An Irish sailor's bid to sail around the world solo, non-stop and unassisted is set to get underway next week.
52-year-old Peter Lawless has been spending recent months preparing for the ambitious undertaking.
If successful, he'll become the first Irish person to sail around the world non-stop and unassisted (meaning no outside help).
He's hoping the entire trip will take him via the world's Great Capes and back to Ireland in around 8-10 months.
With final preparations for the journey now underway, Peter took time to speak to Down to Business about the trip and the planning that's gone into it.
Peter has spent his life sailing but acknowledges this undertaking is "fairly extreme" even for an experienced sailor such as himself.
However, he's confident he'll complete the trip - thanks to his boat the Waxwing and plenty of equipment to help him along.
He said: “I have everything - chart plotters, sat-phones… everything you’d use on your own boat.
"I’ve an excellent boat - I spent a lot of time preparing, so she’s in tip-top, excellent condition. She’s spot-on.
“[The boat] chose me. I saw her in a boatyard on Valentia Island, and thought 'wow'.”
It was only after first spotting the boat that he learned it has a history of successful trips, with its previous owners having used the boat to travel the world.
Of course, a trip of this magnitude is an expensive undertaking - but Peter has had plenty of help and support to keep his goal on track.
He said: "I did have luck with companies sponsoring me - I got various equipment… I can’t name them all, but they helped me in various different ways.
“I borrowed and borrowed and maxed out everything as well - I’m not wealthy! I had a GoFundMe as well, and that was tipping along.
"There’ll be ongoing bills while I’m at sea as well… the financial side of it is huge, but it is going fairly good thank god. It has been a great learning experience."
From Kilrush to the Great Capes
Next Saturday, Peter's set to depart from Kilrush in Co Clare.
The first leg of the trip will take him south, down past the Canaries and Cape Verde. That’ll get him across the Equator - he’ll then travel under South Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, and sail east for the rest of the Capes.
He’d be “very happy” with an eight months journey, although accepts it could take longer than that.
He said: “Eight months would be great…. I’d be back in April then, in the spring, which would be nice.”
He’ll be far from shore, noting: “For most of the trip, the nearest people to me would be in the Space Station… they wouldn’t be much help to me!”
However, he's hopeful he is "very well prepared" for whatever comes his way.
He said: "Hopefully nothing comes along that I need to abandon [the trip]. I’m prepared for it mentally and with all the equipment, but hopefully, it doesn’t come to anything like that. She’s an incredible boat.”
He said there are always a few last-minute jobs ahead of a journey like this, but now the main job will be to load the boat with food and water supplies ahead of next Saturday’s departure.