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Ireland's 2023 Golden Globe Race entrant Pat Lawless is one of the latest entries into June's 240-mile Volvo Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race. 

Lawless will compete in IRC 3 in his round-the-world Saltram Saga yacht, Green Rebel.

Regular Afloat readers will recall the County Kerry sailor was forced to retire from the 30,000-mile GGR last November when his wind vane broke, and Lawless came ashore in Capetown, South Africa. The non-stop solo round-the-world race is still ongoing and due to finish this week with less than 900 miles to sail for the two front runners, as Afloat reports here.

Entries for Ireland's top offshore race of 2023 are now at 35, leading organisers to predict a 40-plus entry for the June 7th start from Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The Irish offshore race is part of London's Royal Ocean Racing Club offshore Championship and as such attracts some international competitors such as the Volvo 70 Wizard and Ron O'Hanley's canting keel Privateer from New York that will race in a 14-boat IRC 1 division along with rumours of a second canting keel entry too.

As Afloat reported earlier, Denis and Annamarie Murphy's successful Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo from Royal Cork Yacht Club will defend its 2021 D2D race title.

Published in Dun Laoghaire Dingle
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Kerry solo sailor Pat Lawless has decided not to enter this year’s Global Solo Challenge Race, which he had intended to do.

After withdrawing from the Golden Globe Race at Cape Town due to self-steering failure, he announced that he would enter the Global Solo round-the-world, starting from Spain in August, again sailing Green Rebel his 36ft. Saga, which he used in the GGR. The Solo Challenge allows modern technology aboard boats, unlike the GGR.

Pat had begun to look for sponsorship for costs which could reach €60,000. However, he has changed his mind and will not enter.

Kerry solo sailor Pat LawlessKerry solo sailor Pat Lawless Photo: JJ/GGR

At present, he is solo sailing Saga back from South Africa to Ireland. En route, he has had more time to consider his options and told me from the boat this week that he will not do the Global Solo Challenge.

“Time and money would not be sure that I would be 110% ready,” he texted Afloat in a message from Saga.

Published in Golden Globe Race
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Undaunted after being forced out of the Golden Globe Race at Cape Town in November, Pat Lawless is going to try again to sail solo, non-stop around the world.

This time he will enter the Global Solo Challenge Race, with the difference that it allows modern technology aboard modern boats, of various sizes and handicaps from 32 ft. upwards, unlike the GGR which was for older boats without modern equipment.

Solo Sailor Pat Lawless is going to use Green Rebel for a new global challenge Photo: Kieran Ryan-Benson Solo Sailor Pat Lawless is going to use Green Rebel for a new global challenge Photo: Kieran Ryan-Benson 

He is going to use Green Rebel again for the Global Solo, his 36ft Saga which he renamed to his main GGR sponsor, the Green Rebel offshore development company of Cork. He told me that next week he will be going back to South Africa to sail the yacht home to Ireland and prepare it for the Global Challenge. It will begin from a Coruna in Spain, with a staggered start based on boat size from August 28.

Pat Lawless's 36ft Saga Green Rebel in third place in the Golden Globe Race passing Lanzarote, Photo: JJ/ GGR2022Pat Lawless's 36ft Saga Green Rebel in third place in the Golden Globe Race passing Lanzarote, Photo: JJ/ GGR2022

It costs €7,500 just to enter and he estimates needing a budget of around €60,000 to prepare the boat and himself for several months at sea, circumnavigating east-about, rounding the three Great Capes - Africa's Cape of Good Hope, Australia's Cape Leeuwin and South America's Cape Horn and including traversing the Antarctic Region. He has begun discussions with potential sponsors, including those who backed him for the GGR.

“I’ve also looked for a bank loan. I’m hopeful for a good response. I’ve great support from my family and my wife, Rita. I have unfinished business, and I’m going to complete it. I’m determined to go again, and all my focus is on that.”

Pat Lawless is my Podcast guest this week.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Ireland’s solo sailor Pat Lawless has retired from the Golden Globe round the world race.

This follows the problems with his self-steering Aries system which developed on his Saga 36 Green Rebel on Sunday night.

He confirmed a bearing problem and told GGR race officials that he could not repair it at sea.

He has said he didn't think his race would end due to such a problem developing. He had put a lot of trust in the Aries system, he told me in an interview for Afloat before he started the race.

Since September 4 when the GGR fleet left France, he has been consistently in the top three.

Tonight the GGR officials confirmed his retiral.

GGR Race Committee said tonight: "Pat showed tremendous courage and seamanship in the Atlantic, always sailing in the front of the fleet while addressing various injuries at sea.

"He has faced both the barnacle invasion and a wind vane issue. He solved the first one at the first opportunity but does not have the spares for his Aries wind vane broken bearing."

He is due in Cape Town tonight. The Race Committee says he will be directed into the marina and to Customs.

More information is expected later and an interview with him. He is said to be frustrated and deeply disappointed.

