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As described in the previous News about Pat Lawless, he had a good start to the Golden Globe Race. Then he lost out on the fleet but came back into third place just before the “Film gate” in the Canary Islands. Just hours before, Pat had beaten Abhilash Tomy in their week-long fight for the 3rd spot. Pat’s option east of the fleet cost him dearly earlier in the week but enabled him a magnificent come back on Friday and Saturday. Pat’s enthusiasm is infectious and he was radiant when told his position in the fleet!

Pat Lawless, Golden Globe Race Update from September 19.


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. He decided to continue and defend a hard-earned third place, but will re-assess the situation when in sight of the Cape Verde archipelago.

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


He is in great spirits, apparently. When interviewed on the radio by the race organisers, he said: “Food on board is great, I have eaten too much! I have enough food and water to bring me 1.5 times around the world. Not missing much, enjoying the time. I’m on a journey to get around as quick as I can but miss my family.”

In Good Spirits
In Good Spirits

Unfortunately, the passage through the Canary Islands and beyond became a slow one. The whole fleet was becalmed, pushing through light winds, trying to move in the right direction, testing various options. Pat has decided to look for more pressure along the coast of Africa, together with Tapio Lehntinen from Finland and Abhilash Tomy from India.


In another message Pat said: “I am heartbroken, got the news that Guy de Boer had boat problems. A kind and sharing person!” In fact, Guy de Boer had gone aground on the rocks in the islands at night time but survived the stranding without injury. Currently, it is being discussed how best the boat can be lifted off the rocks – but sadly, the race is over for the sailor from New Orleans and his boat, a Tashiba 36 named “Spirit”.

All photos by Aïda Valceanu.

You can follow Pat on the Golden Globe Race Live Tracker