Tuesday 1 September 2009

Solent Old Gaffers Annual Race - 50th Anniversary

Back in the Autumn of 1958 some local yachtsmen sat in the back bar of the Jolly Sailor pub in Bursledon and agreed to hold a race specifically for gaff rigged boats. Gaff rig describes a boat with a square main sail, which has a wooden spar both at the top and bottom of the sail. It was common on traditional English working boats, but even back in the 1950's wasn't competitive against the triangular "Bermudan" sails which were ubiquitous among more modern racing craft.

The first race had only three entries and was the first Old Gaffers Association OGA race. Since then the race has been held annually with increasing numbers.

Sunday saw the 50th anniversary of the race, with a fine turn out mostly from the local Solent OGA. The sky's were low and grey with a stiff breeze blowing from the south west which made for an exciting and fast race.

Running off from the East Knoll buoy the fleet was spreading out on a fast run, despite the strong winds most boats were setting as much sail as they dared.

Back in Bursledon for the prize giving, everyone had enjoyed a thoroughly good race and returned without any major breakages.

Winner of the class 1 was the yawl Iseult which in addition to winning the 50th anniversary race, also celebrates her 100th year.

1 comment:

  1. Max, you are indeed fortunate to be living in an area so rich in tradition and active sailing. Seems to be something going on every week.


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