This ornate repoussé silver trophy is in the form of a handled cup with an everted rim and tripod dolphin base. The high relief decoration comprises three gaff rigged yachts racing, above a frieze of shells against waves. There is a C-scroll cartouche inscribed ‘The Luska Bay Challenge Cup Presented by Captain Waller and Captain Edmund W. Waller 29th July 1878’. The handles are composed of entwined ropes and the rim of frothing waves. Assay marks for London 1876.
The Luska Bay Regatta was first held in 1878 and the Waller family, prominent yachtsmen from Tipperary, presented a Challenge Cup worth £20 for the winner of the race open to all yachts under 10 tons, ‘the property of gentlemen’. It was hard-fought and won by Surprise in 5 hours, 58 minutes and 43 seconds. Surprise was owned by Captain W. Waller, and helmed by his son Edmond, the two gentlemen who presented the trophy in the first place. Surprise had a fine racing record, having won two years in a row in 1876 and 1877 at the Lough Derg Regatta.