Golden year for traditional gaff rig sailing

A Round Britain Challengewith a difference’ will taking place this summer to celebrate the gaff rig and 50 years of the Old Gaffers Association (OGA).

2,000-mile voyage around the country will mark the landmark year while
fundraising for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The OGA was founded in 1963 to promote traditional gaff rig.

four-month anniversary voyage will include Old Gaffers from Britain,
the Netherlands, Belgium and France, a spectacle of boats out on parade,
welcome parties andsend-offs at ports all around
the UK.

It will begin in Maldon, Essex in April and travel clockwise around the coast.

will include a Solent area party in early May, stops around Falmouth,
Wales, an OGA Regatta weekend in Dublin, send offs at Belfast Harbour
and Scotland in midJune.

fleet will then split with some travelling through the Caledonian Canal
and others spending time in the Western Isles of Scotland.

will regroup for weekend events in South Humberside, Suffolk, Essex and
Kent before arriving at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, from August 15 to
18, for the big OGA Jubilee Festival.

are welcome to join in the fun. There will be free berthing for three
nights in Cowes Yacht Haven for a small registration fee.

spokeswoman Sue Lewis said: “More than 120 gaffers large and small have
already put their names on the list for priority registration and with
up to 200 boats expected it will be a fantastic

be racing in the Solent on the Saturday for prestigious once in a
lifetime Anniversary trophies and crew parties every night.”

community fundraising manager, Peter Tarrant said: “The idea to
circumnavigate the UK’s 2,000-mile coastline this summer in aid of the
RNLI to mark the 50th anniversary of Old Gaffers is

RNLI charity has been saving lives around the same coastline for nearly
200 years yet still remains independent of Government with over 98% of
our annual income made up of donations and

money raised through this nautical celebration will be put to good use,
and will help enable the charity to keep our volunteer crews trained
and equipped so they can continue to respond
to those in trouble at sea 24/7.”

anniversary book called Sailing Gaffers stories from 50 years of the
OGA, compiled and edited by Viv Head will be published in late spring to
raise funds for the cause.

The OGA will be at the London Boat Show

Crew are needed to join several of the participating boats.

Visit the event website.

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