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Pip Hare finding the going hard as she battles northeast trade winds in the Vendee Globe

·3-min read
Pip Hare
Pip Hare

Solo ocean racer Pip Hare said she was feeling “hot, sweaty and shaken” on Medallia on Sunday as she battled northeast trade winds on her journey back up through the North Atlantic. However, the first-time Vendee Globe sailor said she remained hugely motivated to reach Les Sables d’Olonne in the fastest time possible.

Hare, 46, is one of 15 skippers still making their way to the finish line after Charlie Dalin’s Apivia took line honours last Wednesday, and Yannick Bestaven [Maitre Coq IV] was declared race winner thanks to ti me compensations which lifted him from third to first.

Hare, who was on Sunday night passing west of the Cape Verde islands, is currently on course to finish 19th but is finding the going hard as she slogs her way back up the Atlantic in 25-32 knots.

“It would be perfect conditions if only I was going in the other direction,” she wrote in a blog on her website. “I am hot, sweaty, being shaken and slammed around and feeling that this part of the course is relentless. I've been three days now in the NE trades and have at least another three to go and it is taking a lot of my emotional energy to stay sane and focused.”

Hare said her latest route calculations suggested she was going to have to add close to 1,000 miles to the most direct line back to Les Sables d’Olonne in order to avoid headwinds.

“The weather for our final approach into Les Sables D'Olonnes is looking like it could be tricky,” she said. “The Azores high is established quite far West and to avoid headwinds we must all sail a course to the West of this system which adds close to 1,000 miles to the rhumb line to the finish.

“Now, as much as ever in the race I need to keep driving no matter how uncomfortable it feels. This is an endurance race and it is time to endure.

“In these super tough moments I like to focus on the ‘why’ and not the ‘what’ for my motivation. My purpose is not just to sail around the world single handed, it's to do it in the fastest time I can.”

Hare’s compatriot Miranda Merron [Campagne de France] - at 51 another first-time Vendee Globe sailor - lies in 22nd place and is now approaching the Equator, while Sam Davies [Initiatives-Coeur] is also in the south Atlantic, albeit she is no longer in the race having had to stop for repairs in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, in Auckland, Luna Rossa helmsman Jimmy Spithill said his team would be putting in “a lot of blood, sweat and tears” to improve their boat and their boat handling ahead of their Prada Cup final clash with Ineos Team UK.

The winner of the best-of-13 series, which begins on February 13, will go on to face Emirates New Zealand in the 36th America’s Cup in March. Luna Rossa completed a 4-0 semi-final victory over American Magic on Saturday.

“We know there is a lot more on the table, and we will be doing everything we can to come out and get some payback on the Poms,” said Spithill, referring to the three defeats they suffered at the hands of Sir Ben Ainslie’s team in the round-robin series.