Category Archives: Racing yacht

Chesapeake Bay log canoe sailing on video

Mighty stuff filmed by Seth Jones – just look at the huge rigs on those slender Chesapeake Bay log canoe hulls, the youngest of which are still old boats in anyone’s terms.

And the choice of music is so much preferable to the techy-synthy-guitary rock so often used to accompany these things. Surely old boats deserve something at least a little apt? Here we have a graceful old boat treated to a little graceful old music…

Watermen – oyster dredging and racing on the Chesapeake in the 1960s

Watermen racing and fishing on the Chesapeake Bay

‘In 1965, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, there was the last operating fleet of sailing work boats in the United States. Forty-odd “Skipjacks” were still used by Maryland watermen to dredge up oysters from the Bay. At that time, the fleet had survived because of a Maryland conservation law which prohibits the use of motor power for oyster dredging. The watermen traditionally marked the opening of each oystering season with a skipjack race which the Maryland State Tourist Board incorporated into its annual “Chesapeake Bay Appreciation Day”.’

Read about skipjacks here and oystering on the Chesapeake here and here.

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Yarmouth Old Gaffer Festival – Pete Bromwich takes a harbour stroll

My pal Pete Bromwich caught the sailing and boat building bug some time ago – and has kindly sent me some photos of the the boats attending the Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival (YOGAFF) last weekend.

I think it’s a particular pleasure to learn that old pals you haven’t seen for a while have taken up one’s own interests, and that’s certainly the case with Pete.

Here’s what he says:

‘Unfortunately the wind was not with us this Saturday and I did not see any of the gaffer actually moving, but here are some in Yarmouth, hope they are of some use to you.

‘Yarmouth Harbour was full; I did not count, but there must have been well over 100 gaffers of all shapes and sizes crammed into the harbour over the weekend.

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It was lovely to see a friend I had met at Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy, Jeremy, a few years ago with Margherita, his Willow Bay Boats Shilling. She was rafted with Marjory, the first one built by Phil Swift in 1998. The Shilling has a cedar hull which is then sheathed, making her virtually maintenance free.

The build quality and thought that has gone into carefully making all use of the available space is quite stunning. She’s a lovely looking small gaff rigged yacht that sails well, according to her owner.

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Pilgrim was a big attraction at Yarmouth, seen here with Princess of Caithness rafted to her. She is the oldest surviving Brixham built and rigged sailing trawler. She is run by a trust who offer sailing experiences from ½ day to 9 day cruises. Definitely one of the many things on my to-do list. She is now completely restored and members of the public where invited on board to view her, which was greatly appreciated.

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‘Hope this is of some use to you. Pete’

It certainly is! Many thanks for some very nice shots. We had better winds to play with on the North Kent Coast last weekend, but I can’t pretend we had a fraction of the number of pretty boats to look at!

Cameraman Dylan Winter captures the lovely Swallow Class keelboats

This film in Dylan Winter’s Keep Turning Left series captures these 25ft lovelies (and Sunbeams and XoDs, I’m reminded to point out - see the comments) rather beautifully.

To know more about them click here and if you want to know about Swallow racing at Itchenor Sailing Club, click here.

Designed in 1946 by Tom Thorneycroft as a possible successor to the Star, the Swallow class was used as a two-man keelboat class in the 1948 Olympics, they are now raced three-up. Stars, of course, are still around, but they aren’t quite as graceful on the water…

1930s race winning gaff cutter Wanda for sale

The 37ft LOA 1930 Berthon-built race winning gaff cutter Wanda is for sale. She’s rigged as a gaff cutter.

In her earlier life was a well known RORC racer, and won the Channel race in the late 1930s. More recently, in the centenary RORC Cowes to Dinard race she came 5th in her class, and in the 2008 Round The Island race she came 4th in the gaff rig class.

For more information, click here.

National Historic Ships annual photographic competition 2014

Once again, National Historic Ships UK is running its annual photography competition for this year, and offering a range of equipment and cash prizes to be won.

There are categories for all ages, including one for young photographers under 18.

Entries must be in by the 31 August – the collection above represent some of the judges’ favourites submitted so far this month.

To enter in any of the competition categories, fill in an online entry form and upload your images to the National Historic Ships UK competition webpage at www.nationalhistoricships.org.uk.

There are rules and so on to check on the site also, as well as a handy web gizmo to enable photographers to identify historic ships that local to them and which might provide suitable subjects. (I think non-photographers will find that interesting too!)

Still more, the site has a set of tips for photographers working with marine topics – and one of them says that you deon’t have to have a special camera and that you’re more likely to have a small camera with you when the moment arises. So I guess my little Panasonic will do.

By the way, I’m not a judge but I’m going off the very processed multi-exposure shots we’ve seen so often in recent years, and – bravo! – I’m delighted to see that the judges’ favourites submitted so far during April don’t fall into that category.

PS – The Marsh Awards for volunteers - National Historic Ships is also calling for nominations of volunteers for the Marsh awards, which recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the conservation or operation of historic vessels in the UK.

There is an overall prize of £1,000 to be won for the Marsh Volunteer Award, and £500 for the young volunteer of the year, which is available to nominees aged 25 or under. Both prizes are donated by the Marsh Christian Trust.

Both awards will be presented at our National Historic Ships UK Awards Ceremony, being held in October on HQS Wellington.

Last year’s winners included James Dulson and George Collinson, who have volunteered for a number of years at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, helping to conserve historic vessels including Edmund Gardner, and Isabelle Law who has volunteered as crew on the ferry Glenachulish for the past five years despite having only recently turned 16 years old.

The closing date for nomination is 31 August. Read what to do and about the Marsh awards here.