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Killaloe Sailing Club member Pat Lawless is preparing for the Gold Globe race in September.

Pat passes hat in bid to contest prestigious sailing race

Champion Chatter Podcast

KILLALOE Sailing Club’s newest member has raised more than €11,000 of his €20,000 target to participate in the 2022 Golden Globe Race, writes Dan Danaher.

On September 4 next, Limerick sailor, Pat Lawless will commence on the ‘Race of his Life’, sailing solo around the world, non-stop and unassisted by technology other than a compass, sextant, the stars and the sun.

Killaloe Sailing Club is thrilled to have an association with its newest club member on his worldwide voyage. The club undertook a successful fundraiser for Pat last year, and as a supporting organisation, the club logo will be engraved onto the bulkhead of his boat.

Sailing in a 36ft Saltram Saga, no Irish person has managed to achieve this feat before now. The Golden Globe Race, which starts in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, is the longest, loneliest sporting event in the world. It involves nine months at sea alone in a small boat.
(Get a flavour of what is involved below)

It will entail stepping back to the Golden Age of solo sailing, with no modern technology, sailing the race in the spirit of Brendan the Navigator and Edward Conor Marshall O’Brien, the first skipper to take a small boat around the world via the three great southern capes.

Pat grew up around boats learning to sail on the River Shannon, building his first boat at the age of just 12, and has already sailed over 10,000 miles solo.

He is also no stranger to dinghy sailing, including Lasers and 420s. In addition to RSs and several other categories, Killaloe Sailing Club currently has a very large fleet of lasers, which participate in club racing events each week during the sailing season.

Pat has selected the Saltram Saga 36, and believe she is the best boat for him to be able to win the race.

Alan Papa designed her as a development, from the Colin Archer “Redningskoite” sailing lifeboat hull. For many years they have been regarded as being amongst the most sea worthy around, but are substantially faster than the original.

“She will come into her own in the Southern Ocean, able to hold on to working sail in strong winds, without heeling more than 20°, while in soft weather, she can sail so well because of her wet area,” he explained.

Killaloe Sailing Club is currently undergoing a transformative clubhouse development at its site on the shores of Lough Derg, and is open to new members. For 2022 membership form, contact: or visit

To support Pat Lawless in his endeavours, log on to
To follow Pat’s journey, see and

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