As the awards day for the 2018 Golden Globe Race is taking place today (Monday 22 April) in Les Sables, applications for invites to join the next Golden Globe Race in 2022 are now open — and one of those hopeful to join the global solo voyagers is Irish fisherman Pat Lawless.
Born in bred in Limerick on the banks of the River Shannon, Pat comes from a solo offshore sailing pedigree as his late father, also named Pat, completed his own circumnavigation of the world (in separate stages) in 1996 at the age of 70 — and since had a river festival named in his honour.
Pat Junior now lives in Ballyferriter, Co Kerry, the most westerly village in Europe, with his wife and two of his four children, and makes furniture for a living.
However, over the last six decades Pat has amassed around 150,000km on the water between sailing and fishing.
Now he aims to finish what Conor McGuckin started in the 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe Race and become the first Irishman to do a non-stop, unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world.
As Pat’s nephew Patrick Stritch explains to Afloat.ie, the boat he’s selected for the task is a Saltram Saga 36.
“Alan Papa designed her as a development of the Colin Archer ‘Redmingskoite’ sailing lifeboat hull, from which for many years have been regarded as being amongst the most sea-worthy around and even substantially faster than the original,” says Patrick.
“They are a mighty fine boat for the Southern Ocean, able to hold on to working sail in strong winds, without healing more than 20 degrees.”
Pat will have the next three years to get to know every aspect of his boat like the back of his hand before the next Golden Globe Race sets off from France on 21 August 2022.
This date commemorates the anniversary of Bernard Moitessier setting off in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe in 1968, and a new one-design class based on his famous yacht Joshua has been added for the next edition.