The Solent Gaffers Annual Race and Rally saw a better attendance than in recent years. We were pleased to welcome new members as well as some very longstanding ones. Our newest gaffer, Leo, made his appearance at just over a week old. If Simon, the berthing master at Shepard’s Wharf did not understand what could make a Gaffer 20 metres long, he soon found out.
The weekend kicked off with race briefing and a meal in the convivial surroundings of the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club. A downwind drift was forecast and transpired with all boats bar one spinning in circles as they failed to clear the buoy at Gurnard Ledge. Kedging in this area proved impossible and a group of gaffers gathered for lunch in Newtown Creek. An ingenious solution to the issue of what to do about trophies led to an entertaining prize giving in the Island Sailing Club with some unusual winners. Liz and Nick Harvey in Sophie, being the only boat to finish, won both the Channel Plate and the Laggards Ladle.
Ex- President Mike Shaw wrote, “Thanks so much for organising such a jolly weekend for the annual race. Pity about the wind but even Gaffers know that is not your fault. It was so good to see some old faces who have not been to events recently. A jolly good turn out and we all had a great time. Thanks so much. There is a lot of hard graft behind such a success.”
The weather on Sunday meant that gaffers hurried away with most gaining their home ports on a wet Sunday or windy Monday.
The 2018 race will be our sixtieth. We have already decided, in accordance with Rule 8, to open it to members from other areas and so it will take place on Saturday, August 18th, off Cowes, during the National celebrations to mark OGA 55.
Click here to see Richard Jacobs account of the race.
For lots more photos of our Annual race event please look at our Gallery Page here