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Lyver Trophy History

Lyver Trophy
Lyver Trophy

Brief history of our own L.Y.C/ R.D.Y.C's R.O.R.C Fastnet qualifying race

The Lyver Trophy Race was first introduced in 1997 as a bi-annual race by Gordon Dewar from Liverpool Yacht Club, as a joint initiative with the Royal Dee Yacht Club. The aim was to provide a testing course, and a qualifying race for the world famous R.O.R.C. Fastnet race. The race was also to appeal to boats based in ports around the North West, including Liverpool, Blackpool, Isle of Mann, Fleetwood, Pwllheli, Holyhead and the Irish ports.

To meet R.O.R.C. Fastnet requirements, the race must be over 75 nautical miles in length, so coupled with the fact that it is staged in the Irish Sea, it can be a gruelling race. The race is open to all handicapped yachts and all issues regarding the running of the race are strictly observed.

The overall winner of the race receives a magnificent Waterford Glass Trophy with mementoes presented to other class winners; sometimes as many as three or four classes

In the early years the race was started from Liverpool but in 2009, the start of the race was moved to Holyhead in order to maintain the growing reputation of the event. This had the immediate effect of swelling the number of entrants, mainly from the Republic and eventually the race became part of the prestigious I.S.O.R.A. series.

The first Lyver Trophy race was really high profile, setting the standard for future races. The race was scheduled to start at 18.55 hours BST because the house committee had persuaded BBC television to run their early evening news programme from the Marina! live to several million viewers !! Gordon and his daughter, Georgina broadcast splendid interviews throughout the half hour prior to the race with expert analyses. A great boost for LYC and RDYC. What the millions of viewers saw as the programme ended at 19.00 was a great charge to the line headed by Albright Star, a magnificent spectacle but as the image faded unfortunately a General Recall which was never thankfully recorded on camera! For the record Jee Mags was the eventual winner.

'Over the years there have been many magnificent achievements in the races - not always by the winners!

The 2001 race to Pwllheli was won by Adam Kyffin and John Oliver's Flash 11 after a gruelling 40+ hour 120 mile endurance test round the Irish Sea from Liverpool. The winning margin? 94 seconds on corrected time! Adam, John and new partner Mark Connolly were to repeat their success for L.Y.C. at Howth in 2013 with Eazi Tiger.

In 2005 Quilla, skippered by the late Commodore John D'Henin received a tremendous welcoming cheer from the packed gallery at Howth in the midst of the presentation ceremony, determined to make the crossing, some 15 hours after the first yacht had finished.

And in 2015 the diminutive, by Lyver Trophy standards, Di-Rich, bravely kept the L.Y.C. never say die tradition alive to finish her race late in the evening, exhausted to applause and admiration at the National Yacht Club. Didn't win the race, but a lot of friends at Dun Laoghaire. She was skippered by the current L.Y.C. Commodore, Paul Pratt and Tim Hare.

This year's race starts on 30th June from Holyhead and  finishes at Dun Laoghaire. The story goes on!

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