Sailor from Poole wins iconic Lonely Rock Race

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

A sailor from Poole is celebrating winning the inaugural Lonely Rock Race, which follows the historic original Fastnet course from Ryde on the Isle of Wight to Plymouth.

Pip Hare won the race after it had to be cut short due to bad weather.

Medallia was the biggest boat in the Lonely Rock Race, but the first 24 hours through the Solent was slow going, with little wind. 

Lonely Rock Race winner Pip Hare Credit: ITV News Meridian

She says: "Sometimes having no wind is more difficult than having too much wind. Sometimes we were only sailing at one knot, the sea was oily flat and we really had to dig deep to keep going."

However the wind did pick up and Pip pulled ahead of the other 13 competitors, only to then miss the opportunity to round the Fastnet rock. 

"Of course I was disappointed, we were looking forward to the leg across the Irish Sea but we could see there was a big weather system coming in and it was 100 per cent the right decision."

The wind picked up and Pip pulled ahead of the other 13 competitors.

The new course used Wolf Rock off Lands End, and so Pip and her crew arrived in Plymouth earlier than expected in the early hours of Tuesday.

Despite the disappointing early finish, Pip has high hopes for this new race.

"I think it is really important we have these races in the UK.  We are a great sailing nation and I think it is brilliant that Royal Western has set it up."

During the next race, Pip will spend about one hundred days on board the boat all by herself. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The next big challenge for Pip comes in November when she sails single-handedly around the world in the Vendee Globe Race.

During the race, Pip will spend around one hundred days on board the boat all by herself.