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01/02

Speaker Series: Pip Hare

For this term’s Speaker Series event, we welcomed the inspiring endurance sailor Pip Hare for a special end of year assembly.

The professional sailor spoke about overcoming challenges and managing risk, with vivid anecdotes from her career spanning nearly 30 years in a male-dominated sport. Bringing the drama of solo ocean racing to life, Pip explained how she sailed round the world, non-stop, to become the eighth woman to ever finish one the world’s toughest races, the Vendée Globe. Despite setting out as the underdog, she smashed expectations and achieved a performance few thought possible.  She shared her experiences of 95 gruelling, sleep-deprived days at sea, changing 100kg sails and repairing rudders single-handedly, facing storms, and being rendered too ill to venture out in sunlight after being stung by a jellyfish. Despite the setbacks, she described the race as the best three months of her life.

“Solo-racing allows me to be the person I’m proud of… it provides the opportunity to embrace risk, to be in control and to have freedom. Every day during the race, I asked myself: am I safe, am I going in the right direction, am I going as fast as I can? In life, opportunities don’t get offered to you on a plate. It’s important to be prepared, be confident and to have self-belief…  to find your passion and live your story.”

The South Hampstead Speaker Series aims to open doors, hearts and minds. Recent high-profile Speaker Series guests have included David Baddiel on antisemitism; former pupil and BBC Europe correspondent Katya Adler on Brexit; and the ex-Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney on human and economic values.

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