Final RAF GAN Sailing Club vs British High Commission Sailing Club 1975

Submitted by David Rose

It had long been a tradition that the RAF Gan sailing club responded to the British High Commission in Colombo to attend an annual dinghy race.

1975 was no exception but there was a problem. When I arrived in Gan in early June 1975 there was a strong sailing club with many qualified racing helms. Over the next months Gan was slowly running down and the helms left one by one. This left me as the only qualified RYA 'B' helm and a bunch of very enthusiastic, but inexperienced, sailors.Taff Tovey

When the challenge was communicated to me by the C.O. I explained the situation and we decided that the only thing to do was intensive training over the month that we had.

As a 'B' helm I could qualify people but there was no time for the niceties and formalities. We formulated a team of eight people and crammed every minute of daylight sailing that we could to gain as much racing experience as possible.

Geordie Gilroy, Phil Small and Taff ToveyWhen the day came we boarded the 'Whispering Giant' Britannia and flew off to Sri Lanka. It was a terrific flight NNE from Gan so we could view many of the other atolls before the Maldives disappeared to port.

Landing at Bandaranaike airport was quite an experience. We queued at the customs and immigration trestle tables where suitcases were being turned upside down and searched before then being unceremoniously swept aside to be repacked by the owner. We were getting worked up to protest when we were approached by a couple of people asking if we were from RAF Gan. On finding that we were our suitcases were promptly wheeled outside into 3 or 4 BHC chauffer driven cars. We were whisked away in style with everyone thinking we were Very VIP's indeed.

We were accommodated with members of the sailing club. Taff Tovey and I stayed with a terrific gentlemen who owned hotels and the local Lion brewery. The house was on the outskirts of Colombo and was just magnificent. We had all brought gifts for our hosts and we gave the litre bottles of spirit over which is what had been advised as this was very expensive, not that particular host would notice that!


About This Site
Useful Information

Maps & Addu Atoll Links

Desktop Wallpapers


Guest Book
Guest Book Archives
Message Board
Stories and Articles
This & That !!
Your Enquiries

REUNION 2003 [Odiham]
REUNION 2010 [Gan]
REUNION 2016 [Gan]

Royal Air Force Stations
Hospitals/Medical Units

  RAF Gan Website

Dedicated To All Those Who Served or Passed Through RAF Gan, Addu Atoll, Maldives, Indian Ocean