Tag Archives: old gaffer’s association

OGA celebrates 50 years in colourful style despite strong winds

Start of Clog race by Keith Allso

Strong winds meant that just 60 boats completed the OGA’s 50th anniversary race at Cowes on Saturday, but it didn’t prevent the organisation’s members having a lot of fun.

Almost 200 traditionally rigged sailing boats gathered in Cowes Yacht Haven and Shepards Wharf Marina from all round the UK, and from as far afield as Holland, Belgium and France.

Some 141 boats registered to participate in Saturday’s big race, which would have set a new record for gaff-rigged boats racing together. However, strong winds deterred entrants, and only 94 boats started the race. Many then retired as the wind got up and the sea became rougher. But 60 stalwart boats soldiered on and finished the course.

One of the photos below by Keith Allso shows the 18ft Chough owned by Christine and David Christine Hopkins, which at 18ft the smallest boat to finish the race.

At the other end of the scale, the deep sea smack 68ft Pioneer was the oldest boat at the festival. originally built in 1864 and recently restored by the Pioneer Sailing Trust in Brightlingsea.

She once worked the fishing grounds off Terschelling, but now she takes groups of up to 12 young people from all sorts of backgrounds out to sea for an experience of a lifetime. This weekend she was crewed by a group of young carers.

Pioneer picked up more than one prize in the racing: she was first over the finish line, second in her class on handicap, and to top it all she was awarded the Youth Cup for the crew with the lowest average age.

OGA president Mike Shaw announced the launch of an OGA-sponsored youth fund to support the work of Pioneer and others like her.

Dutch visitors to the festival challenge the different UK OGA areas to make up a simple model racing boat using a kit comprising a clog, a shaped wooden keel and a lump of lead for ballast. A race was held in the marina as part of the regatta, and the winner was awarded a carved wooden tulip awarded by the Dutch skippers.

There’s more to read on the Sailing By website, and more here from Bonita.

Photos by Keith Allso, except deep sea smack Pioneer, which was taken by OGA officials

OGA 50th jubilee at Cowes, 15-18th August


Photos by Chris Boynton

The Old Gaffer’s Association’s big do at Cowes on the Isle of Wight on the 15-18th August looks like wonderful fun.

For one thing, it will see what is likely to be the largest racing fleet of gaff-rigged boats to be assembled in many decades, if not ever.

In addition to the big race on the Saturday, the events include various parties, shanty singing, a competition to sail Dutch clogs, another of the OGA’s downwind rubber dinghy races, various other kinds of nonsense and a 400-cover dinner. Gorblimey!

Read all about it here.

OGA 50th anniversary round Britain trip group divides at the Caledonian Canal

Cine Mara and Bonify in Kames Bay. Pic Ben Collins Greensleeves, Witch and Capraia in Cuan Sound - Pic Ben Collins

Photos by Ben Collins of the OGA

The Old Gaffers Association folks are continuing their 50th anniversary circumnavigation, but has effectively divided in two, with over a dozen boats are in the West of Scotland enjoying the scenery and planning to enter the Caledonian Canal later this week, while a smaller fleet including the North Kent-based local favourite, the 100-year old Morecambe Bay prawner Bonita, a collection of Scottish OGA boats including Tantina II and Naiad, and the Dutch boat Windbreker, are heading round the top.

Bonita will go to Orkney whilst the rest hope to get to Shetland, before all joining up at the next big gathering in Newcastle on July 5th to 7th.

More details of the Newcastle event can be found on the oga50.org website on the OGA Area events pages.

The site has a map showing where all the boats are, and links to individual boat blogs.