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EC Gafflings at the Deben Rally, 2024

Two Gaffling 4.1 dinghies have been built on the East Coast, ‘Essling’ and ‘Suffling’, they will both be at the Deben Rally, 25 – 27 May 2024. They have received generous sponsorship from Teamac Paints. Why not join us at the Deben Rally on May Bank Holiday weekend when we celebrate 100 years of the Deben Cherub, with many events for small and larger boats!

Several years ago, as part of encouraging young Gaffers to sail a gaff rigged boat, the OGA commissioned Andrew Wolstenholme to design a small, light, dinghy with of course a gaff rig which would be fast enough to interest young sailors. The design was influenced by several small Bermudan dinghies but was to be built from 6mm plywood sheets and constructed using modern ‘stitch and glue’ methods. We now have two owned and built by the East Coast OGA members, plus one now owned privately in the same local area and three more ‘oop country’ covering North East and North West areas. One was built with the help of local school students, thus supporting the ‘encouragement of youth’ philosophy.

The East Coast boats attracted official sponsorship from Teamac Paints and Coatings. They are attractively marked up as such. These boats have proved to be very fast and lively, some would say ‘tender’ but for crews who are able to cope with this they offer a very rewarding and exhilarating sailing experience. Indeed even at 64 years of age I can still cope with it (surprisingly)!

Last year at the OGA60 Jubilee event hosted by the East Coast OGA, we hoped to run a ‘Gaffling 4.1 championship’ but the weather thought otherwise. We are now planning to include this in our River Deben Rally next weekend: 25 – 27, May 2024 run in collaboration with the Woodbridge Boatyard Deben Cherub centenary celebrations. We hope to see several Gaffling 4.1s there along with the Cherub fleet and many other ‘small boats’ and dinghies for a weekend of fun on the river.

Words: Pete ‘the knife’ Elliston, EC Area Secretary