Solent Gaffers


Solent Area 60th Birthday Party

The Yarmouth 60th Birthday Party
©J Warren

Solent Area 60th Birthday at Yarmouth - Steve Mitchell


My son Fyn and I have attended all in all 14 Yarmouth Rallys which is now alternate years as Yogaff and Solent Gaffers Regatta. As Fyn is 18 years old this is quite a good record of attendence.  This year was no different.

I slipped our Crabber 24, Black Jack, from our Beaulieu River mooring on the afternoon of Thursday 31st May aiming to catch the best of the ebb tide westwards to Yarmouth, hoping at least for some advantage in the Passage Race. Making only 3 knots with tide for the first 30 mins I decided to motor at full chat for the remaining 30 (doubling the calculated time due to motoring ) reaching nearly 10 knots at times.  This paid off with a placing of 3rd in the Passage Race.

Arrival at the Yarmouth Rally is always met with some intrepidation as you never really know who is going to attend.  The greeting of familiar faces is always a highlight of any of these events.  As always, amongst others, it was great to see the Miss Ningi boys who always make us welcome and set such a great examples of seamanship and camaraderie.  Results testify this - what stars they are !

The thursday evening Welcome Drinks at the Lymington Sailing Club soon settled folks into familiar surroundings, followed by a good barbeque at the Royal Solent Yacht Club, later all became quickly shrouded in fog and I took advantage of an early night.

Fyn joined me on the Friday evening having finished work and just about making the 1800hrs ferry from Lymington.  The Friday entertainment  in the Yarmouth Sailing Club was excellent even for an embarassed 18 year old watching the Gaffers performing with gusto - his time will come !

Also new this year was the Sea Shanty Marquee , organised by Chris Waddington,   where music and traditional singing was to be on hand for the members to join in all weekend.


We had a fantastic sail in the Saturday Race and our tactics, questionable at the time, paid off. Spring tides are brutal and taming of them an art ( or in our case, flukey).  Returning back to harbour we joined in the harbour Fun on the Water games and came a safe but close 3rd in the flubber race,behind a creditable win by Dan Mattews and with micro crew and micro umbrella.  Prize giving at the Royal Solent Yacht Club resulted in the presentation to us of the Wheatsheaf Trophy for winning our class.  This has in part to be credited to the non attendence of John Chilvers in Charlotte Elizabeth this year !  Thanks John !


Sunday morning brought about light easterly winds, a flooding spring tide and a quick short sharp motor back to Beaulieu in glorious sunshine.


A massive thank you to all the committee for arranging another fantastic event.

Go Gaffers !!



You can download the race results for the Gaffel and the main Saturday races below

More photos have been uploaded onto a Gallery page of all the race winners and social events

4 Jun 2018