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Pat Lawless and Green Rebel in the Golden Globe Race: The Mast and Sailing 'By the Seat of Your Pants'

19th July 2022
Pat Lawless in Crosshaven before departing for the Golden Globe solo round the world race
Pat Lawless in Crosshaven before departing for the Golden Globe solo round the world race

The mast is everything to Pat Lawless.

So, before his yacht, Green Rebel, went back into the water this week on Valentia Island and he headed for Dingle in “a nice light breeze” on his final preparations to take part in this year’s Golden Globe solo non-stop race around the world, he had given it special attention.

Green Rebel goes back into the water at Valentia this weekGreen Rebel goes back into the water at Valentia Island this week

“The five boats that sank in the last race all sank because they lost their masts. I’ve paid special attention to it and have given it extra protection.”

I talked to Pat at Crosshaven in Cork Harbour where the Boys’ National School Scoil Náisiúnta Chros tSeáin joined the Golden Globe Race Schools Programme this week to follow Pat as he “sets sail like it’s 1968, using the same type of equipment that existed then,” he told pupils.

Pat Lawless speaking to school children in CrosshavenPat Lawless speaking to school children in Crosshaven

This week also, Foynes Yacht Club presented Pat with “a burgee to carry around the world as my father did.”

Pat Lawless at Foynes Yacht Club which also made the top bid for a painting by Helen StritchPat Lawless at Foynes Yacht Club, which also made the top bid for a painting by Helen Stritch

Pat's final Irish port-of-departure will be from Crosshaven Boatyard on Tuesday morning next (July 26) heading for Gijon in Northern Spain, from where there will be a ‘prologue race’ to France on August 13. 

A nice breeze for Green Rebel A nice breeze for Green Rebel

The Golden Globe Race itself starts on September 4, from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France. where it will also finish.  

Green Rebel goosewingingGreen Rebel goose winging in downwind sailing mode

He is a determined man and told me his time as a fisherman has given him a lot of experience, which will be useful in the race in which he is fixing so much attention on the mast into which he has put extra supports.

However, he has decided not to do what other competitors in the race are doing - he won’t have a solid sprayhood. These are a few of the personal choices he has made.

He says that dealing with a gale on a yacht will be easier than working through a gale on the deck of a fishing boat!

Pat Lawless in Dingle, County Kerry as he calls to local areas on his way round to Cork Harbour to depart for the Golden Globe RacePat Lawless in Dingle, Co.Kerry, as he calls to coastal areas prior to his departure for the Golden Globe Race. With him at Dingle are Michael Flynn CEO, Philip Galvin and Alex Flynn of FLI Global,co-sponsors of his Golden Globe Race entry

So, racing his yacht, Green Rebel, named after the Crosshaven company, which is the main sponsor, is basic sailing - by the seat of your pants, I suggested:

You can hear his answer and more on the Podcast here.

Tom MacSweeney

About The Author

Tom MacSweeney

Email The Author

Tom MacSweeney writes a weekly column for He presents the monthly programme Maritime Ireland on Podcast services and Irish radio stations.

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