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oldgaffers2013_006Yarmouth and the West Wight are celebrating following the news that the Old Gaffers Festival is returning in June 2017.

Taking place over the 2nd-4th June 2017, the Old Gaffers Festival celebrates colourful gaff-rigged and traditional sailing boats, which race in the Solent over the weekend.

On shore activities include an eclectic mix of street entertainment, music, food and crafts with a great community spirit at its heart.  Old Gaffers is widely recognised as one of the Island’s most fun-filled festivals for all the family.

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Following a year off in 2016, Visit Isle of Wight and Wightlink have stepped in to work with the organisers as they believe it has the potential to attract new day trip and overnight visitors from the mainland and nearby European markets.

Old Gaffers Chairperson, Debbie Cotton, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled with the financial support we have received from Visit Isle of Wight and Wightlink which has without doubt secured the 2017 event. People from around the country visit Old Gaffers. The organising committee are committed to doing all we can to encourage people to visit and stay in the area and explore more of the West Wight when they are here”.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said:

“The organisers of the 2017 Old Gaffers Festival presented us with a compelling and convincing case for supporting the event for the wider West Wight tourism economy. The event attracts thousands of mainland visitors who spend money in our local shops, restaurants, attractions and stay overnight in local accommodation.

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“It’s going to be an amazing weekend for West Wight as the brand new Isle of Wight Festival of Running is also taking place in Freshwater at the same time, making this a real West Wight showcase for the south of England”.

Wightlink Commercial Director, Clive Tilley, said:

“The Old Gaffers Festival is a much-loved event on the Isle of Wight and marks the start of the summer season. We are delighted to link up with our colleagues at Visit IOW to support the organisers and make sure the three-day programme of sailing and entertainment goes ahead next year.”

For more information about Yarmouth Old Gaffers festival, go to

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