From the Archives – Sprog 700

by Richard Crockett The Sprog class was once an evergreen and dynamic class which just seemed to provide top class dinghy sailing for many – until it suddenly died which was rather sad. Yet despite its demise as an active sailing class there are many out there who remember the Sprog fondly, and who still, to this day, remember their Sprog days very clearly. Dudley Thomson, who now sails from Benoni Yacht Club, sent me the accompanying 3 Sprog pics, ... Read More »

‘Stormy’. Her First Preview

by Richard Crockett Last week I posted info about ‘Stormy’ and the fact that she is being saved from destruction by someone in the USA who is going to restore her to her former glory. There was a good response to this news and the pic I posted of her. Just by change I happened to come across some of the first words ever written about this highly successful ocean racer. Enjoy them, as here they are … . Read More »

Sprogs – There’s LOOONG Life in These Magnificent Dinghies

A few days ago I posted some info and pics of Sprogs from Chris Grylls – and this solicited some great response from followers, and a pic by Jane Hudson of she and Dave rigging a Sprog in Sedgefield in 1969. Jane said: “Here’s one for the books – Sedgefield 1969 with David Hudson.” Dave Hudson responded with this: “David Hudson I don’t know the number. I think this boat belonged to Acland Bertie. He had started building MSM Sprogs ... Read More »

Kees Bruynzeel’s ‘Stormy’

by Richard Crockett The very first Cape to Rio Race in 1971 attracted worldwide interest, and entries too, with a fine array of yachts in the 69 boat fleet. In those days van de Stadt designs were very popular, with many featuring on our local racing circuit, and the fleet saw many E G van de Stadt designs competing. First and third overall we van de Stadt designs, being ‘Albatross II’ and ‘Stormy’. ‘Stormy’ was skippered by Cornelis ‘Kees’ Bruynzeel, ... Read More »

Sprog ‘Sensation’

In August last year I published some info and pics under the heading “Sprog Memories’. (READ IT HERE) Just recently Chris Grylls, now living in the Hamble, sent me the following info and pics. He writes that: The original Sprog 2 was ‘Smiler’ also owned by Peter Senn. ‘Sensation’ was built for Peter Senn by Beehive Builders in Port Elizabeth. They built many Sprogs, and later Wingers, amongst some other dinghies. She originally had an all-varnished hull with a pale ... Read More »

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 »