Sailing is hard. Sailing on your own is even harder. Sailing on your own around the world is about the hardest thing I can think of.
Peter Lawless, a Dingle-based father of three, is going to attempt it anyway. If he's successful, he'll become the first Irish person to manage a full circumnavigation of the world on their own.
"In August 2021, I plan to sail solo, non-stop, unassisted around the world from Ireland, back to Ireland via the 5 great capes. I will be using a sextant and paper charts as my primary navigation tools," says Peter.
For the land lubbers among us, that means he'll be going via Cape Agulhas at the tip of South Africa, then Cape Leeuwin and Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia, the South East Cape of Tasmania and South Cape of New Zealand and finally Cape Horn at the tip of Chile before heading back up the Atlantic to Ireland.
"If I am successful, I will be the first Irish person to complete a solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world," says Peter.
"I estimate the trip will take approximately 8 months non-stop. My yacht Waxwing is a Rival 41, she is a standard production offshore cruising yacht that I have upgraded for the challenge. She is perfect for this circumnavigation.
The challenge doesn't daunt him. "Since I was a child, I have always loved survival movies, stories and books," he writes on his website. "Solo sailing for me is the ultimate survival challenge. You have to be everything: sailor, navigator, mechanic, cook and keep everything working perfectly as well as sailing safely across the oceans.
"Growing up I sailed with my Dad, Mum, brothers and sister. I started sailing in an Optimist dinghy when I was 4 years old...Sailing is one thing throughout my life that I have always loved."
"I have always wanted to sail around the world, every aspect of the challenge is exciting for me. In 1996, my father came back after a 3-year solo circumnavigation at the age of 70, sailing into Kilrush Marina. He was a huge inspiration for me and we were all so proud of him."
"I have had to take courses and exams over the years and one of them was my Yacht master ocean course, this is where I learned celestial navigation and the use of the sextant. There is something lovely about looking at a paper chart and marking your position along a route."
"This solo circumnavigation is a big challenge and not a decision I made overnight but I have a great boat, fantastic family and friends behind me and with good preparation and equipment it will be incredible."
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