Leading maritime PR agency Saltwater Stone today announced its pro-bono support of round-the-world sailor Pip Hare and her Vendée Globe campaign. The Poole-based company is a natural match for Pip, who is managing her bid for the Vendée from her IMOCA 60 yacht Superbigou, berthed at Poole Quay Boat Haven.
Over recent years Saltwater has supported various individuals and teams as they follow their dreams. Most recently, the agency acted as PR advisors to The Four Oarsmen, a group of novice rowers who decisively won the 2017 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, rowing from the Canary Islands to Antigua in just 29d 14h 34min and setting a world record which still stands.
Saltwater Stone MD Georgina Bartlett said: “Pip is an inspirational woman and I am delighted to be supporting her as she takes on her personal challenge. Inspiring youngsters through her school initiative adds a valuable legacy to the race, and by working with her we’ll be learning too.
“If we are able to find time to offer our services free of charge and the stories inspire us, I like having a pro-bono client in our portfolio. There are many great initiatives that just need a bit of professional help to set them on their journey.”
The Saltwater PR team recently visited Pip on Superbigou to learn more about the conditions she will face on the race, which typically takes three to four months. Pip said: “Competing in the Vendée Globe Race has been my ambition since leaving school and it has taken a lifetime’s experience on the water and ten years of focused training and competition to get me to this stage.
“My story is about dedication, hard work and making my own path and I am passionate to share it in my own voice, so teaming up with Saltwater Stone, who have great experience and understanding of what I am taking on, is a real privilege.”
Pip’s campaign sets her apart from many of the Vendée entries. The only woman entering the race under a British flag, her story is not one of big sponsors and multi-million pound investment. Instead, she will be racing a 20-year-old boat originally built for the 2000-2001 Vendée Globe, has kickstarted her campaign with a crowdfund and is finding support from smaller sponsors and local business partnerships. “You could sit around waiting your whole life for a big sponsor to make your race entry a reality,” said Pip. “In chartering an older boat I found an opportunity to make my race entry happen and I went for it – my boat is strong and it has a great track history. The biggest challenge of the Vendée Globe race is getting to the finish line, and I know this boat can make it.”
She also differs in her approach to how others should benefit from her adventure. Many competitors nominate a charity to share the publicity, but Pip, true to form, is going her own way.
“My sister teaches at Fairlight Primary School in Brighton,” she explained. “They were studying the impact of single use plastics on our environment, so while on the Bermudes 1000 Race earlier this year I sent them reports about my progress, logging any wildlife and pollution I saw along the way. These children are already completely engaged with the problems caused to our environment by our current habits involving single use plastics, and their generation will doubtless be the ones to make big changes.”
The collaboration was such a success that Pip plans to use the Vendée and qualifying races to help more schools by providing linked educational material. “Sailing covers a huge range of topics, from the environment and conservation right through to mathematics,” she said. “Soon we’ll be providing maths material for 30 schools, and during the Vendée will have educational packages online for anyone to use. It’s a real privilege to engage with the oceans in the way that I do, and it's important to share the staggering beauty of our environment in a positive way that helps young people feel ownership of our natural world.”
For a chance to meet Pip and her boat, visit her in the marina at Southampton Boat Show from 13-22 September 2019.
For more information, visit piphareoceanracing.com.
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About Pip Hare
Pip grew up near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, and learned how to sail on the river Deben. Her father comes from Woodbridge, so Waldringfield and the east coast were a natural choice for the family sailing holidays. First exploring the east coast rivers as family of six squeezed into a 25ft Folkboat surviving on Smash, sausages and peas, they later upsized to a Moody 33 and spent their summers in Holland.
Pip’s passion for sailing took root when she went on holiday with the Seamanship Foundation aged 16, sailing around the Cornish coast. She built offshore experience sailing tall ships with the Jubilee Sailing Trust and, by 2008, was living aboard her Lightwave 395 The Shed, cruising the coast of South America. She was still there when she secured sponsorship to take part in the 2009 Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) and fulfil her dream of single-handed ocean racing. With just six months until the start she sailed solo back to the UK, repairing her worn-out mainsail almost nightly and arriving in Levington, Suffolk, 10kg lighter but having proved to herself she had what it took to cross oceans alone.
Since completing the OSTAR, Pip has sailed in multiple offshore and ocean racing events, becoming the only British sailor to finish the Mini Transat twice, a madcap race single-handing 6.5m (21ft) boats across the Atlantic. In 2017 she teamed up with Charles Hill to be the first double-handed team to complete the Three Peaks Yacht Race. For a woman who never ceases to challenge herself, her Vendée campaign is a natural goal. “I’m doing this because it’s the hardest yacht race in the world,” she said. “And because I’m good enough.”
About Saltwater Stone
Saltwater Stone is a specialist maritime PR, design and communications consultancy based in Poole, UK, working with many of the world’s leading marine companies. Through compelling, original content coupled with graphics, advertising and event support, the highly experienced team provides integrated media solutions across the leisure, commercial and superyacht sectors.