Sunday, 21 July 2013

Ipswich Wet Dock

Allan & Alice embrace Rubber Flubber Football
The Ipswich Wet Dock opened for commercial shipping in 1850 and was a major development at the time.  Today it was crowded with about 65 gaffers of all types and ages together with their fond owners, families and friends. All the owners are very happy to tell the stories of their boats and draw attention to the unique points of interest. There was no serious sailing today despite it being a warm sunny day with a gentle breeze. However the Regatta program involved a strenuous day of activity in the aptly named Wet Dock. 

Chaos as the blindfolded rowers round the mark!
Highlights include the Rubber Flubber Sailing race with a variety of improvised rigs on rubber dinghies - strictly downwind.  Much skill was shown in the sculling races. Most of the competitors were able to demonstrate that sculling a dinghy efficiently with one oar is by no means a lost art.
The blindfold rowing ended in chaos and multiple entanglements as it often does. 
Football in rubber dinghies was played out more in than on the water.

Various ship's dogs fully participated in the activities and were rewarded with prizes in the Dog Show for sea dogs. Throughout the day Brian Hammett ably compered the events managing to bring some kind of sense to the disorder.

The ladies' sculling race
Bonita's new crew participated by coming last in the dinghy sailing race due to a misunderstanding about the centerboard, middle of the field in the blindfold rowing  and by getting soaked in the Flubber Football.

The activities continued late with song and pontoon parties.

What the honest citizens of Ipswich or passing yachtsmen in sensible boats thought of these antics we do not know but the day definitely showed that the Old Gaffers Association is in excellent form for its 50th anniversary.