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Cruising Couple Named Sailors of the Month

2nd March 2012
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Cruising Couple Named Sailors of the Month

#SAILORS OF THE MONTH – Fergus and Kay Quinlan are currently voyaging northwest through the South Atlantic from Cape Town headed towards Brazil in their 38ft sloop Pylades. But they're Afloat.ie/Irish Independent "Sailors of the Month" for February in celebration of their recent award of Ireland's most senior cruising trophy, the Faulkner Cup, for their ventures last year which took them and their own-built boat from Tahiti across the western Paifi to Darwin at the north tip of Australia.

The Sailor of the Month and the Sailor of the Year awards have been going quite some time now, in fact you'll have to dig good and deep into the previous millennium to find them in their earliest form. But time-honoured and all as they are, there's no way these awards can match the Faulkner Cup in longevity – it goes back to 1931.

So as cruising is an activity with a certain timelessness to it, we're more than happy to defer to the Irish Cruising Club's seniority, and stand back until they award their trophies each year. We even try to go along with their hope that everyone will realize that, as cruising under sail – particularly where it's to palm-fringed lagoons and islands such as Pylades has been visiting – is a non-competitive activity, then it's ancient Challenge Cups cannot be won. On the contrary, they're awarded.

That said, the Quinlans did have a certain amount of competition with the weather from time to time, and in one part of Paradise where they very much wanted to linger, the Society Islands, the anchorages are all 25 metres deep, and if you wrap your anchor chain around a coral head. You don't get that in their home waters of County Clare.

At another island, they were able to give a return for warm hospitality by accepting an invitation to tell the kids in the school about Ireland, and Clare in particular. When Fergus mentioned it's famous for music, he was immediately requested (ordered might be the word) to play some Clare music on his squeezebox. He says his music wouldn't get past first base in Kilfenora, but in the middle of the Pacific it did the business. There'll be plenty of music in the west when Pylades gets back this summer, meanwhile her crew are ideal Sailors of the Month, voyaging for all of us back home.

Afloat.ie Team

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