Old Gaffers show their class

Some of the Old Gaffers make their way to Rockingham.
Paul Rickerts Some of the Old Gaffers make their way to Rockingham.

The waters of Mangles Bay were graced with the presence of some beautiful traditional sailing boats when members of the Old Gaffers Association of WA paid a visit to The Cruising Yacht Club on Saturday.

The gaff, gunter and lug-rigged boats, beautifully constructed out of timber, attracted a lot of interest when they lined up on the shores of Palm Beach. They also proved their seaworthiness by joining in the afternoon’s racing and sailing in the 20 to 25-knot sou-wester.

In fact, there were more retirements from the regular divisions than there were from these boats of yesteryear.

In Division 1, it was a visiting boat from East Fremantle, Romper Stomper skippered by Rob Brown, which showed the way to the other M27s that managed to finish the course.

The Yvonne fleet also struggled with the difficult conditions and only Dave Randall, sailing Dark and Stormy, crossed the finishing line.

Another visitor, Morning Melody, took out first and fastest in the Jib and Main Division.

In the Division 3 race, Ruffian was unstoppable, taking the honours from Phoenix and Anelaua.

Newcomer Trailblazer, skippered by Barrie Dimond, finished fourth.

The Old Gaffers were led home by Gryphon, from Matthew Flinders (second) and Wee Birlinn (third).

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