British solo skipper Pip Hare announces title sponsorship and a foiling IMOCA for the 2024 Vendée Globe
The news will delight fans of the solo sailor, who began her 2020 Vendée Globe campaign with no title backer and a tiny budget. She went on to secure American software company Medallia as a sponsor just months ahead of the start, before delivering an incredible race in one of the oldest boats in the fleet.
Today’s announcement that Pip Hare has sponsorship nearly four years ahead of the next Vendee Globe gives her a valuable full cycle time frame over which to plan her new IMOCA campaign, and a clear jump-start on other skippers facing years of searching for funding.
Pip said: “Medallia and I have had a fantastic partnership over the last year – they made a huge difference to my 2020/21 Vendee Globe race when they joined my campaign just five months before the start of the race. So having them with me now, at the very start of my 2024 campaign is brilliant – their support has given me the chance to secure the boat that will take me round the world in about three years’ time.
“I’m now determined to spend those years training, upgrading and finessing and I can’t wait to see what Medallia and I will achieve together in the lead up to the next Vendee.”
In the 2020/21 edition of the Vendée Globe, Pip pushed hard in a 20-year-old design to finish 19th overall. For 2024, however, she has secured a much newer generation IMOCA, the 2016 foiling Verdier/VPLP model which was raced as Bureau Vallée II by Louis Burton to 3rd overall.
Hare says it is the perfect choice of IMOCA.
“This genuinely is the truth, but when I walked down the dock at the beginning of the Vendee with Paul Larsen and we said ‘Let’s play the game of which one you would choose next?’,” Pip recalled.
“I said I’d either choose Maitre Coq or Bureau Vallée – and that was without knowing how they would perform in the race. I definitely didn’t want a 2020 generation boat. They are just too extreme for me. I felt it was too different from the sailing that I know.
“But I think the 2016 generation foilers are strong and proven, and those two in particular stood out as strong boats. So when Medallia said, ‘OK, let’s go find a boat’, we went and looked at those two boats.
“We came away thinking that Bureau Vallée was the best boat for me. So effectively I ended up getting exactly the boat that I wanted, which is quite extraordinary!”
Previously the IMOCA was the 2016/17 race winner Banque Populaire, sailed by Armel Le Cléac’h to a course record of 74d 3h 35m which still stands today.
Hare will take delivery of her new baot in July, and then begin the exciting process of training on a new foiling design. She has not yet sailed on a foiling IMOCA, although, as she points out, she hadn’t sailed on any sort of IMOCA before taking delivery of her previous Medallia.
“The Bureau Vallée team have been really supportive,” said Hare. ‘The boat’s in France at the moment, in bits in in the shed. But when we come to put it back together again, one of their team members is going to come and join us so that we’re learning from them, and they’re going to come out sailing with us to get us going.”
Pip has a foil development programme within her four-year plan, though not until she has done a good two years of sailing on her ‘training foils’, as well as a new mast and sail wardrobe.
Leslie Stretch, Medallia’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Everyone at Medallia is immensely impressed with Pip’s strength, relentless spirit, and compelling story – but her journey is far from over. We are proud to continue to stand with her as she faces new challenges, and help her connect with her dedicated supporters in novel ways through our technology.”
Pip added: “This has always been a two-race campaign and my sights were always set on the 2024 race. This last edition was where I learned how to race solo round the world and honed my skills. Now I know what it takes, and I’ve got over three years to build my team, adapt the new boat to suit my sailing style and most importantly train my own skills.
“I was proud of my performance this time round – but in 2024 I want to see if I can race with the big boys and girls at the front of the pack.”
Follow Pip’s campaign at piphare.com