Some Historic Sailing Pics

Mike Spruce, a follower of this blog has sent in two interesting pics. The first he titled “Launch day – ‘Voortrekker 1′” – so it dates back to 1968 – 51 years ago! The second is of the Sprog ‘Smokey’ – and is captioned as “Fred & Mike Spruce on Germiston Lake (VLC) in the dark ages. ‘Smokey’ sold to (I think) “Van” Milne, a lost Canadian in Africa. Memory fading – can’t recall who built Smokey (son’s name was ... Read More »

Some Interesting Reading

by Richard Crockett While archiving an extensive amount of info I have on Voortrekker 1 and the formation of the Trust which was formed to raise funds for her build and OSTAR campaign in 1968 under Bruce Dalling, I looked for a few books in my library to get additional info on that singlehanded race, and some of the people competing. First up I read ‘Separate Horizons’ by Stephen Pakenham, which is a definitive survey of the Singlehanded Transatlantic Race. ... Read More »

Sprog Memories of the ‘GORPS Guzzle’

by Richard Crockett A week ago I published a few old Sprog pics and a ‘GORPS Guzzle’ certificate. Those pics and the certificate have brought many people out of the woodwork to comment and reminisce. My old mate John Wright has now updated me with info on the ‘GORPS Guzzle’, as well as supplying a list of all winners of the Sprog Nationals – which reads like a Who’s Who of top sailors in the country. The word GORPS , ... Read More »

Sprog Memories

Regrettably with each passing day the Sprog becomes less and less significant in terms of local sailing, which is a great pity as this used to be on our ‘powerhouse’ classes. In the last few days I enjoyed some picture posts on a Sprog WhatsApp group, and now have permission to share them. Sprog 240 This was posted by Roger Day who says that he and his brother have been collating info about their Dad, and specifically around his passion ... Read More »

Vixen of Victoria B.C.

By Richard Crockett While working on the SAILING Mag archives in the last few days I stumbled across 2 pics of a very old yacht taken in Durban Bay, so chose to do some super sleuthing to find out more. My sleuthing took me to some editorial David Cox wrote in the January 2010 issue of SAILING. Having refreshed my memory I took to the internet and found a Blog entitled: Vixen’s Voyage – Around the World in a 34-foot ... Read More »

Historical. ‘JAG Voortrekker’?

By Richard Crockett In archiving 2 very large boxes of material I have on the original Voortrekker from dream to conception, I came across reference to it being named ‘JAG Voortrekker’ for the 1969 European season. I have so far come across no further reference to that name, other than in the crew selection correspondence. David Abromowitz was one of the crew, and he too cannot shed any light on this reference! He can however remember doing Cowes Week, The ... Read More »

Historical. Ratsey & Lapthorn Sailmakers

by Richard Crockett In sorting through my archives I am coming across some really interesting items, and this professionally compiled 3-ring binder ‘sample book’ from Ratsey & Lapthorn, Ltd Sail Makers in 1960, caught my attention for several reason. Incidentally Ratsey & Lapthorn was founded in 1790 – and is a company still in business today with their loft in Cowes, and consider themselves to be ‘The Rolls Royce of Sail Making’. The samples and explanations of each different sailcloth ... Read More »

Flying Dutchman Class History – circa 1965.

By Richard Crockett Now here is some serious history on this magnificent two-man spinnaker trapeze dinghy from an A5 ring bound booklet in the SAILING Publications archives. Read the pages selected from the booklet HERE:  Flying Dutchman booklet South Africa had a strong association with the class back then as in the list of Founders of the IFDCO (International Flying Dutchman Class Association) the names of two prominent South African sailors – Jack Koper and Dr. Ken Warr. Don Ord was ... Read More »

Historical Lipton Cup – the 1958 Contest

by Richard Crockett Few of those sailing the ‘modern’ Lipton Cup contests know the real history of the event. What even fewer people know is that in 1958 Wilfred Hancock scored a ‘grand slam’ of victories by winning ALL 5 races in that contest. In the ‘70s David Cox also scored a ‘grand slam’ of victories – and to my knowledge this has not been achieved again, and looks less and less likely to happen as time passes. These 3 ... Read More »

From The Archives. Voortrekker Regatta for Spearheads

by Richard Crockett Now here’s a real blast from the past for those who used to sail Spearheads. By now there can only be a smattering of them left on our local waters, with a guess being that most can now be found on inland waters. While archiving two huge boxes of Voortrekker archive material I came across mention of a trophy for Spearheads made from a sheet lead block from Voortrekker. Then yesterday I found this A3 poster – ... Read More »

Historical. NCS Regatta 1997

This was the year that PYC changed the format somewhat and included the dinghies – a positive move which regrettably did not find favour in certain circles and was dropped. As can be seen from the results, so top boats and very well known sailors competed. In the keelboats were Hanno Teuteberg; Shaun Ferry (better known as a top Hobie sailor); Dave Cox; Ernie Shaw; Mike Hopley and Patrick Holloway. In the dinghies were Mark Sadler; Dave Hibberd; Gareth Blanckenberg; ... Read More »

Historical. The NCS Regatta 1993

Way back in 1993 the NCS Regatta was followed immediately by the J22 Worlds. This year the MSC Regatta is being followed by the Lipton Challenge Cup. In this press cutting from 9 July 1993 are some names of people and boats who have made a mark in sailing in this country. Read More »

From the Voortrekker Archive

Now here’s a very interesting and unique pic from the Voortrekker archive I have in my posession. This archive has all the details of the concept of competing in the OSTAR, the formation of what is now the South African Ocean racing Trust (SAORT), crew selections, fund-raising and much much more … . Read More »

From the Archives – Crystic Week 1992

By Richard Crockett The MSC Regatta gets going again on 2 July. The July week of sailing off Durban is an event steeped in history, and which started off in the ‘70s as Mainstay Week, became the Crystic Ocean Challenge, Crystic Week and then the NCS Week. Here are some archived press cuttings from the 1992 Crystic Week event. Click on each of the links below to open them. NCS Regatta 1992 01 NCS Regatta 1992 02 NCS Regatta 1992 ... Read More »