Drascombe Association

Events 2020

`Nice? It's the ONLY thing,' said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. `Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' he went on dreamily: `messing--about--in--boats; messing--about in boats--or WITH boats,' the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh.

"In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."

- Kenneth Graham - The Wind in the Willows

The DA wishes to support the Government's advice about C19 and therefore it seems unlikely that organised rallies will happen in the near future. Many sailing clubs have already either closed their buildings or are not welcoming visitors. As advice changes members should contact individual rally organisers to see if an event is running.
***Stay Safe Everyone, Socially Close, but Physically Distant***

The events planned for the 2020 season are listed below. The contact details of organisers are shown in DAN. If an event is "greyed out", then you've missed it! But look out for the writeups on the Articles page and photos in the Galleries.

Events marked SSD are especially Suitable for Smaller Drascombes.

The events are split into three sections: rallies organised by Association Members, events organised by our Dutch colleagues (NKDE), and other non-Drascombe events, likely to be of interest to Drascombe sailors. Note that names alongside non-DA events are Drascombe contacts not event organisers (unless stated).

You must complete an Application Form if you wish to attend an event. Application forms are supplied with the DAN.

Members will find a link to a downloadable version of the application form in the Rally Toolkit in the Members section of the Forum.
(You must be logged in and registered as a DA member to see this section).

There is a £5 registration fee for each event, payable to the organiser, unless stated. Rallies are only open to members of the Association - details of how to join the Association are here.

Send the completed form, with your registration fee (if one is specified), to the organiser whose name appears against the event. Members will find a link to a list of organisers with their contact details in DAN and in the Rally Toolkit in the Members section of the Forum.
If you would like some more information before deciding to attend any of the events all you need to do is to contact the organiser concerned - they will be glad to hear from you.

The committee encourages any Association member to organise additional rallies and will provide assistance if required. Please contact Jack O'Keeffe.

The revised (2018) guide to rallies is available for attendees and organisers to download.

to view a past year's events, click the available year in the right menu, then click the radio button "show all events" below, to see past events greyed out (+ events still to come from present year & beyond)

List of 2020 Events

Show Events in     Hide Past Events:              Show All Events:  (Past events are "greyed out")    
List updated 29/03/2020

Drascombe Association Events (organised by DA Members)
Date Event/Venue Organiser Details
May 1st to 3rd
Lowestoft Loop rallyJulian Merson COVID 19 impact: Unlikely to proceed - will be reviewed by April 23rd Sea passage from Lowestoft up to Great Yarmouth, return passage via Southern Broads. Plan B in case of inclement weather will keep things on the Broads. See the FORUM
May 9th and 10th

KIELDER WATERChris Mason COVID 19 impact: Cancelled
May 15th to 17th

CORK HARBOURJack O'Keeffe COVID 19 impact: Festival under review with a view to postponement. European Maritime Day, Seafest and RCYC 300 year anniversary are being held on Cork Harbour to coincide with our Drascombe Rally. Lots of villages and attractions to visit by land or water
May 23rd to 30th

CRAOBH and WEST COASTBob HeasmanCOVID 19 impact: Cancelled
May 26th to 28th
PITSFORD RESERVOIRJohn ChristieIincludes the 12th Robbie’s Race. Really nice location and sailing. There will be Dinner on the Wednesday evening. There will be a short meeting to discuss any Drascombe Association business and to elect the Drascombe Association Regional Representative.
May 29th to 31st or June 12 to 14

