Pip Hare et Nick Bubb (Medallia)
21 November 2023 - 05h04

Pip Hare and Nick Bubb on Medallia finish 12th IMOCA

British duo Pip Hare and Nick Bubb on Medallia crossed the finish line of the 16th Transat Jacques Vabre Normandie Le Havre at 22.12.56hrs this Monday evening (local time, 02:12:56hrs Tuesday morning UTC) off Fort de France, Martinique to secure 12th place in the IMOCA fleet. The result is very much on target for the duo who struggled at times to find enough sail power after their mainsail was damaged early in the 3750 nautical miles race from Le Havre to Martinique.

The elapsed time for the Poole, England based IMOCA Medallia is 13d17h42m56s. They finished 1d20hrs10min25sec after the IMOCA winners. Their average speed for the 3750 miles course is 11.40kts, they actually sailed 4498.98 nms at 13.65kts

After a major winter refit to Medallia which included new, bigger foils and re-modelling the bow sections of the boat, Hare was intent on delivering a solid result whilst using the race to learn how to make the newly re-configured boat sail consistently fast. At the same time it was doubly important to finish the race which, itself, is a valuable element in qualifying for the next Vendée Globe, but in so dong ensuring the boat is in the best possible shape to start the solo race back across the Atlantic which starts from Martinique in just nine days time. 

Hare’s race, again, built from a modest opening – in part caused by the mainsail damage – but since she and Bubb made a choice to take a northerly routing option, which was influenced in part by their need to find more breeze for their reefed mainsail’s smaller sail area, they have steadily moved forwards in the fleet. They were also hurt by having to take a five hours time penalty on the course for a start line infringement. 

Though she has definite aspirations to finish higher in the fleet,  the British skipper can reflect positively on matching her 12th on last year’s solo Route du Rhum, achieved in a smaller and less competitive fleet. The record sized 40 boat fleet which started in Le Havre on Tuesday 7th November, contains almost all of the skippers and boats who will contest the 2024-2025 Vendée Globe in just less than one year’s time, including four new generation boats launched this year, two of which took first and second places.  

Pip Hare said, “I am not sticking at 12th I will be getting better than this, but I am really happy with 12th. If you had told me 12th before the start I would have taken it. It is tough, really tough because it was the first time across the Atlantic with the big foils. I kind of juggling with wanting to know how the boat felt and pushing but also wanting to preserve the boat. And in the end the horns came out and it was fun to go fast. We pushed hard, we went fast and had a good race. And this is just the beginning.”

“So the main was damaged on the first night in that first front and so we have not been able to use reef 1 since that first night which has been challenging.

“The top speed was 36kts, that will do. The boat nose dives a lot, we need to change some things about that. But is fast. It is weapon fast, but it is also brutal. I don’t think I have had so many bruises in my life. It is a whole new level. And I am really, really proud of the work my team has done to make this boat latest generation, because it has really worked.” 

Nick Bubb, “For me I was ready for the physicality of it, but for me it was mentally challenging. Pip is super competitive. Trying to get here fast is one thing but then trying to look after the boat is something that is important. We did have reef 1 and so we were constantly overpowered with full main or underpowered with two reefs. Mentally that is challenging.”