Mini Transat and/or bust

Mark Lloyd /
Pip Hare is staking it all on getting to the start of the solo transatlantic race for 21 footers
Five months out from the start of the Mini Transat is always a tense time for potential competitors who have yet to qualify. As ever the singlehanded transatlantic for the pint-sized ocean racers is over-subscribed and for those without a confirmed entry a large question mark remains over whether they will be among the maximum number of 72 boats allowed on to the start line come 25 September. A handful of Brits are gunning for this year’s race. Of these to date only Lymington-based Dan Dytch on the Proto Ocean Watch has been confirmed. At present on the waiting list are Pip Hare and Piers Dudin and they are supposed to be being joined by Becky Scott on the Artemis Offshore Academy’s Pogo 2, previously campaigned by Ollie Bond. Of these one of the most impressive, in terms of her understated, but otherwise steely determination to make it, is Pip Hare. While the majority of Mini sailors get into the class during their 20s as the first rung of the solo offshore racing ladder, Hare has followed other past Mini sailors such as 2007 entries Andrew Wood and David Rawlinson in coming from a background in the marine industry. 37 years old, Hare has spent her working life employed on sailing boats as far as afield as the Caribbean and New Zealand either as skipper or coaching or on deliveries. “After I left school I went to work in the sailing industry. I got my YachtMaster Commercial endorsement and have been working as a professional skipper since then.” She heralds from Cambridgeshire and learned to sail on the River Deben, where her family is still based. However her experience isn’t limited to big boats. In the late 1990s, the heyday of the Laser skiffs, she was a 5000 sailor. “I remember seeing the 5000