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Historic New Trophy for SSE Renewables Round Ireland Race

9th January 2020
The 1937-built classic Maybird becoming the oldest boat to complete the Round Ireland Race as she finishes at Wicklow in July 2018. The 1937-built classic Maybird becoming the oldest boat to complete the Round Ireland Race as she finishes at Wicklow in July 2018.

The SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race from Wicklow on June 20th 2020 will attract some of the hottest new offshore racers to be seen in Irish and European waters. But there will be some more senior and even classic craft in the fleet, and in the 2018 race, Darryl Hughes’ immaculately-restored 1937 43ft Tyrrell gaff ketch Maybird became both the oldest and the first gaff-rigged boat to complete the race.

It was quite a moment when Maybird crossed the finish line in the sunshine, and rumours abound as to how long her post-race party went on both in Wicklow and her birthplace of Arklow, which had provided some of her crew. We do know it was deservedly quite a celebration, and the whole experience has left Darryl with such fond memories that he got to wondering if some trophy honouring Maybird might be accepted for future Round Irelands to celebrate the oldest boat to complete the course each time the biennial race is sailed.

Wicklow Sailing Club – where master thatcher Kyran O’Grady is now Commodore, and which led the way in welcoming Maybird home – are very taken with the idea. So in the workshop at his recently-acquired house in Crosshaven, Darryl has been crafting the Maybird Mast Trophy from timber salvaged from some of the ketch’s original spars. The resulting trophy will have added meaning in several ways, not least in that it will be a piece of high-quality woodwork which - in its original form - will have been handled by the great Jack Tyrrell himself, a world-renowned shipwright who gave real meaning to the term “hands-on management”.

Published in Round Ireland
WM Nixon

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WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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The Round Ireland Yacht Race is Ireland's classic offshore yacht race that starts from Wicklow Sailing Club (WSC) and is organised jointly with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and the Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC). This page details the very latest updates from the 2008 race onwards including the race schedule, yacht entries and the all-important race updates from around the 704-mile course. Keep up to date with the Round Ireland Yacht Race here on this one handy page.

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