Posts Tagged ‘solent’


The Old Gaffers Festival 2009 – Celebrating its 50th Year of Racing – 29th to the 31st May

The now well established nationally recognised annual Old Gaffers festival will again be running this year from the 29th May to the 31st May. The first year that races were ran was way back in 1959, so this year we are celebrating 50 years of racing Gaffers on the Solent.

As usual this will not only be a super weekend of sailing nostalgia but a great place to bring the family for all the additional things happening in and around the Yarmouth area over the three days.

The old gaffers themselves will be on display on the water either racing or just looking good. They travel from all over the country to participate in this annual event. Some of the vessels there will be over 80 years old and one this year actually makes it to her 100th and is still going strong.

gaff_rigSo what is a “Gaff Rig” a good description of this is where a sailing rig or configuration of sails in which the sail itself is four-cornered, fore-and-aft rigged, controlled at its peak and, usually, its entire head by a spar (pole) called the gaff. This gaff enables a fore and aft sail to be four sided, rather than triangular, and this as much as doubles the sail area that can be carried by that mast and boom (if a boom is used in the particular rig).  Many small craft over the years have deployed this style of rigging as with the doubling of the sail area the speed of the craft and its capability of manoeuvring in restricted waters are greatly enhanced.

Now that we have explained the technical aspects of why they are called “Gaff” we can move on and suggest to all to look out for the many different styles deployed within the visiting vessels. You can spend hours examining thinking about how these little boats were used all over the UK water ways to deliver the everyday necessities of a booming industrial society during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

This year’s festival will have over 100 vessels afloat as well as many things to do ashore such as Live Concerts, Classic Vehicle Displays, Craft Fair and Market, as well as Flower Festival and many places to eat and drink and while away the weekend.

It is expected that thousands of visitors will be attending so please remember to come early and see the opening ceremony being performed by Geoff Holt, he is the fastest disabled person to sail around the Isle of Wight in 2007, and BBC’s sports personality of the year 2007.

So make a note 12 noon on Friday 29th May for the start of a great weekend of fun at the 2009 Old Gaffers Festival, Yarmouth Harbour Isle of Wight.


Take Time Off and Have a Super Vacation

The Isle of Wight is a beautiful and charming island. You can easily access it in 15 to 20 minutes from the mainland of England. Being famous for its fabulous rolling sandy shores and its Mediterranean southern coastline I am sure the Isle of Wight will undoubtedly plunge you into an atmosphere of relaxation, recreation and meditation within minutes of being under its spell.

Once you have decided to have a great summer vacation on the beach, you may well go direct to Sandown and you will not be disappointed. The beaches attract visitors by their beauty and unspoiled loveliness. You can lie down in the Sun, splashing on some pleasant skin tan and read a good book and later on take time to walk in the evening along the promenade contemplating the gorgeous Solent sunset.

I am more than sure that anybody would be glad to remember such pleasant occurrences and bask in the warm memories as they recall their super holiday experiences .

What about the kids, well there are many activities for children on the beach. They can have fun playing various sports: beach volley- ball, water-ball, crazy golf, cricket … Small ones will be very happy to play with sand and build heaped castles. Whilst they are occupied the adults are free to enjoy beverages and delicious food in the many surrounding beach cafés.

As you may well have been informed, the Isle of Wight is a very green Island; we would like to make sure that you fully understand that its country side is a really marvellous thing, The under cliff around Ventnor and St Lawrence is especially blessed with a fabulous Mediterranean micro climate.  This you must not miss as a visit to Ventnor Botanical Gardens, will open your eyes, please do enjoy the lovely feeling of being surrounded by nature and at one with it.

Once you have visited the Isle of Wight, you will undoubtedly want to come here back.

Every beach, accommodation, restaurant or shop has its own very special appeal for you to enjoy and bask in.
It does not really matter how many times you have been, as there is always something else that will open your eyes for you to discover another super Island something.

Take some days off and have a fine holiday on the island. It provides an ocean of positive emotions and a fabulous amount of fond memories…