South African round the world sailor Phillippa Hutton-Squire has confirmed her entry and announced her co-skipper for this year’s Normandy Channel Race.
Hutton-Squire finished third in last year's Global Ocean Race will be campaigning her Akilaria 1 Class40, Phesheya Racing this year in several events kicking off the season with British mini transat sailor Pip Hare in the doublehanded Normandy Channel Race.
The Pips first met in 2010 when competing in the Royal Western YC's doublehanded Round Britain and Ireland Race, where Huton-Squire finished fourth in the Class 40s while Hare won IRC overall. They have kept in touch ever since, while sailing an impressive 55,000 miles between them over the intervening years.
However this will be the first time the 'Pips' have sailed together and they have picked perhaps one of the most technically demanding races on the Class 40 calendar; the course for the Normandy Channel Race makes a tour of the English Channel and coast of sSouthern Ireland, taking in notorious tidal traps and races amid the back drop of volatile meteorology and local effects.
For Hare, who finished 17th in the series class in the 2011 Mini Transat, there will be the added challenge of the first time racing in the Class40. She commented: "I am really excited to be racing with Phillippa but it is going to be one hell of a challenge. I have coached Class40 sailors before, but have not raced in this class; we need to cram a lot of practice into a short work up to the race. But Phillippa knows the boat intimately, and I know the English Channel intimately so our skills should compliment each other and I am sure we will get better as a team every hour we sail together."
Hutton-Squire added: "This is my first race of the season, indeed since finishing the Global Ocean Race and my first race without Nick Leggatt on board. I am really looking forward to racing Phesheya again and racing with Pip is going to be a real privilege. I think we both have a lot to bring to the team."