Pip Hare, the comeback kid

Jacques Vapillon / Sea & Co
Sole British competitor Pip Hare tells of her Mini Transat
Pip Hare, Britain’s sole competitor in this year’s Mini Transat, reached the finish in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe at 14:17:05 UTC on Monday, completing the 3700 mile course from Sada in northwest Spain in a time 26 days 05 hours 32 minutes and 5 seconds. Racing her Pogo 2 The Potting Shed in the Series class, Pip arrived 16th of 35 potential finishers and 53 starters, one place better than her result in the race two years ago. Aside from Benoit Marie’s come-from-behind win in the Protos class and the runaway victory of Aymeric Belloir in the Series fleet, the 2013 Mini Transat will be remembered for being the most delayed event in the history of yacht racing. It was scheduled to start on 13 October from Douarnanez. However the competitors patently waited for 16 days before a weather window opened allowing them to get away from the Breton start port. However as they were crossing the Bay of Biscay, the race organisers requested the fleet to stop in Spain because of the deteriorating forecast at Cape Finisterre. The lead five boats made it to Sada, close to La Coruna in northwest Spain while the rest of the giant fleet piled into Gijon further along the north coast of Spain, to the east. There was then a further wait, as the race organisers announced that the first leg from Douarnanez would not count, and it was not until 13 November, one month after it was supposed to leave Douarnanez, that the race properly got under way from Sada...ironically into gale force winds and giant seas. “I wasn’t suicidal - I’d come out of the other side!” recalls Pip of her mindset during the prolonged delay. “But you wonder why they kept us ashore for a month.” Moods were made no better in