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23 February 2017
by Richard Crockett
Publisher & Editor of SAILING Magazine (incorporating SA Yachting)
Reader response is welcome – RESPOND HERE
Readers are encouraged to share this with their sailing mates
Time flies when you are having fun! Well that’s the way I feel when compiling every issue of “Talking Sailing”.
This is the 50th issue – not quite a major milestone, but an achievement nonetheless.
Incidentally, SAILING Magazine which incorporates SA Yachting Magazine, will publish its 400th issue later this year. If you don’t subscribe to it, do so now HERE
When I started “Talking Sailing” I opened it with these words:
The intention of ‘Talking Sailing” is to occasionally cover topical issues in the sport of sailing, however difficult they may be. So expect some hard-hitting editorials and even controversial observations and comments. But most importantly it will all be about sailing, so your feedback and items of interest are welcome via e-mail.
I do hope that I have maintained my original intention? I do know that some issues have challenged people as what was covered was close to the bone, while others have created some really good discussions and made people stand up, take their heads out of the bottom of the boat, and look around them!
I will not take any credit for having changed the sport in any significant way, although I do know that by continually ‘banging on’ about having fun in a boat, and taking the bad out of events and replacing them with new innovations – have met with some success. Hopefully I have also been partly responsible for the resurgence in offshore racing. And that’s simply because we have all been “Talking Sailing”.
Probably the biggest interest, and the most ‘talked’ about topic in these first 50 issues, were the scribblings entitled ‘J22 Jiggery Pokery’. I won’t linger on that subject as there is some solace for J22 sailors in this issue as two items of ‘Jiggery Pokery’ are featured.
Enjoy this issue, keep sharing it with your mates, and keep “Talking Sailing”.
Please remember that “Talking Sailing” is on the SAILING Gybeset page – the only difference being that this version has images with it. See it HERE
In this issue we “Talk About” …:
• Rule 69 Investigation – Review of Finding
• Jiggery Pokery – Vetchies Pier Beach
• Cape 31 Launched
• 70th Anniversary – Forgotten by the Sprogs!
• More on Herbert Hastings McWilliam (1907 – 1995)
• Another Anniversary. Flying 15 – 70th
• Nominations Called for the 2016 South African Sailing (SAS) Awards
• The Trumpet
• New Terminology
• Sailing is Badly Broken
• Wind Overtakes Coal Power in Europe as Turbines Head Offshore
• What Kills Sailing Clubs?
• British Warship With £1bn in Gold To Be Raised
• International Interest Building in Ostar 2017
• America’s Cup Less than 100 days to Go
• Land Rover BAR Launch the Boat They Hope Will Bring the Cup Home
• Oracle Team USA and Airbus Warming Up for the Final Race
• Kiwis Go With Pedal Power
• Lavender Creek – a Possible Solution?
• Background on Ocean Littering
• Foiling Moth Takes Line Honours in Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
• NOAA’s New Weather Satellite Sends First Images Back to Earth
• A Note to Our Government. Hands Off Our Natural Anchorages
• Controversy Over Plett Small Harbour Plans
• Lexus Enters the Maritime Market
• Keelboat Handicapping. ORC & IRC Unite For World Champs
• Book Review
• In Distress
• How True
• I Like This
• Reader Responses
• A Lasting Gift – A Subscription to SAILING Magazine
• Sailor of the Month – Submit Your Nomination NOW
Jiggery Pokery – Rule 69 Review of Finding?
The last issue (number 49 in mid-January) covered the findings of the Rule 69 investigation as conducted by SAS due to ‘two metal inserts’ having been placed in one of the boats.
Incidentally, and for the record, the first metal insert was a fibreglass encased 17kg steel block under the cabin sole, and the second was a thin aluminium cover plate.
Since then SAS has REVIEWED its findings, and on 1 February published the following:
Rule 69 Investigation – Review of Finding
This serves to inform you of the outcome of the review that South African Sailing had instigated regarding the Rule 69 Investigation. The review indicated that without a hearing disciplinary action should not be proposed under Rule 69.
