Historical

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 »

From The Archives. Castaway Ant

by Richard Crockett Due to the huge following my first post a couple of days ago created, I though another may be appropriate. ‘Castaway Ant’ is a legend throughout the sailing world – and a man highly respected as a yachtie. Interestingly he did somewhat hog the news headlines when he made contact at every landfall. The number of press cuttings I have of his exploits is simply phenomenal. Thanks for all the enjoyment Ant. Read More »

From the Archives. Ant Steward

Ant Steward was a household name in sailing circles in this country thanks mainly to his solo ‘open boat’ circumnavigation. He was in the news big time, and his following from landlubbers and sailors alike was huge. And then he was lost! He was wrecked on a remote island somewhere in the Seychelles, and lived like Robinson Crusoe until rescued. His wrecked yacht was ultimately shipped to Durban for repairs, before being shipped back to where he was wrecked so ... Read More »

From the Archives. Traditional Boats

This country used to have a Traditional Boat Association which, as I have not heard much about it for some years, must now assume it is defunct. Sad, but probably due to many of the old codgers who established and nurtured it no longer being with us. This pic, from the Cape Argus of 14 March 1992 shows a very youthful Rafe Axelson with George Askew preparing boats for a weekend rally. It seems though that the powerhouse of traditional ... Read More »

From the Archives. Young J22 Crew

This newspaper cutting refers to David Rae (18) as a top Pretoria yachtsman who has been selected to skipper a South African entry in the J22 Worlds in the USA. Rae has gone on to achieve great this in his sailing career, and is now a sailmaker with North Sails in Cape Town. But what of his crew Steven Kruger and Brett van Rooyen? Are they still around and more importantly still sailing? Read More »

From the Archives. Facilities and Iron Ore

This newspaper cutting from the EP Herald published on 1 February 1985 highlights infrastructure issues within sailing in this country. And now, 30-plus years later, not a lot has changed! It was recently announced by Transnet that the planned relocation of the Iron Ore stack has been delayed until the next decade – a very unsatisfactory situation. It’s sad that in 30 years little progress has been made on many different fronts, and that our sport, and the infrastructure it ... Read More »

From the Archives. Voortrekker I & II

  This cutting from the Cape Argus on 10 January 1990 report that these two famous yachts were lying ‘neglected’ at their moorings. We know that Voortrekker II sank during the last Cape to Rio Race – but what has happened to Voortrekker I – and where is she now? Both yachts hold a soft spot in many peoples hearts as they were not only famous, but also sailed by some of our very best sailors who all became sailing ... Read More »

From the Archives. Worcester Yacht Club

by Richard Crockett This cutting from the Worcester Standard Advertiser on 3 March 1989 caught my eye as it’s no longer a Club that gets mentioned much, or ever! Does it still exist? If so maybe someone from the club would like to enlighten members about their activities. Read More »

From the Archives. Southstar Race 1989

Featured here are Patrick Holloway and Gary Farrow who were last minute entrants into the Southstar Race, having obtained some late and much needed sponsorship. They won this race against some stiff competition, even beating Bertie Reed! In this two-page feature they tell their story of the race.           Read More »

From the Archives. Round the Island Race

With the Round the Island Race on the Vaal Dam due to start at the end of this month, here’s a reminder of what it was about in 1988. This cutting from The Star on 18 January 1988, has this caption: About 600 boats turned out on a beautiful Vaal Dam for the Round the Island Race yesterday. The full race around Grooteiland has not been sailed during the drought because the island has become a peninsula. Abundant rains have ... Read More »

An ‘Ancient’ Team Re-United

by Richard Crockett I do love the history of our sport, especially the personalities involved and the vivid memories of sailing in ‘their days’ which they recall with great gusto, enthusiasm and a touch of nostalgia. We have a wonderful sport. Regrettably its history is being trashed every single day as mementoes, pics, newspaper and magazine cuttings on the sport are tossed into trash cans – instead of being preserved. So when John Wright sent me some the info below, ... Read More »

Archive Pics & Hunter Class 50th Anniversary

by Richard Crockett Some call it the largest keelboat class in South Africa, and whether it is or not is irrelevant as it has stood the test of time. This year the class will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with its national championships being sailed in conjunction with Keel Boat Week at Deneysville Aquatic Club on the Vaal Dam. 60 is the number of boats expected. It is a very active class with good numbers with sizeable fleets in the ... Read More »