David Lewin’s photo shows the first three boats – Witch, Bonify and Mary Ritchie – in the Old Gaffers Association Round Britain Challenge setting off on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning (21st April) from Heybridge Basin.
Heybridge is in Essex and on the River Blackwater, just downstream from Maldon where the Association was founded 50 years ago – the Round Britain Challenge celebrates the golden anniversary of the OGA’s founding. The three boats will be joined by many other OGA boats as they travel clockwise round the UK this summer.
I gather Witch, Bonify and Mary Ritchie had to motor most of their first day, though the wind picked up in the afternoon and Bonify did manage to sail a few miles without the engine to get round the North Foreland and down as far as Ramsgate, where she arrived at 7pm.
All three boats made Ramsgate the same evening and in the early hours they were joined by the Dutch boat Vlieter, which had sailed from Den Helder. Readers can track the IGA boats’ progress via a tracking link at the OGAs website, www.oga50.org
The next gathering of en route is at Hamble over the weekend of the 4th/5th May.
PS I should mention that I will be keeping a watch on the weblog of favourite local boat Bonita, built in 1888, as she makes her way round