Pip Hare on the dockside after finishing, "The last six hours were the most stressful of the whole race. I was doing pretty well, really catching the boys up and then the sea state started to get quite slammy and my keel lines have broken three times and literally I just went over a wave, bang, and I knew straight away it was the keel lines. And I have run out of spare keel lines. And so I had to get down inside the boat to the keel and work a solution with the old lines. But there were fishing boats everywhere and then I came up on deck and the starboard side of the pulpit which had got bent, that broke off.
In the end the finish could not have come soon enough?
We – me and Medallia – are pretty pleased to be here and this boat is sick of me.
Your general perception of your race?
I am really, really happy. I feel just a little bit that it would have been amazing to have been ahead of a foiling boat, it was there definitely. But I am happy. I made mistakes but I have learned from them and the main thing is I could see where I made the mistakes and where I can improve, where I can do better. I can’t believe I the race I have had. I never thought it would be like this. I never thought I would be with foiling boats. It has been incredible.
The high points?
Any time that I was pushing the boat hard but it feels good. And there were times like my first 400 mile day and then when I looked at the rankings and I saw that I was the fastest boat of the fleet, it was days like that when I got such a buzz out of doing things like that. And just being at sea is where I love it, It is where I belong.
The boat, it has been for good for you and you have been good for it?
I think so. It is a strong and sturdy boat, This is its fifth time around the world and I can say I have not been kind to it. I have pushed it hard but you know it is the right boat for me. It is a bit clunky and so lot of extra effort to sail, but it is simple which meant I could keep on top of looking after it and I could focus more on the big things, the navigation which is where I am with my sailing. And so I can tell you I do not want to sail a boat that you have to walk four times to the mast back and forth to reef. And I want a roof. And I want a little button that you press to move the keel.
The number of sailors who have complimented you on your race is a bit special, you had Jean Le Cam come on board to congratulate you in the Channel at 0230hrs in the morning, that is something!
I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it. It is the first time that anyone has even ever said they noticed me in a race. I am still surprised they even knew I was there. It is an incredible compliment at all for any sailor higher up the ranks from me to say that I have done well, and it is really an incredible validation. I cant believe it.
And this is not your last Vendée Globe?
No way. Not at all. 2024 I am coming back. Now I have seen it, now I know what to expect….now I know where I can improve I have to be back, and also 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?