From the Archives

A Blast from the Past

On this page are pics and images from our archives that we think may be of interest to readers, as they may have made it into the pages of either SAILING or SA Yachting magazines. We invite readers’ comments, information about the pics and even clarification on information we may have regarding the pics, the people and the boats featured.

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British Contender Class Nationals. Willcox 4th – RSA Archive Pics

by Richard Crockett I just happened to notice a few days ago that Graeme Willcox competed in the British Contender class Nationals – and finished very well in 4th spot, with his best result a 2nd. The Contender is a class no longer sailed in this country to my knowledge anyway, although some of the …

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A “Stroppy” Sprog Needs A Good Home

by Richard Crockett In December 2017 I reported that Frans Loots had successfully restored ‘Stroppy’ – the Sprog that is regarded as the first one built. The boat had been lying in the basement of a Museum in Port Elizabeth for many years as there simply was nowhere for it to be displayed. One had …

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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, …

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‘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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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June History pic 1

June History pic 2

June 2017  issue

by Richard Crockett

I always enjoy browsing through the SAILING Mag archives and looking at the pics of yesteryear as some bring back memories. This month a file named ‘Dragons’ caught my eye as I know they are a popular class in the UK, and knew of one here in Durban. And then close to that file was one marked ‘Enterprise’ – and having sailed one, and restored one, I though it was worth a look especially as one hardly hears about this classic class any longer, despite some top names having owned them.

Pic 1. The caption to this reads: One of South Africa’s two Dragons: **Galatea sailed by Guy Reynolds in Durban. At the next Olympics South Africa hopes to be represented in this class fro the first time.

Now this pic is undated, so can anyone give an indication of that, and the name and home club of the second Dragon in the country?

June History pic 3

June History pic 4

Pic 2. This is an old pic, dated 1955 – so it was taken over 60 years ago. It was taken during the 1955 Cowes Regatta. The caption says: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (right) pulls in the genoa as his yacht **Bluebottle rounds the Old Castle Buoy. Uffa Fox can be seen in front of The Duke.

Chris Talbot has advised me that this is Trio was owned by Leo Caney. He also said that he was a bailer-boy on Trio in his youth and had to keep his head below deck at all times to keep windage to a minimum. Plus, it appears that Caney had an uncanny knack of running into Enterprises and dismasting them. His crew threatened to notch the tiller for every hit!

Pic 3. A fleet of Enterprise dinghies in close contest. The caption reads: Adam French, the new Highveld champion, being closely followed by Carlo Brovelli and Maurice Hare.

Does anyone know if Adam French still sails?

Pic 4. The Enterprise was always a tough old boat to sail in a breeze. This pic, taken in 1975 at the Enterprise Highveld Champs on Florida Lake, has this caption: Brian Downham and crew hanging out well in their Enterprise whilst sailing through a gust at Florida Lake.

Brian Downham was a dab-hand in most classes he sailed.

Responses to Previous Issues
Johan Van Rooyen
April 2017 issue pic 1 pg 28
L- R are Suzette Anderson, then Kate Steward. I am not sure who the third person is. I believe it was when they sailed **Fouchini Girl in the Cape to Rio Race.

Rob Martin
April 2017 issue pg 28
Regarding the Sprog pics, the 1969 Champion at Allemanskraal Dam was John Mackay on ‘Stagalee’. I was his crew.

‘Stagalee’ was the first Sprog with Highfield levers and an adjustment at the foot of the mast including a cunningham cringle at the Jib. It was first owned by Bryan Metcalf and then purchased by the Mackay’s.

John and his brother Daniel won the Graduate National Championship in Lourenco Marques in the early Sixties. I think he was then twelve or fourteen years old. After that he competed in ‘Stagalee’.

June History pic 4

He is the brother-in–law of the Tarboton family who sail at Midmar.

John Mackay’s swansong was the Saint Helena Race where he crewed for John Levine on a Stadt34 – the average age of the crew was in the middle sixty’s – and the old buggers showed the way!