Russell Crowe’s surprise birthday message to British sailor on round-the-world boat race

Hollywood actor urges Pip Hare to ‘keep going’ as she completes final 3,700-kilometre leg

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Russell Crowe sent a surprise birthday message to a British sailor who is competing in a round-the-world yacht race.

Pip Hare, from Poole, southern England, was contacted after revealing she was a fan of the Master and Commander  actor in an interview with BBC Radio Solent.

Presenter Steve Harris asked social media users how he could get in touch with the Hollywood star.

Crowe, who is in Australia, sent the reply: “What’s up Steve?”

In a video published on Twitter, Crowe urged Hare to "keep going" as she completes the final stages of the gruelling Vendee Globe yacht race.

"Happy birthday Pip,” he said. “What an amazing feeling you're going to have when you can say you've claimed the globe."

Hare, who will turn 47 this weekend, is in the Atlantic Ocean with 3,704 left to sail.

The Vendee Globe race, held every four years, was won by French sailor Yannick Bestaven last week.

Bestaven, the skipper of Maitre Coq IV, completed the trip in 80 days, three hours, 44 minutes and 46 seconds, with his closest competitor only two hours behind.

The race takes sailors around South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Australia’s Cape Leeuwin and South America’s Cape Horn, over about 44,500 kilometres.