DARTMark WilkinsonCancelled due to lack of suitable tide
June 5th to 7th

BRIXHAMMike LloydCOVID 19 impact: Cancelled
June 5th to 7th
KENNET & AVON CANALJohn ChristieInland water cruising. Interesting navigation of the Kennett and Avon broad canal. We will launch at Newbury to navigate to Crofton. Bed and Breakfast or live on board or camp locally. Sixth Rally to navigate Kennet and Avon Canal, probably two to go to Reading! A CRT Navigation short-term licence will be necessary, and your boat is exempt from the Boat Safety Scheme. Please obtain well in advance – online is best. Discuss with John if necessary. Full details in rally instructions. CRT licence required in advance. £5.00 payable to organiser. Please book early.
June 5th to 18th
L.Neagh navigation & Strangford feederDavid CamlinJoin us exploring 150 sq miles of Lough Neagh and then travel the Lower Bann to the North Channel at Coleraine. We will launch on the Six Mile Water, muster at the WW2 torpedo testing platform and sail to Ram Island, Coney Island and via the Toome Canal into the Lower Bann. Entering the North Channel we will pass the Giants Causeway, stop over on Rathlin Island and sail down the east coast to the Copeland Islands. We then continue to the Strangford Narrows arrive 18th in time for the rally at East Down Yacht Club from 19th to 21st June. This event will mirror the successful format of the Shannon Cruise with boats welcome to join for the entire trip or for short sections. The initial week-end is suitable for smaller boats, as always subject to the weather. Further details will follow.
June 26th to 28th
RIVER WEYStephen DeakinCOVID 19 impact: the National Trust and the Steam Boat Association have cancelled this rally
June 27th

CONISTONAndy BiggsCome to the true home of “Swallows and Amazons”. Treasure hunt on the Saturday, followed by a “bring your own” BBQ and music on the Saturday evening. Participants are welcome to arrive earlier in the week or stay on afterwards. See the FORUM
July 10th to 13th
Boyne Valley RaidGarry Owens COVID 19 impact: Review options mid May. Celebrate the glorious twelfth and the mystical megalithic heritage of the Boyne Valley, Drascombe to Dowth Megalithinc tomb via the Boyne canal. A wonderful way to enter the mystical, and for many the glorious, Boyne Valley. Camping overnight. More details to follow. Launch at Clogher Head (SSD) or Skerries taking in a raid into Laytown
July TBC
Fal cruiseDick PizeyPreliminary notice of the event Join Solent based sailors trailing to the Fal for a week of sailing
July 19th to 21st
CARDIFF BAYJohn ChristieAll members and guests very welcome. We will be based at Cardiff Yacht Club and at the Mermaid Quay. Plenty of great sailing, river exploration and an excursion through the locks out to the Bristol Channel – optional! Scope to join by sea and to arrive/depart early/late. Full details in rally instructions. Small charge for mooring and free parking and launching. £5.00 payable to organiser. Please book early.
Late July
FORTH & CLYDEGraham RussellFalkirk Wheel to Port Edgar via Stirling. Graham Russell hopes to lead a small raid out of the Forth and Clyde Canal up the tidal Forth to Stirling then back down the Forth to Port Edgar below the Queensferry crossing. Numbers will be limited to three, possibly four, coasters or similar with experienced skippers. Crew may also be needed. It will probably start mid week as it is very tide dependent and will take three or four days.
July 24th to 26th
RIVER CROUCHTom KeeperWe're returning to the River Crouch for the first time in many years. Glorious east coast river location. Starting at Burnham-on-Crouch, will be joined by local shallow draft boats for a day cruise up the Crouch with the tide on Saturday, spending the night moored or camping at South Woodham Ferrers Yacht Club before returning to Burnham with the tide on Sunday. Please send application forms to Julian Merson in the first instance, who will forward them to Tom Keeper, organiser
July 30th & 31st
West Ardnamurchan RegattaDave SymeAnnual fun regatta based at Kilchoan. There is a magnificent trophy for the best Drascombe over the two days of sailing. A day's racing on Thursday, Morning only on Friday. In the afternoon there are rowing, canoeing and power boat races. Special Drascombe prize. Beer tent all day, Ceilidh at night.
Aug 1st for a week or so
LLANGOLLEN & MONTGOMERY CANALSStephen DeakinThe Llangollen and Montgomery are beautiful canals with much of interest to see from the world's highest aqueduct to long tunnels to gorgeous scenery. We will also try and cruise the currently isolated ten mile stretch of the Monty if this is possible. This is a truly outstanding area with much to do both off and on the water. This is a week long multi-day holiday rally beginning on the Saturday - leave when you wish. Liveaboard, or camp, or B and B.
Aug 12th to 16th

