WHAT'S the Big Deal? A team of Listowel sailors winning Calves Week 2012 is what; one of the most prestigious contests of the year in the southwest.
Derek Dillon's yacht Big Deal swung out around the Fastnet in high seas to clinch the week-long race, bringing home a long-coveted cup for the group of sailors native to land-locked Listowel.
The win also marked the tenth anniversary of Derek's purchase of Big Deal in Holland in 2002. He was joined in the crew by son Conor, Listowel's Pat Hannon and Elaine O'Mahony as well as Newcastle West natives John Cremin and Mark Murphy and Eamon McGuinness.
"It was fantastic and got pretty hairy out around the Fastnet," Pat Hannon told The Kerryman. "It's an unbelieveable rock and pretty daunting looking approaching it. We had often passed by it on the coast but never came so close as on the final day of Calves Week," he said.
"The week had already started on a high when we won Class Two in the Baltimore regatta on the Monday," Derek said.
"We then moved onto Schull for the four days of racing and got an even better start in Calves Week when we won the first two days. We were delighted with our performance on Big Deal!"