|Mick handing over record 'trophy'|
Mick was part of the four man team who set the record some 20 years ago. Mick is a big friendly bear of a man with a touch of craziness - we all hit it off the moment we met, I could see that Harry and Mick were probably chopped from the same block. Mick treated us to a fish and chip supper then took us home to meet his wife and three young children, the latest addition to his family was four week old Dermot, who according to Mick was already being groomed to paddle around Ireland in under 20 days.
We unloaded one of the Tarans for the guys to look over and Mick instantly fell for the lines of the Taran. Mick holds numerous records for paddling, the Liffey Descent, the Irish Sea crossing from Rosslare to Pembroke as well as having won the DW race four times. The guys all started to arrive and we wondered into town for a beer - more and more people wandered in and settled round the table; the Guinness flowed almost as fast as the Liffey River.
On the way around Ireland, Harry and I had discussed together the speed of paddling the coast and figured it could be done in sub 20 days if the weather is good - this became a topic of conversation around the table, when suddenly out of Harry's corner came a roar 'well come on boys, do it!' - out of the eleven paddlers sat around the table - ten had successfully circumnavigated the country. The gauntlet was laid and twenty two eyes were glued to it, everyone roared into laughter and the Guinness started to flow once more...
|Laying down the Gauntlet..|