Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Laying down the Gauntlet

Mick handing over record 'trophy' 
We were just in the process of checking out of the Cliff House when the receptionist said there was a call for us. It was Mick O'Meara, calling us up to offer his congratulations and to invite us over to his home in Tramore for a celebratory beer or three.

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..


  1. Massive congratulations for an incredible feat! This is my last call to request the most kilometers in a 24 hour period for which to sponsor. I appreciate you guys paddling for ovarian cancer research. Job well done!

  2. ....unlike Tiffany im not too fussed about finding out how far your longest day was .....

  3. Perhaps that is because you did not publicly offer to sponsor thus as a means of goodwill and a sense of distant camaraderie . . .

  4. hmmm....not sure what you mean but im sponsoring jeff a pound per km for the longest paddle in a 24 hr period...

  5. My sincere, and red-faced, apology. --Tiffany

  6. Hey guys our longest day was 120 kilometres on a 24 hour period we believe, and over a continupous period with only short breaks of less than one hour we managed to paddle from Bray to Ardmore which is approximately 232 kilometers.
    Jeff and Harry

  7. well if the 232km was in a 24 hour period then thats what it is...incredible, and the last time i lay down a challenge like that!!
    well done to you both....