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Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Raise €7,571 Online for Howth Lifeboat

24th May 2021
Action stations. The Howth Lifeboat at full power off the Baily Lighthouse
Action stations. The Howth Lifeboat at full power off the Baily Lighthouse Credit: RNLI

The many months of Lockdown in its various forms have prevented the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association from physically holding their regular monthly winter meetings at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club in Dublin Port. Each of these friendly gatherings – with specialist speakers on a wide variety of maritime topics - traditionally raised substantial sums for Howth Lifeboat through the simple and relatively painless expedient of the attendees on arrival dropping a minimum of €5 into an RNLI yellow welly on a table by the door.

The pandemic shutdowns might have stopped this intensely personal programme in any form, were some ordinary body involved. But the DBOGSA are made of sterner stuff. And as we've commented before on Afloat.ie, the more die-hard of a traditionalist any sailing enthusiast might be, the more he or she seems to be comfortably on top of modern communications.

Thus with tech whizzes like Mark Sweetnam and the current DBOGA Hon Sec/Treas Darryl Hughes on the job, the DBOGA smoothly transformed its monthly winter gatherings into an eclectic series of online Zoom talk/discussions – many of them previewed in Afloat.ie - which continued the lifeboat fund-raising as part of the online process, and provided the bonus of an edited version of the monthly show appearing on YouTube, usually within 24 hours.

A long-established and friendly relationship: the Howth 17s come to visit the Old Gaffers Association during their Golden Jubilee Celebrations at the Poolbeg Y & BC in 2013. Photo: W M Nixon   A long-established and friendly relationship: the Howth 17s come to visit the Old Gaffers Association during their Golden Jubilee Celebrations at the Poolbeg Y & BC in 2013. Photo: W M Nixon

Now that the light of lockdown-lifting is on the horizon, it is time to take stock, and Johnny Wedick, President of the DBOGA, has received an appreciative letter from Rose Michael, leader of the Howth RNLI Fund Raising Crew, with the news that the DBOGA "Lockdown Lolly" has reached €7,571, and there's probably more in the pipeline.

As it is, it's a tidy sum. So when the DBOGA hold their annual Cruise-in-Company to Howth in August - by which time it's hoped proper freedom of movement will have arrived – there'll be one of those slightly wacky ceremonies where the Old Gaffers hand the Howth RNLI an enormous cardboard cheque with the final amount inscribed thereon. Upon which, everyone will doubtless then spring to the mainbrace, and great will be the splicing thereof.

Dublin Bay Old Gaffers raise €7,571 online for Howth Lifebo
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association aims to promotes interest in traditional gaff rig and seamanship, to offer help, advice and comradeship to members and to organise races and rallies for members in the Dublin Bay Area. 

The Dublin Bay Old Gaffers normally organise a regatta, two rallies and four races during the summer season and a varied, interesting and well-supported series of talks during the winter (proceeds raised are donated to the RNLI). 

Many Dublin Bay members also travel to regattas and rallies organised by other Irish Sea OGA areas. 

While the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers activities are focused on  Dublin Bay, they also have a cluster of members in the Cork area and have members from all over Ireland and some in Britain too.

The Association is working up lans to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023.  In 2013 a fleet of boats set off around the UK and Ireland to celebrate OGA50.

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