Storms Scupper Plans For Sail Flotilla

irene boat ketchThe storm force winds over the last 24 hours have scuppered plans to sail a flotilla of traditional gaff-rigged boats to the islands.

They were meant to visit to mark the 50th anniversary of the Old Gaffer’s Association but have been holed-up in Plymouth.

Many of the boats have been on a four-month circumnavigation of the country, with some having sailed from as far away as Holland for the event. They’d been planning to spend the weekend here but will now move on to their next port of Milford Haven.

Organiser Barry Heals says if skippers feel confident about sailing here from Plymouth, a handful may visit tomorrow afternoon. Barry won’t be coming on his own boat but hopes to get a lift aboard a larger Dutch vessel.

St Mary’s Harbourmaster Dale Clark says they had planned an event to showcase the best of Scilly to the visitors, but says that all is not lost. He’s talking with the club about hosting an annual gathering for their members, starting next year, and says any sailors that do make it over this weekend will be given a warm welcome.

Dale says he is keen to attract the distinctive boats to St Mary’s harbour and any members of the Old Gaffers association will be offered a discount for the use of facilities.