Calendar 2013: OGA50 Round Britain Challenge

Calendar 2013: OGA50 Round Britain Challenge

Advance notice of possible plans for 2013
Version 1: Updated 5th September 2012

I am considering the possibility of Toucando taking part in the OGA 50 Round Britain Challenge. The Old Gaffers' Association is the organisation which promotes gaff rig... that is, sailing boats with a four cornered mainsail raised by a spar called a gaff. In the nineteenth century most sailing boats were like this, but in the twentieth century the triangular sailed Bermudan rig has become the norm. In 1953 a group of enthusiasts set up the OGA to promote gaff rig at a time when it seemed in danger of dying out. 2013 will be the 50th anniversary and to celebrate a fleet of gaffers will be sailing round Great Britain, including stops in Dublin and Belfast. The fleet will be joined by boats from Belgium, France, the Netherlands and maybe further afield, making it one of the biggest and most ambitious gatherings of gaffers for many years. Each of the OGA areas will be laying on an event as the fleet passes through, where local gaffers will join in the celebrations.

If Toucando is to do this she will need a crew.... but not necessarily the same crew for the whole trip. My experience so far is that a crew of three or four (including skipper) works best. and there is a theoretical maximuim of seven. I would require one person with fairly substantial experience as first mate, and others with at least some experience. The arrangement would be on a cost sharing basis... i.e. approximately £25 per day to cover food, fuel, mooring and other running expenses.

The OGA50 itinerary is shown below. The shore events are fixed, as they will be organised by local OGA Area Committees. The actual route and timings would be determined by the weather conditions and similar factors. There will be two options in the north of Scotland: one will be to go round the top, the other through the Caledonian Canal.

If you are interested in crewing any part of the trip please get in touch. I must stress that this is a feasibility study at present, with no final decision yet taken as to whether I will be taking part. I will be keeping this page updated as things develop.

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May: Solent Area event - Hamble

Monday 6th to Friday 10th May: Hamble to Falmouth

Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May: Cornwall and Devon area event - Falmouth

Monday 13th to Friday 17th May: Falmouth to Milford Haven

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May: Bristol Channel area event - Milford Haven

Monday 20th to Friday 24th May: Milford Haven to Holyhead

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May: North Wales area event - Holyhead

Monday 27th to Friday 31st May: Holyhead to Dublin

Saturday 1st June and Sunday 2nd June: Dublin area event

Monday 3rd to Friday 7th June: Dublin to Belfast

Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June: Northern Ireland area event - Belfast

Monday 10th to Friday 14th June: Belfast to Campbelltown

Saturday 15th and Sunday 15th June: West of Scotland area event

Monday 17th June to Friday 12th July: Campbeltown to Grimsby

There will be options either to go round the north of Scotland, via Orkney, or through the Caledonian Canal. The longer route will include stops at Stornaway, Lerwick, Arbroath and Eyemouth. In the case of going for the Caledonian Canal option the timings would allow for a couple of weeks cruising in the West of Scotland before going through the canal and working down the east coast including a stope at Newcastle.

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th July: Humberside area event - Grimsby

Monday 15th to Friday 19th July: Grimsby to Ipswich

Saturday 20th to Tuesday 30th July: East Coast area event - Ipswich (not sure of the details of this - however it would seem to allow for some sailing around the Essex and Suffolk coasts, and maybe a trip up the Thames to London - or even a quick visit to the Low Counties)

Wednesday 31st July to Friday 26th to Friday 2nd August: To Ramsgate

Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August: Kent area event - Ramsgate

Monday 5th August to Wednesday 14th August: Ramsgate to Cowes - could allow for some visits to French ports in the eastern channel

Thursday 15th August to Sunday 19th August: National OGA event - Cowes Yacht Haven

Monday 20th August: Return home???????