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Displaying items by tag: Peter Lawless

Disappointment is always hard to take, but Peter Lawless is determined, even though he has, this time, failed in his ambition to become the first Irishman to sail around the world non-stop.

The Kerry solo sailor left Kilrush Marina in Clare with high hopes in August, estimating that he would be, he told me, about eight months at sea alone aboard his yacht, Waxwing, a Rival 41, which he had "upgraded for the challenge".

"She is perfect for this circumnavigation," he said but told me that the two things he feared most were mast or rudder trouble.

West of Portugal, one of those happened.

Waxwing departs Kilrush Marina on the Shannon Estuary in AugustWaxwing departs Kilrush Marina on the Shannon Estuary in August

He had a problem when something hit the rudder, and the result of that was the end of his voyage.

He has decided not to continue his voyage.

Sailing along on Waxwing in the Shannon Estuary

"Very disappointed but determined," he told me from Teneriffe, where he was making repairs. But there was a lot to be considered, particularly with the timing of the voyage and the weather. This weekend he decided that the voyage couldn't continue.

It was not an easy decision, but he says he made it for safety reasons. He will be returning home, but next year is to be considered, as you can hear on this week's Podcast.

• Lawless has left for Tenerife and is now en route to Portugal. He expects to arrive there next week.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Limerick solo sailor Peter Lawless has had further setbacks to his hopes of being the first Irishman to sail round the world non-stop and alone, as he has experienced renewed difficulties with his steering gear and rudder, which necessitated putting into port in Tenerife in the Canaries today with his Rival 41 Waxwing.

However, although he is frustrated in the hope of doing the non-stop from an Irish port, if he can get the necessary repairs made good, it is still possible for him to achieve an Irish “first” with start and finish in Tenerife, and he is determined to continue south when the work has been completed to full seaworthiness requirements.

Tracker chart here

Published in Solo Sailing
Tagged under

After a three day, no-shore-contact stopover at anchor off Portimao in southern Portugal to sort rudder and electronics problems, Limerick’s Peter Lawless (52) is southward bound again in his Rival 41 Waxwing in his bid to be the first Irishman t sail solo round the world non-stop. Under the accepted rules of such contests, challengers are permitted to anchor in some convenient roadstead, but are not allowed to avail of any shoreside assistance whatsoever.

The problem with the steering was completely solvable, but it took time as it involved the clearing of lockers. However, the masthead units came adrift because of a broken bracket, and they are now operating from a new location at the cockpit. After the frustrations of endless headwinds once the Bay of Biscay had been crossed, the weather has now settled down, and currently there are fair winds the whole way to the Cape Verde Islands.

Track chart here

Published in Solo Sailing

Solo sailor Peter Lawless (52) of the noted Limerick voyaging family has met with mixed fortunes in Week One of his challenge to be the first Irishman to sail non-stop single-handed round the world south of the five great capes. Having taken his departure from Kilrush in the Shannon Estuary on Friday, August 21st with his Rival 41 Waxwing, he had to contend with winds from forward of the beam - sometimes quite strong - for a while, but then he benefitted for a few days from the northeasters which were making things tough for the Figaro fleet slugging their way from the Spanish coast back up to Brittany.

A special feature of his project is that although he has electronic equipment, he is navigating by sextant and paper chart in the classic style. On his way south, though, he particularly noted the high level of shipping on the Transatlantic route westward of the English Channel, and much appreciated the protection provided by the AIS system. But a problem arose when the masthead aerial serving it came partially adrift, and he had a painfully bruising time at the masthead bringing it safely down to deck level for temporary deployment from the cockpit.

The fact that the high-pressure area which normally sits in summer over the Azores has in recent days been settled over Ireland has interfered with the normal wind pattens between northwest Spain and the Azores, and he has been forced onto a more westerly course instead of being helped by the northerlies which usually blow off the coasts of northwest Spain and Portugal.

Waxwing is a well-proven veteran of world voyaging. Twenty years ago, Peter and Susan Gray of Dun Laoghaire were in the midst of a classic global circulation with this rugged little ship, in a venture which took them to many islands. This latest challenge by Peter Lawless is something completely different - more details here

Peter Lawless is facing an eight months solo sailing challengePeter Lawless is facing an eight months solo sailing challenge

Listen to Peter Lawless's recent podcast with Afloat's Tom MacSweeney here

Published in Solo Sailing

Peter Lawless hasn't time for anxiety as he makes final preparations for his solo sail around the world.

He has set Saturday, August 21, for his departure from Kilrush Marina in the Shannon Estuary.

Amongst those giving support to Peter is Cork-based artist Siobhan Fleming who says she was fascinated by his story of how he grew up sailing and describes herself as "artist not in residence" on his journey. She plans to create a series of art pieces in response to Peter's experiences, which he will be detailing via satellite phone and internet for supporters following his voyage.

