"Race entry is the easy bit, then there is the prep .... THEN the GGR."
A solo, non-stop, unassisted round the world 30,000 mile race is a challenge of course … but preparing for the race is the challenge before the race even begins.
As Pat Lawless makes his final preparations for his Golden Globe Race challenge with ‘SY Green Rebel’ we caught up for a quick chat ...
How have you found the preparations Pat?
“Entering the Golden Globe Race is the easy bit. Then you have a mass of loops to jump through and hurdles to climb to be up to spec for the race. The GGR is regarded as the safest yacht race in the world for a reason. Anyone can enter, but the boat must adhere to strict safety standards and equipment lists, all within the requirements of “no modern technology”. Then there is my own set of standards and requirements for a safe sail – it is a mammoth task. 32 boats entered the Golden Globe Race initially and only 18 are currently left listed as entries!”
If you were doing it again, what would you do differently?
“If I was doing it again, I would have borrowed as much money as I could earlier, so I could buy what I needed in the beginning instead of building up equipment as I went along. I am way over budget, but you have to buy what you need and you only get one go at this. The international supply chain for specialized equipment has been slow due to high demand and slow transport, so that has added an extra element of difficulty in preparations. I am happy with what I have, but gathering the equipment earlier would have made the planning more comfortable. The recent support of Green Rebel as sponsors has helped tremendously to give the preparations a boost.”
You are not allowed modern technology, but we notice you are allowed a satellite phone, can you explain the rules here for us please?
“Yes. We are required to have a satellite phone that has no GPS on it. The race rules require that we must send a message to the GGR base centre every day to inform them that we are active and we must make a 20 min call to them once a week.”
How do you deal with a medical emergency at sea?
“It is mandatory to have a medical kit on board that is full of equipment I wouldn’t normally have – morphine, adrenaline, dental kit, sutures and much more. It is also a requirement to go on a course to learn how to use it all and the GGR has a doctor on call if medical advice is required at sea. Safety is a priority and even though I don’t have modern navigational equipment or weather information, I do have emergency backup support.”
You are an extremely experienced yachtsman, but was there any element of the required training and preparation that gave you any new knowledge or skills?
“Yes. As part of the standards, each boat has to practice setting up a jury rig, so that they have experienced the process in safe waters. You use 2 spinnaker poles to set up the jury rig and going through that process was good. Now I feel I have imprinted the actions in my mind and will be more prepared if I lose my mast.”
We talked with Pat back in 2021 when he was first preparing the boat and he shared the incredible plans he had for the mast to make it as safe as possible and some of the equipment he planned to bring on board for the journey
So when is lift-off Pat?
“All the entries are meeting in Gijón, Spain, for a friendly race to test the equipment on 6 August and raise funds SITraN, researching neurodegenerative disorders such as Motor Neurone Disease. We then sail on to Les Sables d’Olonne, France. There is a village set up for visitors to meet the sailors and boats from 20 August and the Gold Globe Race start is 4th September 2022.”
Do you have a message for young sailors looking at planning a sailing adventure?
“The message from my father was always “Survival and Arrival” – prepare well, pace yourself, enjoy the sail and make sure you get yourself back home.”
The Gold Globe Race finish and prize giving is estimated to be June 2023 - one for your diary.
If you would like the help Pat with his GGR challenge head on over to his Go Fund Page here and through patlawless.com/
If you are interested in finding out more about the Golden Globe Race rules and more GO HERE.