This film is part of Free

East Coast Old Gaffers' Race

Sailing craft with the distinctive 'gaff' rigs feature in this record of the race held on the Blackwater Estuary, the largest estuary in Essex.

Sponsored film 1987 12 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


Along the south shore of the Blackwater Estuary is a quiet place, Ramsey Island, though it is not an island at all, and most sailing people know it as Stone. Stone Point is the start and finishing place for the Old Gaffers Race. In 1987, David Cleveland made a film about the annual event and the boats taking part. Any craft with a gaff rig is eligible for the Old Gaffers’ race, though many of the craft taking part are smacks – lovingly restored fishing boats peculiar to the East coast.