The first piece, titled "And That Is Why We Go" reflects the journey into the unknown that Peter is taking.

This is the prize of a draw on Peter's website (peterlawlesssolocircumnavigation.com) that will be made on the evening before he leaves, Friday, August 20.

I last talked to 53-year-old Peter in June. He comes from a family of sailors, son of the late Pat Lawless from Limerick. The Golden Globe Race has been focused on by his brother, Pat.

Lawless estimates the trip will take approximately eight months nonstop. His yacht Waxwing is a Rival 41, she is a standard production offshore cruising yacht that he has upgraded for the challenge.Lawless estimates the trip will take approximately eight months nonstop. His yacht Waxwing is a Rival 41, she is a standard production offshore cruising yacht that he has upgraded for the challenge

At that stage, Peter worked hard to prepare his 41ft. yacht Waxwing for the voyage, which he is expecting to take about eight months. He is hoping to become the first Irishman to sail non-stop around the world and, since our last chat, has been putting in long days of preparation, determined to get everything right before leaving, which, he says, " will make life at sea that bit easier."

Lawless at Kilrush Marina in the Shannon EstuaryLawless at Kilrush Marina in the Shannon Estuary

He is my Podcast guest this week.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is backing Limerick sailor Peter Lawlesspending solo, non-stop round-the-world voyage on his Rival 41 yacht Waxwing.

While the charity has sponsored the yacht’s passive self-steering equipment, in return Peter — son of the late solo circumnavigator Pat Lawless — will be testing out the IWDG’s new reporting app for marine wildlife sightings.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, sightings and strandings can be reported on the new app by scientists, researchers, boat operators, wildlife enthusiasts and whale-watchers alike.

And Peter — who sets off from Kilrush on 21 August — aims to take the app into the unknown, potentially recoding sightings and even video updated from parts of the ocean that may have never been visited before.

The IWDG’s chief Simon Berrow recently caught up with Peter on Waxwing as he makes his final preparations for his remarkable unassisted voyage:

Published in Solo Sailing

A second son of the late solo circumnavigator Pat Lawless from Limerick has announced plans to follow in his father's wake and sail solo around the world.

Peter and his brother Pat, both based in County Kerry, are embarking on separate solo circumnavigation over the next two years emulating the world-girdling exploits of their father in 1997.

It's a feat that could see the siblings achieve the feat of being the first Irish sailors to complete a solo non-stop circumnavigations of the world.

Peter Lawless - solo voyage

Peter (52) will begin an eight-month voyage in August 2021, such timing that will mean he will be should be home before his older brother Pat departs for France and the start of the 2022 Golden Globe Race in September 2022.

In August Peter, who lives in Annascaul near Dingle, plans to sail solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world from Ireland back to Ireland via the five great capes, using a sextant and paper charts as his primary navigation tools.

Peter estimates the trip will take him approximately eight month's non-stop in the Rival 41, Waxwing, a standard production offshore cruising yacht that upgraded for the challenge. Check out his video below.

Peter Lawless on his Rival 41, WaxwingPeter Lawless on his Rival 41, Waxwing

As regular Afloat readers will recall, this will be the second circumnavigation for Waxwing. It was the boat used by Peter and Susan Gray two sailing adventurers of the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire who completed an eight-year trip around the world in the yacht in 2003.

Pat Lawless - Golden Globe 2022 Race entrant

As Afloat previously reported, Pat (66), from Ballyferriter, will be following Dublin sailor Gregor McGuckin, a competitor in the 2018 Golden Globe race, when he crosses the line of the 2022 race.

He aims to finish what McGuckin started in the 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe Race and become the first Irishman to complete a non-stop, unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world. 

Pat revealed the depths of his ambition when he told Afloat over the Christmas "I would not sail solo nonstop around the World, unless it was a race, that I had a fair hope of winning".

He says he is 'delighted' with his Saltram Saga 36, a 'safe and fast' boat, currently on the hard in Dingle Harbour, County Kerry.

Saltram Saga 36Pat Lawless's Saltram Saga 36 is craned out at Dingle Harbour in County Kerry. A lot of work done has been done to prepare the boat for the 20202 Golden Globe Race, but there is plenty left to do, says the Kerry skipper

Over the last six decades, Pat has amassed around 150,000km on the water between sailing and fishing. In the build-up to the GGR, Lawless is planning a voyage to Iceland this summer. 

"I will sail to the island of Jan Mayen in the Arctic next year, Going around Iceland on the way. Been over 25 years since I sailed there" he told Afloat.

"Hopefully, if COVID-19 permits I will sail around Ireland also, stopping in many ports," he adds.

Published in Solo Sailing

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020