#DublinRiverfest- The 101 year old cruising yawl Ainmara is among the many participating vessels to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Old Gaffers Association (OGA) at the Dublin Port 'Riverfest' this Bank Holiday Weekend (1-3 June), writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 36ft Ainmara, is to make her centennial return to the River Liffey having been built downriver in Ringsend just over a century ago in 1912. She is owned by the noted Strangford Lough sailor, Dickie Gomes who has spent nearly three decades on her restoration.
So what is a gaffer?... it is a nautical terminology for a boat that has a main sail with 4 sides rather than the typical triangle you see commonplace on modern yachts.
The gaff is the wooden pole across the top of the sail, which is a pretty old type of rig, however by the early 20th century it was largely replaced by the triangular Bermudan rig, which was thought more efficient. As for lovers of gaff-rigged craft, the OGA still think gaff is best!...
Ainmara is part of a visiting fleet of OGA gaffers currently at sea, some of whom will be heading this way to compete in the Dublin Bay events over the course of the weekend.
The flotilla will take part in the annual Traditional Sailing Boat Rally of the Dublin Branch of the OGA to be held at Poolbeg Boat and Yacht Club & Marina in Ringsend over the long week-end.
Not to be missed is the highlight of OGA 'Parade of Sail' 50th anniversary celebrations this Sunday 2 June (starting at 4pm), where the largest gathering ever of East coast gaffers and from the UK will meet in the confines of the Liffey. According to the festival programme the flotilla of tallships which are due to arrive from today will also be involved.
Such a setting presents both action and colour on the river as the Old Gaffers are to form a striking contrast against the modern backdrop of the Samuel Beckett swing-bridge with its sail-like harp-strung construction.