Solent Gaffers


South b’Sou’West - Journey's End

Some called it a 'rolling snowball’ - a fleet of gaffers going westward, gathering in size as it tacked down Britain's south coast collecting and dropping boats as it travelled. By the end over forty OGA boats had taken part. All types and sizes. A core of ‘toughies’ setting the pace from Yarmouth to Falmouth. All boats were definitely rocked, shaken and stirred as the weather challenged us, pinning us in port.

We adopted a short dash approach to cope with the seas. Plenty of pontoon drinks parties at day's end to celebrate our progress and fret over tomorrow’s forecast. Older boats to nurse and fix, thank goodness for the shipwright among us! Camaraderie all round, new friends made.

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Gaffers racing in Plymouth

By the time we got to Plymouth the warm receptions of the South West OGA members along the way had invigorated us.

It felt that we had been climbing a mountain but the peak was now in view.

All we needed were a few clear days of gentle winds to get to that Atlantic archipelago at journey’s end.

It was not to be. As Falmouth was reached the rains returned and only the brave contemplated passing hissing Lizard gateway to the Atlantic swell. Three buccaneers took on the challenge their stories yet to told.

We're gathering snippets from the participants to make up a collage of what each of us experienced, come back to read more later. We had a lot of fun, It was definitely worth the effort, we will do it again! Well perhaps!


Gaffers party!

Visit 'Sailing by' for reports linked with historic 'tales of sail'. You can also view a collection of photgraphs from the journey on our Galleries page. Click HERE  for the link. If you're an OGA member, do log in and comment on our South by South West Cruise in Company, 2017.

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Solent gaffer, Harbinger


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Hello fellow SbSW gaffers.  Here is our chance to share our thoughts and stories of the trip along the Devon and Cornish coast. Or just email what you have to the website editor Jessica Warren at jayis47 [at] hotmail [dot] com. Lets bring the website alive! 

Our sail would not have been half as rewarding had it not been the big welcome we got fron Paul and Penny in Brixham aboard Vigilance, the fun, games, racing and meals in Plymouth arranged by John Gallagher, and the event at 5 Degrees, and tea at Ashley Butler boat yard organised by Don Garmen. Magic stuff !  

'Ivy Green' left the Solent on 14th June and returned almost exactly 2 months later on 13th August. We had a series of adventures, including Falmouth Classics, the Classic Channel Regatta and joining the South b’Sou’West cruise.

We greatly enjoyed our time with the OGA fleet. Ben’s enthusiasm inspired everyone to keep pressing West against the prevailing weather (which we didn’t always enjoy!). We were welcomed with music, new friends, food and relaxed racing (which we did!). Thank you Ben and everyone else who made this such a welcoming and successful event.

You can find a few details about our time with the South b’Sou’West fleet here.

We certainly hope to take part in next year’s plans, especially if some more cooperative weather can be organised.