Category Archives: Racing sailing craft

A drone over the Wanderer dinghy national races at Whitstable

My thanks to my sailing pal Jim Van Den Bos for pointing me to this YouTube shot by a drone flying over the Swale and the beaches of Whitstable on the occasion of the Wanderer nationals a week or two back.

It wasn’t a great day for sailing – or racing – but it was clearly a good day for a drone to go up and show us some of the local landscape.

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…

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More photos from the 2014 Blackwater Match

More shots from the Blackwater, as promised yesterday. I hope you like them! (The previous set are here.)

The splendid elderly gentleman is legendary Brightlingsea barge skipper Jimmy Lawrence who is captured here giving out the prizes. The gent pictured in the white tee-shirt and also holding a plaque and playing a melodeon is Thames Sailing Barge Trust mate Mick Nolan.

The barge we were aboard, Pudge, got awarded the plaque for turning up and not sinking I think, as we didn’t exactly do well in the race. A ‘wag’ pointed out that plaques are what they make from the material that gets cut out from the centre of a toilet seat during manufacturing. Thanks, wag.

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Sailing barge equipment on board Pudge, summer 2014

I was lucky enough this weekend to be able to go sailing aboard Pudge, one of two sailing barges (and one lighter) owned, maintained and chartered by the Thames Sailing Barge Trust. (Also see the TSBT’s Facebook page.)

I must say we had a fabulous day – I thoroughly recommend a trip on one of these boats. I’m also mightily impressed by the gear, which is effective and often ingenious in its working and in its simplicity, and by the barge sailors of the past, who managed these boats with a crew of just two.

Those folks were clearly very tough, and more than a bit clever with it.

The event was the Blackwater Match – an annual race for barges and smacks, so I’ll post a further collection of boats and the Blackwater itself tomorrow.

The 1963 Thames Barge Match

A Movietone newsreel showing the 1963 Thames barge match. The barges include Dreadnought, Sara, Sirdar and Veronica.

My thanks to the  Thames Sailing Barge Trust via its Facebook Facebook page.

Australian Historical 10 Foot Skiff Class racing

My thanks to Earwegoagin for pointing out the existence of an extraordinary sailing sport I hadn’t previously imagined – the Australian Historical 10 foot Skiff Class (click here and here).

The skiffs are 10 ft long and carry as much sail area as their three man crews can cope with. No trapezes, leaning boards or ratchet blocks are allowed. With three blokes in a ten foot boat, they sometimes sit on the transom, at others I think they sit on each other…

 

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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!