POOLE sailor Pip Hare was given a hero’s welcome as she sailed into Poole Harbour after completing the Vendée Globe around the world yacht race.

After spending 95 days, 11 hours, 37 mins and 30 seconds racing across the seas, the 47-year-old skipper was the first Brit to finish this year’s race after crossing the finish line at Les Sables-d'Olonne at 12.57am on Friday, February 12.

Although the yachtswoman had told her followers to refrain from attending her reception at Poole Quay Boat Haven, a group of people and many photographers lined Poole Quay to cheer her as she moored her boat.

Pip sailed into Poole Harbour at 3pm today where she set off a flare before docking her boat, Medallia, and popping a bottle of champagne in front of cheering crowds.

She said: “It feels amazing, I mean, in a way, it sort of feels like I have never left but I have come home. So much as happened, but it finally feels like the end of the journey.

“The race was incredible; it was everything I hoped it would be and more.

“I think it is one of the toughest things a human being can do, but it takes you to some of the most incredible places on the planet and it was such a privilege to be so focused and to take part in the race."

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The Poole sailor said she was slowly readjusting to real life, after spending four months onboard the boat, surviving on no more than two hours sleep and a diet consisting mainly of lentils and rice.

Having endured a complicated race with many faults onboard the oldest boat in the fleet – five to ten years older than her competitors – Pip managed to remain positive throughout her race.

She added: “I think it was just because I was doing something, I was really passionate about and I love.

"I wanted to be there, and I fought to be there and so even when I felt thing weren’t going right or I was a bit down, I just remembered how much it all meant to me, and actually it is quite easy to be positive."

Having lost eight kilograms during the race, Pip says that she is looking forward to resting and enjoying home comforts such as chocolate and coffee – items she didn’t have whilst onboard Medallia.

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However, she said that discussions were already under way about competing in the next Vendée Globe race in 2024.

On how she felt now after the race, Pip said: “I feel great, I am still on cloud nine about the whole thing. I am tired of course and the boat is tired too. I sailed it very very hard and it knows it.

“Now it’s just a bit of rest and recovery for me, but we are much planning and looking forward to 2024 and getting a boat together for then.

“I’ll also be doing the Three Peaks challenge doublehanded later this year, so I’ll be preparing for that in the next week or so and get back into my running.”