BALTIMOREJack O'Keeffe COVID 19 impact: Decision on cancellation or not planned for end of April We return to Roaringwater Bay for this major event of cruising round islands with beach games ashore, and good food and music in the evenings. Perfect Drascombe territory with stunning scenery.
Aug 21st to 23rd
Gloucester Ring TripJohn ChristieThe Gloucester Ring Trip will be run in 2020 on Saturday 22 August. The tides are suitable and a good turnout is expected. This is a unique chance to navigate, in experienced company, the River Severn Estuary travelling 40 minutes behind the Severn Bore from Lydney to Gloucester and back the same day on the Gloucester Sharpness Canal. You can arrange to see the bore the day before or after. Upriver cruise to Bullo for breakfast on the Sunday. Full details and briefing notes are available on receipt of Application Form CRT licence required in advance. £5.00 to organiser. Please book early.
Sep 2nd to 4th
Lomond Feeder CruiseAlan WilliamsThe Lomond feeder cruise has proved popular with both open boats and live aboards alike. Balloch has become the preferred launching site with large slipway and adequate parking. Arriving on Wednesday 2nd September, the group will stop overnight amongst islands, heading north to Ardlui Marina following day. Ardlui Hotel has rooms or “glamping pods” for those wishing to stay onshore overnight. Friday 4th September, we will return to the islands, joining the main Rally attendees.
Sep 5th & 6th

LOCH LOMONDAlan WilliamsLomond Rally will muster on North Beach on Inchmurrin, sailing around islands before returning to Inchmurrin Hotel for overnight. Please note that The hotel runs a ferry service which would enable non sailing members to attend evening meal.
Sep 12th &13th

ULLSWATERAndy BiggsThis year's Ullswater rally is being held jointly with the OGA, trailer section at Glenridding Sailing Centre. Fee £45. It may be necessary to limit numbers, so early booking would be appreciated. On Friday evening we can eat in the pub. Saturday there will be a treasure hunt (No anagrams this year) & a bring your own BBQ. Musicians pwelcome. If you can take extra crew let Andy know. See the FORUM
Sep 18th to 20th
Norfolk Broads rallyJulian MersonBased at the Waveney River Centre. More details in due course.
Oct 2nd to 4th
Basingstoke Canal Autumn colours rallyStephen DeakinThe Basingstoke is the quietest and prettiest canal in the south of England. It is heavily tree lined and the Autumn colours are usually spectacular. It is still warm in the south of England in early October so do come and join this last rally of the season! Live aboard, camp, or B and B.


Dutch Drascombe Rallies
Date Event/Venue Organiser Details

Dutch Rally ProgrammeMichel MaartensThe rally programme of the NKDE is published here


Non-Drascombe Association Events - names in brackets are Drascombe contacts, not organisers.
Date Event/Venue Contact Details
May 23th - 30th
Sail CaledoniaThe Great Glen Boating ClubA professionally organised event involving cruising, camping racing and partying from Fort William to Inverness. See the website for details and to enter. See DAN 132, page 44
June 13th to 20th

Seafair Haven 2020Talll Ships Wales TrustA well-loved event with a local team ready to welcome old friends and newbies alike. The event is based out of the Lawrenny Arms pub, affectionately known as 'The Doghouse'. There will be a convivial programme on-water and on-shore, details to be announced in due course. camping options avaiable. See the website
Aug 1st & 2nd

WHITSTABLE HARBOURWhitstable MaritimeFull of entertainment and experiences on land and sea with 50 local and national organisations taking part, along with a fleet of traditional barges. If you fancy showing off amongst the great & good contact Dick Pizey. See the FORUM for more
Aug 10th to 16th

Drascamp 2020Drascombe CBLBased at Suffolk Yacht Harbour on the River Orwell we will be able to explore the Orwell and the Stour as well as the Walton Backwaters – setting for the Arthur Ransome book ‘Secret Water’. A family friendly event with lots to see and visit locally as well as enjoying your Drascombe on the water. Drascombe (CBL) are supporting and organising this not for profit event – for details contact sharon(at)drascombe.uk and see the FORUM

On longer cruises it is best to plan as if you were going to make the trip on your own. Have adequate safety gear, communications, spare parts and tools to suit the itinerary. The other boats are there for company and reassurance, not to be relied upon for basic needs.

The booklet SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR RECREATIONAL BOAT USERS provides guidance on appropriate equipment and preparations. It is available from the RYA, 0845 345 0400 or the RNLI, 0845 122 6999. Both also provide other guidelines and checklists.

PLEASE tell the organiser AS SOON AS POSSIBLE:

  • That you are coming and are insured
  • If you need help
  • If you cancel or will arrive late
  • If you leave the rally early