How Yachtswoman Pip Hare nearly saw solo bid sunk by deadly man o’war jellyfish


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In particular, when Pip Hare set off on the 28,000-mile Vendée Globe yacht race in November last year, she knew she would have to battle high winds, huge waves and extremes of temperature. What she wasn’t expecting was that her bid to sail solo around the world might be sunk by a Portuguese man o’war. The venomous sea creature has a powerful sting that has been known to kill humans. “It was so unexpected and that made it hard to deal with,” says Pip, a sailing coach and journalist.

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“It stung me and left a burn on my back, and I had an allergic reaction.

“I ended up covered in blisters and rashes, and my face was swollen. What I think now is it spread its venom around the boat, so I kept coming into contact with it.

“It coincided with me crossing the Equator. I had no shade outside where it was 40C and it was incredibly humid below deck. The sun was blistering but I couldn’t allow it on my skin. 

“Plus, I had to do my daily checks, squeezing into tiny gaps on a boat that was wet and salty. It was so painful. I had to dig really deep to carry on.”

But carry on she did – and not only that, but Pip managed to defy expectation to become the first British sailor to

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