May 11th 2024

Thanks to 'Mike the Yank' who made a kind donation in his wife's name Kathy Egan, to fund the new Aries name "HAMMILL THE CAMEL" Aries

Spent a interesting and great four days in the Aries Vane Gear workshop in Amsterdam.
Lean and Zuba, who run it, have a fantastic passion for their job. They are working on a new top quality Aries for my GGR26.
Replacing some bushings with bearings and more improvements. I have ordered one. It will be launched at the La Rochelle boat show in October. Looking forward to getting it. If possible I will sail down to collect it after the boat show.
Dan Flannery who traveled with me helped with the service of my old Aries. We stripped it down, washed every little and bigger item.
Lean showed us everything needed to know about servicing it. We also worked on another fold up one belonging to Peter and Lucy Hagerty of La Bougie Candles. They shipped my Aries over and back with theirs: Fair play.
Dan and I have a great understanding of how to service an Aries now. Let me know if you need anything done on one. We would be happy to help.
Lean has a large stock of parts, including the bearings and bushings needed to make my old one like new.
On my old one the two holes on the top of the pendulum were slightly out of line, so bronze inserts were pushed in into the holes and then bored to make perfect. It's great to be able to get super workers with the ability to make an old Aries like new again.
After sailing "Lazy Otter" home from Cape Town with a Hydro wind vane, I am more certain than ever that the Aries is the best one for the GGR and any offshore sailing. The stronger the wind, the better it works, and that's when it is needed most.
I intend to have everything done well before the start of the GGR 26 to be in a great position to finish well.
Bringing a spare Aries that most likely will not be needed is something I decided is worth doing.
Next big thing to concentrate on is the Rigging, while getting smaller jobs ticked off the list when possible.

Love, Light and Health to you all!

March 10th 2024

I have been busy between woodwork and maintenance on Green Rebel over the winter.
The engine was removed, will replace it this week all going to plan.
The main reason for removing the engine was to replace the rubber gasket on the shaft and work on the bilge pumps. While it was out the engine has been fully serviced including removing the starter and alternator for checking. The ignition/control panel in the cockpit got damaged by saltwater during the GGR22. It will be replaced and the new one will be fitted inside the companion way.

There is a GRP sump under the engine that catches any fluid that leaks, keeps the bilge so clean. Under the engine and GRP sump is the deeper part of bilge in the boat, hard to access when the engine in. Have fitted two manual and two 12v pumps down there now. Much deeper than before. This means that the boat will be lighter and dryer.

On 6th April, weather permitting is the launch date. Looking forward to a nice summer sailing around Ireland, with family, friends and supporters. I will stop into as many ports as possible. Do let me know if you have any ideas of where I should go.
Also over the summer Jade Edwards, a really good experienced rigger will work on Green Rebel's mast and rigging. The three furlers need sorting as does the running backstays and gooseneck.
I know that he will find other jobs also, getting the boat ready early is very important.

I Left some things too late in my GGR22 campaign. That won't happen in the GGR26.
I have completed several talks for my GGR journey over the winter, my next one is in Foynes Yacht Club on Friday 22nd March. FYC is the Club I sail under. The Lawless family go way back in the Foynes Yacht Club. I did a great sailing course there as a young boy. Looking forward to the talk. Do join us if possible.

Love, Light and Health to you all!

January 2nd 2024

In the spring of 2018, the Golden Globe Race came onto my radar after a chat with my brother John. Shortly after looking at the Golden Globe website, I was gone down a worm hole that was the start of a wonderful, mighty, mad journey.

It was interesting to look into the different boats that the entrants in the GGR18 had chosen. It was definitely to late to try to enter the GGR18 with only five months left before the start. But I had decided fairly fast that it was something I would love to do.

It was good to follow preparation of the 18 entrants, including the Irish one Gregor McGuckin. Once the race started I followed the tracker morning, noon and night.
I can still remember the terrible sadness felt as the boats were lost. Four sank and one managed to sail back into Cape Town under Jury rig. Of the eighteen starters, five finished.
After getting my wife's blessings and support I started looking for a boat for the GGR22. Before the end of 2018, I was entered and picked the Saltram Sage 36 as my boat. Looking at and studying the boats was a great part of the journey.

It was March before the boat was mine. My first sail was down through Amsterdam into the North Sea, down the English channel and the Bay of Biscay to Les Sable's d'Olonne, just in time for the GGR18 prize giving.

After a great week in Les Sable's d'Olonne including meeting the GGR team and skippers, I sailed home to Ireland getting back end of April. I had managed to purchase the boat, pay the entire fee and still have some money left to start working on the campaign. Before I knew it COVID-19 had arrived. It was a difficult time for all. But as Don McIntyre said, "There is always something" and he is so right.

The next few years flew by, working on the boat when possible. Towards the start of the race, looking back, I mismanaged my time, or did not step back and look to see what was the most important things to do. Some people were late doing jobs for me that pushed other jobs down the line. I had intended sending my Aries to Holland for a full service. It still bothers me that I didn't. But such is life. Most likely I would have finished well if it had been serviced.

You can find a link to my YouTube channel on this website if you want more information on preparing the boat for the GGR22.

Of the thirty two paid entrants only sixteen made the start. I believe what I learned from the GGR22 will stand to me in the '26 race.

Love, Light and Health to you all!