New book launched and hundreds expected for Cowes festival

The OGA has published a book in celebration of 50 years of old gaffering.

The publication was ceremonially launched at the Traditional Sail Cardiff 2013 at the end of June, as part of the OGA 50th Jubilee celebrations.

Thirty-five boats from across the country flocked to the combined event for trailer-sailor boats nationally and larger boats locally.

The event was organised by the Trailer Section and the Bristol Channel Area, and hosted by Cardiff Yacht Club.

The smallest boat was just 12 feet, while among the largest was the 48ft gaff ketch Working Yacht 1.

OGA secretary Sue Lewis said: ‘In a notably mixed bag of early summer weather, the event was blessed by fair skies and manageable breezy conditions.

‘It made for some great sailing – racing outside the barrage in the Bristol Channel for larger gaffers, inside the barrage for smaller ones, and some much enjoyed river-raiding.

‘The culmination of the weekend’s sailing was the parade of sail, led by the Penarth Inshore lifeboat.

‘With crews kitted out as pirates and Vikings and boats dressed overall, it was a great spectacle.’

OGA Jubilee festival

Now all the focus is turning to Cowes on the Isle of Wight where a far larger 50th anniversary celebration will be held for the OGA next month.

More than 220 boats and 1,000-plus crews and visitors have so far signed up
to attend the event from
15 to 18 August.

Non-members’ gaffers are welcome to join in, become part of
history and help to set a new world record.

Organisers have got 125 entries so
far for the event’s main race on Saturday 17 August, which would make it the
largest gaff rig race since records began.

Free berths are still available (with a small
registration fee), as are a few dinner tickets for the Friday night. Visit and, or follow the Old Gaffers association on Facebook.

The OGA book called “Sailing Gaffers” is available from
the OGA online shop at or from Amazon.

The book is published by, and available from Quartet Books.

Pictures credit: Old Gaffers Association