Historical

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 »

1973 Cape to Rio Race Captured

  by Richard Crockett This image is just one of many that appeared in the Weekend Argus on the day after the start of the 1973 race. I was fortunate enough to have been given a complete copy of that Weekend Argus, so have been able to extract all references to the race. In that issue of the Weekend Argus alone there were 13 different articles, many accompanied with pics, on the start of this iconic race. It’s a treasure-trove ... Read More »

The South Atlantic Race. How It Was Proposed

by Richard Crockett Ever wondered how this race to Rio was established? Well here’s the answer – and you had better believe it as despite this being an undated newspaper cutting, it was loooong before the days of fake news. The race was proposed by Admiral H H Biermann, Chief of the South African Navy, when he and many other dignitaries welcomed Bruce Dalling home after his highly successful OSTAR race in 1968. It makes for interesting reading, and was ... Read More »

50 Years On – The OSTAR, Voortrekker & Bruce Dalling

by Richard Crockett The 1968 OSTAR race is still vivid in the minds of many who would be surprised to know that it is almost 50 years ago that the race set sail, and that sailing in South Africa was thrust onto the world stage by Bruce Dalling and his trusty steed ‘Voortrekker’. 1 June 1968 was the start of this epic race which was almost won by Bruce Dalling. It has been suggested over the years that had he ... Read More »

From the Archives. A Postcard from Napoleon!

by Richard Crockett While archiving a scrapbook collection of newspaper and other cuttings I was given for safekeeping some years ago, I could not help but be amused by this postcard of Napoleon’s arrival off St Helena. But what tickled me more was the inscription on the back, showing the date as 24 April 1816 – and being ‘signed’ by Napoleon! This postcard was sent to the Pragnell’s in 1968. Read More »