Old Gaffers

Old Gaffers Festival

The Old Gaffers Festival is an annual events which takes place at Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.  This year it will be running from Friday 31st May 2013 until Sunday 2nd June 2013 and it will also be celebrating 50 years.

What are old gaffers?  Well it can mean an old men or work foremen, but these old gaffers are traditional  boats in which the sailing rig (configuration of sails) is four-cornered not triangular.  This type of rig is held across the top by a pole called a gaff.  A gaff rig is a very traditional rigging system and was replaced by the more popular Bermudan rig (with the triangular sail) in the early 1900.  Thanks to the Old Gaffers Association we are lucky enough to be able to see a plethora or old gaffers at the festival in Yarmouth.

The Old Gaffers Festival is a weekend dedicated to all things gaffer.  Old Gaffers from all over the UK come to take part in races and to show off their beautiful lines.  There are various races throughout the weekend not just for the old gaffers but other boats as well.  As if viewing the spectacular classic and gaffed rigged boats in the harbour was not enough, there are also shoreside activities.  There will be street entertainment, a flower festival, live music, a craft fair and market, a continental market, lifeboat demonstrations, classic cars and much much more.

For travel across to Yarmouth, there are several ferries to choose from.  The Red Funnel ferry from Southampton which docks at Cowes or The Wight Link ferry from Portsmouth to Fishbourne.  With these options you will need to take the car across to drive to Yarmouth on the West side of the Island.  Alternatively you can catch the Wight Link Ferry from Lymington and this docks in Yarmouth.  You could take the car on this route or travel as a foot passenger, leaving the car in Lymington.

For more information visit Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival

old gaffers

Image Courtesy of Compflight

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