The Investigation report is amended as follows, and was signed by Michael Robinson:
The uncontested facts contained in the submissions are sufficient for the Investigators to present the following:
1. The reported parties were the co-skippers of L26 from 2010.
2. During 2010, modifications were made to the boat which included the use of two metal inserts under the mast step, in breach of the class rules. This is a substantial breach of the Class Rules.
3. The reported parties sailed the L26 007 in competition on a number of occasions, with the modifications in place, most notably in the 2011 and 2013 Lipton Challenge Cup Regattas, both of which were won by L26 007.
4. The onus for compliance with the rules rests firmly on the reported parties. The sailors are in breach of Rule 78.1 of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and Rule 2.3.6 of the Class Rules.
5. Although there is no indication of direct intent to breach the rules, the onus is clear, and at the very least, the reported parties were negligent in not properly monitoring the modifications to ensure compliance. This negligence does not amount to gross misconduct as envisaged in the Racing Rules of Sailing.
South African Sailing was tasked with an investigation into potential gross misconduct by the reported parties. Having found that no gross misconduct was present, South African Sailing has discharged its mandate.
The sailors have offered to retire and return their titles. The matter is referred back to the reported parties, the Trustees and the L26 Class to formalise the retirements.
This was received as something of a surprise as it left questions that required answers. As a result I e-mailed my concerns to The Chairman of SAS and Michael Robinson.
My questions were:
1. Why, when the original investigation finding was published it stated that there was a substantial breach of the Class Rules, and that the uncontested facts show that there was indeed a breach of Rule 69.1(a), the latest document concludes that there was no such breach of Rule 69.1(a)?
2. I see that the original finding, sent to me for publication on 10 January after many months of investigation, was accepted by Council and the proposed sanction (stripping of titles) which was reportedly warranted by the finding that Rule 69.1(a) had been breached, was approved by Council. Has the reversal of Council’s decision on the breach of Rule 69.1(a) been agreed by Council (i.e. is this the final decision) or does this still need to happen?
3. The Review of Finding acknowledges that the procedure followed by the investigators in trying to take disciplinary action without a hearing was wrong, and yet we have a number of International Judges and National Judges in this country. My impression is that none of these people were ever consulted in regard to the correct procedure to be followed. Whenever there is a Rule 69 outcome, World Sailing publish the facts and distribute them worldwide. I am privy to these – and read them with interest. My interest is always piqued when I see that our very own Lance Burger has chaired these investigations and hearings. Surely, with his expertise, knowledge and stature within World Sailing on these matters, he should have been consulted on the procedure required by the Racing Rules, if not the actual decisions?
Reply from Michael Robinson (dated 14 February)
With regard to your first question the initial report of the investigating panel was questioned in relation to the interpretation of an aspect of rule 69. The matter was again referred to World Sailing for guidance. At issue was whether SAS could impose a sanction on the sailors without conducting a hearing. The guidance was that SAS could not do so. Accordingly the wording of the SAS communication was amended to accord with the World Sailing interpretation of the rule and the findings were communicated to the parties on the 1st of February, 2017.
It is important to note that the final outcome for the reported sailors is the same. The sailors themselves had stated that they intended to retire and return their titles. Such outcome reflects the original effective outcome recommended by the investigators. The sailors have since tendered their resignations and the matter is now in the hands of the Trustees and the L26 Class.
On your second question the outcome of the Rule 69 Investigation has been considered and approved by Council.
With regard to the reliance on an International Judge outside of South Africa please be assured no disrespect is implied to South Africa’s own IJ’s. As you yourself point out they have been involved in many cases involving other countries. Indeed, in some of these cases the sailors from those countries would have had their own IJ’s. We referred the matter to World Sailing for two reasons. Firstly, Rule 69 is a rule under development with precedent setting case law still being built. South Africa would like to be seen as a responsible MNA playing a leading role in our International Federation open to input and leadership from others. A criticism is that too many MNA’s hold contentious issues to themselves and leadership is lost. Moreover, Lance Burger would be the first to point to a potential conflict of interest with his own children having been Lipton Cup competitors. Our sailing community is so small that it was seen as an additional advantage to have a completely arm’s length assessment of our process.
My instinct indicates that there has been a lack of consistency here, and that there is an attempt by SAS to discharge their responsibilities with undue haste.
