Posts Tagged ‘Yarmouth’

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How to Get to The Isle of Wight

Getting to the Isle of Wight is relatively easy from the English mainland and there are three main travel operators who can get you there in a fairly short space of time. Each of the travel operators has their own colourful history of bringing people between the Isle of Wight and the English mainland and they all have their own unique heritage of being connected with the Island.

They are:

Hover travel

hover_travel_iowThe Isle of Wight has a long history associated with the Hovercraft and in fact the Island was instrumental in its early development. Hover travel operates a fast and effective way of travelling to and from the Island by Hovercraft. This is said to be the fastest way of travelling to the island from the mainland and vice versa. The Hovercraft travels between Ryde and Portsmouth with both destinations being well served by public transport and having generous car parking facilities.

Wightlink

wightlinkWightlink has been taking people back and forth between the Isle of Wight and the mainland for the past 160 years. Wightlink operate between Yarmouth to Lymington, Fishbourne to Portsmouth and Ryde to Portsmouth.  The Yarmouth to Lymington route is by way of car ferry offering transportation for people travelling by either by foot or car, coach etc. The Fishbourne to Portsmouth also operates by way of car ferry. You can also travel by Fast Cat between Ryde and Portsmouth this is for foot passengers only but is a much faster way of travelling between the Island and the mainland.

Red Funnel
redfunnelferryRed Funnel operates between the Isle of Wight and the mainland from either East Cowes or West Cowes on the island to Southampton on the mainland. The Red Funnel company has transporting people to and from the Island for almost 150 years. You can catch the Red Funnel Car Funnel from East Cowes with Red Funnel operating the largest ferry of its type between the Island and the mainland. If you looking for a faster approach to travelling between the Isle of Wight and the mainland then the Red Jet Hi-Speed service between West Cowes and Southampton is your best option if you choose Red Funnel to get you there.

Whichever travel operator you choose to get you to the Isle of Wight you will find the island a great place to visit with many attractions and places to stay. The Isle of Wight is steeped in history in many ways from its Royal residences to its many monuments and historic buildings. The Island is also full of many modern attractions from its sports facilities to its many places to eat and drink. The Isle of Wight is a beautiful island to visit at whatever time of year you choose to visit.

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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.