Globe race around the world and, following lockdown and Covid-19, it was a great opportunity to have her there,’ he said.‘She gave an hour’s talk and spoke about the challenges she faced every day, dealing with problems and things breaking as you travel around the world – when you are out there on your own and there is limited support available. This was followed by a Q and A session to answer members’ questions and everyone then enjoyed a good dinner afterwards.’
So in demand was Hare’s talk that it sold out within an hour of being advertised to members. As the waiting list ended up being larger than the number of people who attended Saturday’s event, Hare agreed to do another talk over brunch on Sunday. Before the brunch, Hare also visited the beach to meet a number of RCIYC Cadets ahead of their day’s racing.
‘It was really great to meet them,’ added Hare. ‘I was quite jealous actually. It was just the most beautiful day with a little light breeze and blue water. They were all quite enthusiastic to go out and race.
‘It’s always great to go and talk to young sailors and for them to ask questions about what they can do or where they can go next.’
RCIYC sailing committee member and Cadet Hobie Dragoon racing organiser Gordon Burgis believed Hare’s visit would be a huge inspiration to the Island’s young sailors.‘Those who were at the events were both entertained and inspired by Pip’s story offer amazing race and the immense challenges she encountered on the world’s oceans,’ said Burgis.
‘The junior sailors were also enthralled and excited by what Pip had to say in answering their eager questions. It was so good of Pip to give her time in what proved to be a busy weekend stay in the Island and certainly a privilege for members to hear first-hand the fascinating account of her 95-day race – and that she is planning her campaign now for the next one with a newer boat.’
By Lily Carter