Update at 0130 Irish Time: 

Pat Lawless berths Green Rebel at a marina in Capetown, South AfricaPat Lawless berths Green Rebel at a marina in Capetown, South Africa. Screenshot via GGR Youtube

Pat Lawless Comments on Arrival into Cape Town

Pat Lawless arrived safely into Cape Town and berthed Green Rebel.

At the marina, he said he was very disappointed and particularly for all his sponsors and supporters who had done so much for him. He outlined how difficult and challenging it had been to continue sailing after the Aries self-steering system failed. It appears that a bearing caused the failure. He said his wife will travel to South Africa. He was interviewed on the GGR Race Channel on YouTube (below) after arrival and confirmed his retiral decision because of the self-steering failure. His entire ambition and aim had been to sail non-stop around the world, he said. When that was no longer possible, there was no point in continuing. He will be making arrangements for repair and said it is his intention to sail Green Rebel back to Ireland.

Published in Golden Globe Race

Ireland’s Pat Lawless is reported to be having problems with the self-steering system on his 36-foot Green Rebel.

Two messages received at Golden Globe Race headquarters indicated the difficulties encountered on the way to Cape Town, the next point for handing over of video shot on their boats by the 13 remaining competitors in the non-stop race around the world.

The first from Pat Lawless said: “My Aries Self Steering is broken. I am on sheet to tiller since last night,"

A second message, near midday today said: “Pure fed up that a simple bearing on the self-steering would finish my Golden Globe Race.”

GGR has given an estimated time of arrival off Cape Town for Pat Lawless: as tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

No further indication has so far been received from Green Rebel.

Simon Curwen (UK) was the first to arrive off Cape Town yesterday afternoon.

Sailors' anchoring will probably be just off the foreshore at Granger Bay and visible from the foreshore. They are not allowed assistance. Anchoring enables an equipment and preparation check by the sailors on their boats before heading into the Southern Ocean.

A GGR Cape Town film gate line is located between Granger Bay Marina and Cape Town Channel which all entrants must cross this line with at least one reef in the mainsail and drop all headsails for 20 minutes.

Race Chairman Don McIntyre is on the water with the GGR and Royal Cape Yacht Club Team to greet the skippers, collect the photo, video and written material, and interview them should the weather conditions allow. Nothing is given to the entrants.

ETAs will be regularly updated on the GGR Facebook page and on the Royal Cape Yacht Club notice board, host of the Golden Globe Race in Cape Town.

Latest from GGR: “Pat has a Broken Aries!!”

Published in Golden Globe Race

Ireland's Pat Lawless sailing Green Rebel in the Golden Globe Race is on his way to Cape Town, the last call before the Southern Ocean, battling High-Pressure Systems and barnacles.

Cape Town is a traditional fixture in round-the-world sailing and the last port of call for sailors to assess their condition and their boat before venturing into the Indian Ocean. With the strong winds, swell and lack of shelter in the South, once you turn left, there is no turning back.

See live tracker below

Lawless has chosen to round the high through the southern route, and pundits say it is a bold move as it adds many miles to the route with no guarantee that the wind will hold, the high will travel north, and that there will be a way to cross towards the South African coastline.

1000 miles a week club

Lawless is among the top nine boats in the 13-boat fleet that are averaging 1000 miles a week; that is just below six knots average and an easy way to look at the finish of the 30,000 miles round the world race.

Gooseneck barnacles

Among the problems the fleet faces now is dealing with dreaded gooseneck barnacles attaching to the hull.

They were first spotted by Jeremy Bagshaw (RSA) and Damien Guillou (FRA) after cutting through the Cape Verde Islands, and later by Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) haunted by his 2018 experience, who overcame his fear of sharks and went overboard to clean his hull, removing around 60 of them.

 Guy Waites (UK), one of the best-prepared sailors, was unable to remove them at sea with a scrapper and announced to Race Control he was diverting towards Latin America to clean his hull. It was a shock among the skippers and a wake-up call for all.

Since then, Lawless and Ertan Beskardes (UK) have discovered some and all sailors are diving at the first opportunity for hull cleaning before reaching the colder waters of the Southern Oceans.

See live tracker below

Published in Golden Globe Race

Starting with a rough exit of the bay of Biscay, testing Golden Globe Race sailors and boats to the limit, with Damien Guillou's (FRA) PRB returning for repairs, Edward Walentynowicz (CAN) pulling the plug on his GGR campaign, Guy deBoer (USA) grounded in Fuerteventura and Mark Sinclair (AUS) mooring his Coconut in Lanzarote for good. Now thirteen sailors battle the doldrums seeking tradewinds and a fast passage south.

One of these is Ireland's Pat Lawless, who continues to show good pace and is described by race control as 'tough as nails'. Kerry's Lawless sailing 'Green Rebel', weathered a knee infection between the Canaries and the doldrums and now nurses a damaged rib and torn shoulder, while fighting in the lead group.

See live tracker below.

