Smartsheet supports Pip Hare in becoming the 8th woman ever to sail solo around the world

In 2020, Smartsheet was proud to sponsor British sailor Pip Hare as she single-handedly navigated her way around the world by boat in the Vendée Globe 2020. The versatility of our platform robustly supported Pip's campaign planning and execution – both on land and at sea.


  • Live Entertainment, Travel and Hospitality

Organization Size

  • Emerging and SMB (1-199)


  • Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

"I can't sing the praises of Smartsheet higher… Look at what we achieved in that small time frame. Moving forward to 2024 we're going to be using Smartsheet to plan and deliver a four-year programme."

Lou Adams

Operations Director, Pip Hare Racing

Pip Hare is only the 8th woman to have ever completed the grueling round-the-world sailing race, the Vendée Globe. Her incredible skill and unrelenting endurance saw her successfully complete 24,365 miles of the theoretical course in just 95 days.

With all the unknowns of life at sea, it’s important to avoid chaos wherever you can. Using sheets and project plans, Pip managed her team of volunteers pre-launch – and used dashboards to share her progress live, bringing fans along on her journey.

Project managing learning experiences

Competing in this incredibly tough race takes detailed planning and campaign management from marketing and operations to tracking the boat for the duration of the race. Its success depends on hitting time-critical points in the run-up to the race such as securing sponsorship, sticking to tight budgets, and coordinating media-related projects.

Pip’s team, made up of part-time volunteers, had never worked together and had different styles of working. There was also the added challenge of ensuring seamless collaboration while working remotely under COVID-19 restrictions. The project management platform they adopted would need to speak the same language, be easy-to-use and cater to a broad range of backgrounds and technical know-how.

Although Pip had the stamina, endurance, and skill to get her to the finish line, she and her team were under pressure to organise the many threads of her campaign and expedition. With so many spinning plates, this required one destination where the team could connect, collaborate remotely, and have complete oversight on all aspects of the campaign.

In the run-up to the race, and while at sea, Pip and her team used Smartsheet. With our dynamic platform, they  managed her journey to the startline and tracked her progress as she battled the ocean on her solo mission. Pip’s operations director, Lou Adams, broke down the three core benefits that Smartsheet brought to the campaign.

An extra crew member

Lou says Smartsheet made the campaign process “more lean” so that the attention could be spent on impactful activities, rather than cluttered administration and duplicated work. Lou could assign team members tasks, tracking budgets, timelines, goals, and communications directly and in real time.

Being able to convert email forms into Smartsheet to manage, organise, and alphabetise was “like having a virtual assistant,” according to Lou. “It was absolute gold dust... balancing two different jobs and there’s this machine that can bring out the data I need instantaneously,” she added. 

Relying solely on Smartsheet to deliver the campaign also meant saving money on multiple platform subscriptions. Instead, Pip, Lou and the team had one platform where they knew they could manage and find everything they needed. This was particularly important with the tight turnaround time before Pip was due to set sail.


Photo Courtesy of Pip Hare Ocean Racing


A common language for a diverse team

For a team with different backgrounds, Smartsheet's easy-to-use and intuitive interface provided an even playing field that fostered productive and efficient collaboration.

Having holistic visibility of the campaign meant that everyone involved was up-to-date in their respective roles. Lou could assign tasks and check in – all in real time. And for the less tech-savvy, Smartsheet felt “familiar, logical, and systematic” enough for everyone to adopt and start using quickly. As Lou explains, it presented no barriers:

“It wasn’t like learning a new language, [it was a] much more user friendly, logical and systematic system. You can’t break it, but you can also adapt it to the way that you work. You can make Smartsheet your own and make it fit to enhance your company and campaign - add new people or share things only with Pip.”

Bringing fans along the journey with real-time tracking

At sea, the Smartsheet dashboard allowed Pip’s team to pull key data from the race, the boat, and Pip herself. Supporters could track metrics such as her nautical position and health data from her wearable tech devices such as her steps, sleep, and heart rate.

This real-time visibility of her journey gave fans a close, personal look at what it takes to be a female athlete out at sea – 95 days of broken sleep and all.

And vitally, it meant that Pip’s medic could keep an eye on any worrying signs being uploaded from her wearable devices, and her team could keep track of her boat-related equipment. For example, the Smartsheet dashboard alerted the team to an anomaly in the wind data which enabled them to deduce that Pip had lost her wind wand in the Southern Ocean. Relying on real-time data coming into the dashboard, the team was able to ensure Pip was alive when there was a lag in her communication back to the shore team.


Photo Courtesy of Pip Hare Ocean Racing


Next on the horizon

Pip has already made plans to build on her success and return to the high seas at the Vendée Globe 2024. This will mean a bigger and more robust campaign – and keeping Smartsheet at the helm as the team’s project management tool.

“Moving forward to 2024 we're going to be using Smartsheet to plan and deliver a four year programme.” Lou Adams

With so many more ways to bring value to Pip’s next campaign and tracking her data at sea – Smartsheet is excited about providing the team access to an expanded set of our capabilities and features. And we can’t wait to see what Pip can achieve next!

For more information about this story, please see our case study.