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Howth Sailor Injured On Antix Told Shipmates to Stay Silent

20th July 2015
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Dylan Gannon (left) of Howth with Ross MacDonald
The hard men, Dylan Gannon (left) of Howth with clubmate and fellow-crewman Ross MacDonald on board Antix before the start of this year’s Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race. Photo: W M Nixon
Howth Sailor Injured On Antix Told Shipmates to Stay Silent

#antixfinger – When you play in the big boys game, then you play by the big boys' rules writes W M Nixon. And you take it like a man. That seems to be the attitude of the amateur crew who raced Anthony O'Leary's Ker 40 Antix in last weekend's British IRC Nationals. So when Dylan Gannon of Howth seriously injured a finger tip snagged in a coil of sheet in Friday's hectic second race, his first thoughts seemed to be about how to make sure his very painful problem would inflict only minimal damage on the campaign and his shipmates' efforts.

Unfortunately, in this age of universal electronic chatter when professional footballers writhe in agony with an injury that stoical amateur sailors would scarcely notice, the rumour mills went into overdrive. Stories were flying around about Gannon being helicoptered off the boat, with only a very limited possibility that a team of surgeons will be able to save his hand, let alone the fingers.

While the situation could have been serious enough, it was handled with exemplary coolness. Piet Vroon's big support RIB for Tonnere 4 was nearby monitoring the racing, and was soon alongside. Then as Gannon stepped aboard it unaided, his parting words to his shipmates were that they weren't to say anything about it at all at all. Fat chance. While they certainly went along with his wishes by peddling a yarn about gear failure, gossip elsewhere has since been spreading.

Dylan Gannon meanwhile reckoned that having the inside track on the best medical treatment in Dublin was the way to go, and got himself back home on Saturday morning to be on line for a remedial operation tomorrow (Tuesday).

Antix went on to conclude the series with a crew reduced to nine, and while they were upset with themselves by losing what would have been a very helpful second place in one race, their final slot of sixth could be lived with, and they were heartened by the news that after the consultation with the specialist yesterday (Sunday), Dylan Gannon expects to be sailing again by the Autumn, if not sooner.

Published in Ilen
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