Questions are being asked as to why a ‘substantial breach of the Class Rules, and that the uncontested facts which showed that there was indeed a breach of Rule 69.1(a)’ now becomes ‘negligence’ and is not punishable? Has what was initially a slap on the wrist now turned into absolutely no sanction at all?
Again, what this does say is that if one is slapped with a Rule 69 matter in this country, one simply has to plead negligence to not be sanctioned! Surely that’s not right?
I believe that Mr Robinson completely missed the point of my third question. I was NOT asking why Lance Burger was not used in this specific investigation, but why he was not at least consulted as to the correct procedures to be followed – as after all he has been the Chairman of a number of these Rule 69 investigations internationally. Lance Burger is astute enough to know when there is a conflict to not become involved, but to NOT use his knowledge and experience is ludicrous.
I wonder how World Sailing, who it appears have been consulted twice on this matter, view our national body, especially when there are International Judges locally who could have given advice without prejudice?
Surely every sailor in SA who has read the RRS will know that a boat or competitor cannot be penalised without a hearing unless the Rule in question specifically allows this. Why does SAS have to go to World Sailing to ask the obvious?
It also appears that they are not upholding the SAS Constitution in terms of its objectives.
The SAS Constitution, as is displayed on their website says:
2. Object of the Association
South African Sailing (SAS) shall administer and promote all aspects of sailing in the Republic of South Africa, in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. In particular SAS shall:
2.2 administer the rules governing sailing competitions,
2.3 manage the conduct of sailing competitions,
2.9 liaise and affiliate where necessary, with international bodies representing the interests of sailing throughout the world for the benefit of sailing in the Republic of South Africa, adopting their rules where appropriate.
The Objectives of South African Sailing (as published on their website also state, amongst others):
• To promote all aspects of the sport of sailing in South Africa and encourage excellence in it.
• To represent sailing in South Africa by ensuring excellence in race management and judging.
• To ensure that the ISAF (NOW World Sailing) sailing regulations are enforced.
There is a feeling out there that SAS has not been transparent, nor consistent in its published decisions regarding this Rule 69 investigation to the extent that there are people baying for the blood of the SAS hierarchy.
My earnest request to SAS is to please put this matter to bed in a seamanlike manner that will not embarrass the National Body, sailors as a whole, those office bearers who administer the organisation – and to be open and transparent in this matter.
It must be noted that by sharing the above with readers there is no witch-hunt in terms of those who have been implicated by the Rule 69 Investigation, but rather to point out that SAS appears to have been in conflict with it’s own initial findings when they stated quite clearly that there was a ‘gross breach of a rule’ to subsequently, some three months later, suddenly determine that there was NOT a gross breach!
The Lipton Cup Trustees Actions
“South African Sailing issued their findings on this matter on 7 December 2016 (Annexure B), and have issued a review of these findings on 1 February 2017 (Annexure C).
“Following this review we received on 6 February 2017 notice of the retirement of the FBYC entry B&G, skippered by Andrea Giovannini and Markus Progli, from the 2010; 2011; 2012 & 2013 Lipton Challenge Cup’s (Annexure D).
“The results have been re-calculated for the events that this yacht won, namely the 2011 Challenge held by Knysna Yacht Club, and the 2013 event held by Royal Natal Yacht Club.
“The winning Club for the 2011 Lipton Challenge Cup is now Knysna Yacht Club. The yacht sailed was 074 Colorpress skipper Greg Davis (Annexure E).
“The winning Club for the 2013 Lipton Challenge Cup is now Point Yacht Club. The yacht sailed was 074 PYC Choose Life Co-Ordination; skipper Richard Weddel (Annexure F).
“The Lipton Challenge Cup record of winners will be amended to reflect these results.
“We offer belated congratulations to these two clubs on winning this prestigious event.
“The nature of a Challenge event like the Lipton Challenge Cup is that certain rights flow to the winning club, and some of these are impossible to deal with retrospectively. The most important of these is the right to host their defence of the Cup, and this right was denied these two Clubs.
“The Trustees are in negotiation with the current holders RCYC to find a method that the Cup can be on display at these two clubs for a few months to allow them to celebrate these amended results with their clubs and crews.