Lawless thinks he broke a rib when shoved across the cockpit. “I had an accident; the mainsheet caught me in the shoulder and threw me inside the cockpit, it was four days ago, and I have had a sore rib since. The shoulder must have a torn ligament, but it’s slowly improving.”

Pat Lawless is making great progress in the Golden Globe Race with 13 sailors are still racing. Simon Curwen first across the Equator, others in the doldrums physically and psychologically. See Tracker belowPat Lawless is making great progress in the Golden Globe Race with 13 sailors are still racing. Simon Curwen first across the Equator, others in the doldrums physically and psychologically. See live tracker below

Entrants can only call Race Control, not family and friends. Some demoralised GGR sailors called to chat, share their frustrations and trump the isolation after a month alone. A few are questioning why they are there, others if it is even possible to continue with severe lack of family contact.

The entrants, who felt overloaded with public and media attention in the weeks leading to the start, now welcome the weekly safety and media calls as a change in their routine and only chance to chat to the outside world.

One sailor not suffering mentally or physically, and working hard to get back at the front is French favourite Damien Guillou, who has been gaining places ever since he left Les Sables d'Olonne with a 6-day delay after repairing and reinforcing his windvane. He has gone from last to 6th, leading the mid-fleet pack earlier this week, although the doldrums make the ranking change several times a day.

Many wonder if the obvious speed, talent, hard work and determination of the Finisterian sailor that enabled his comeback will be enough to catch-up on Simon and the leaders. Michel Desjoyeaux who won his second victory on the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe, after going back to Les Sables d'Olonne, 200 miles after the start, for repairs and leaving with a 40-hour delay, gave us a hint on twitter earlier this week : "He is doing a "Desjoyeaux', only better! If you don't mind me saying it!"

2022 GGR entrants to date:

1. Abhilash Tomy (43) / India / Rustler 36
2. Arnaud Gaist (50) / France / BARBICAN 33 MKII (long keel version)
3. Damien Guillou (39) / France / Rustler 36
4. Elliott Smith (27) / USA / Gale Force 34
5. Ertan Beskardes (60) / UK / Rustler 36
6. Guy Waites (54) / UK / Tradewind 35
7. Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35
8. Jeremy Bagshaw (59) / South Africa / OE32
9. Kirsten Neuschäfer (39) / South Africa / Cape George 36
10. Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36
11. Pat Lawless (66) / Ireland / Saga 36
12. Simon Curwen (63) / UK / Biscay 36
13. Tapio Lehtinen (64) / Finland / Gaia 36 Masthead sloop

Published in Golden Globe Race

Golden Globe Yacht Race competitor Pat Lawless from Ireland beat Indian Abhilash Tomy in their week-long fight for the third spot at the first film gate off Lanzarote, a race point that also revealed the County Kerry solo sailor is suffering a knee infection on board his yacht Green Rebel.

As Afloat reported previously, Pat’s option east of the fleet cost him dearly earlier in the week but enabled him a magnificent comeback on Friday and Saturday.

Pat’s enthusiasm is infectious, and he was radiant when told of his position in the fleet!

Infectious also is his right knee, a pre-existing medical condition to the GGR, which has come back unexpectedly during the first week of sailing.

Pat is in regular contact with the Race doctor, MSOS Direct, and taking antibiotics as advised. He was advised to stop in Lanzarote to stock up with stronger antibiotics on board, but this would have meant losing contact with the leaders, as well as accepting external assistance and being moved to Chichester Class.

“This is an old injury that has come up after crawling on deck” said Pat “There is no way I want to move into Chichester Class, not for a minute, so I sail on! It will be fine”

He could reconsider this decision if it gets worse and make a stop in Cape Verde Islands in a week or so, sailing south.

See race tracker below

Published in Golden Globe Race

Ireland's solo sailor in the Golden Globe Race, Pat Lawless, passed Lanzarote at 1330 (1.30 p.m.) Irish time on Saturday afternoon.

Green Rebel was sailing briskly, with two jibs and a full main, making a speed of 6.3 knots on a broad reach and was the third boat in the fleet.

Lanzarote was the first video drop for the GGR yachts to make as they passed offshore of the Spanish holiday resort.

The boats and sailors had their first shake-down in the Bay of Biscay with Pat Lawless well to the fore of the fleet.

He has been steadily in the top three of the fleet since the race started from France on Sunday, September 4.

See race tracker below

Published in Golden Globe Race

Pat Lawless (66) of Limerick and Ballyferriter has been having good racing in the early stages of the Golden Golden Globe Solo Non-Stop Low-Technology Round The World Challenge.

His hefty Saltram 36 Green Rebel has proven well able for the more rugged elements of the weather mixture served up since the fleet departed from Les Sables d'Olonne nine days ago.

And his choice of the more southerly option in the difficult business of getting out of the Bay of Biscay proved to be spot on.

Since then, he got himself on the right side of a blocking low-pressure area off the west coast of Iberia to provide good progress southwards.

Currently, the leaders - with Green Rebel third on the water - are approaching the latitude of southern Portugal.

Tracker below

Published in Golden Globe Race
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