“We the Trustees acknowledge that this matter has taken more time to resolve than we initially thought when we reported it to our National Authority on 7 July 2016; but we are pleased that the rightful wining clubs will now be recorded on the Cup as the winners of the Lipton Challenge in 2011 and 2013.”
Reader Response to this matter as published in the last “Talking Sailing” – issue 49.
• Disgusted and angered by the poor handling of the most serious offence in sailing. SAS has reached it`s weakest hour.
• So with Lipton Challenge Cup numbers dwindling, I wonder how it will survive with the L26 Class?
It would seem that the top boats have all had a tweak or two, but to what extent, who will know and how do you find out?
There have been rumours for years of core drilled keels, rudders with weights positioned internally, bulkheads that have been carbon stiffened, boats that have been lightened not within the class rules, and the list goes on! Is this just hear say or have these infringements taken place, how do we get to the bottom of it and prove it?
How do we have a national championships if the boats are not the same and one design class legal?
An L26 campaign is extremely costly, and in my opinion on a boat that heavy, and that old, not worth it if they cannot be sailed against each other as a one design class. Now what???
• To me, this is the end of Lipton as we know it. One must now focus on re-building the L26 class and placing its Nationals as its premier annual event with inland waters and Durban being great venues.
• I read with interest the issue regarding Rule 69 investigation. Under standing rules are to be adhered to, may I ask what advantage did 007 gain from these modifications? As you may be aware – I am not a specialist on L26 class nor it’s structure or construction. Mine is a simple technical question – did the extra metal strip make the boat faster, or advance it beyond the other boats in races?
Answer. The simple answer is that it would have enabled the boat to tighten its forestay far more than any other, giving them a distinct speed and height advantage upwind.
• Will the Lipton trophy now be awarded to second place (the infringed parties) at a special event? Doubt it.
The above are just some of the comments received. I will respond to some of the questions in these comments, to the best of my knowledge and to the best of my ability.
The biggest gripe appears to be that there have been class rules breeched regularly over a lengthy period of time, and that for years the L26 Class Association has done little about them. What few seem to appreciate is that neither the Class Association, nor the Lipton Cup Trustees, can act on hearsay. So many of the allegations are aired in the pub and ultimately become fact. But none of the issues have ever, to my knowledge, been addressed formally in writing to the L26 Class Association or the event organisers.
The L26 Class Rules state the following on their opening page: “If you have any questions or would like clarification with regards to these rules, or would like the Class Owners’ Association to investigate a suspected non-conformance of a specific L26 rule, pease contact … “.
The correct method is to address concerns formally, in writing, for them to be investigated and acted upon. But, and here’s the rub, too many people who make allegations of class rule breeches, simply either don’t have the guts to deal with the matter formally, or have the first-hand knowledge – hence nothing or little is done – and the issues become folklore.
As an example, the issue of Carbon Fibre in certain boats has been around for some years now, yet the Class has never received a formal application to have the matter addressed. Yet, having heard the pub chatter, they did, in their own quiet way, investigate the matter, and they did release the findings to boat owners. Their findings, based on the info they had, were insignificant to warrant any action – and I am sure that the Class Association will share this info freely, if it has not already done so.
Baseless allegations, mostly emanating from pub talk, don’t do a class, an event nor the sport any good. The RRS are very clear as to how to have ‘issues’ addressed. My plea is that people go the formal route, cut the rumours and spend time on the water working out how to make their boats go fast
I sincerely trust that this will be the last word on this matter!
Jiggery Pokery – Vetchies Pier Beach
There is a lot of angst in the Vetchies Beach area as there appears to be an attempt to wrest control of the clubs from their members, and put all the power in the hands of a board of directors who have absolute power over just about every aspect of its affairs – and finances too, with hefty remuneration packages having been bandied about!
In my simplistic view the original intention for that area was to have one common facility for ALL four clubs situated in that area, with each club having control of its own membership and activities. The four clubs are: Point Yacht Club; Durban Ski-Boat Club; Durban Undersea Club and the Durban Paddle Ski Club.
After Craig Millar, Commodore of the Point Yacht Club, bravely called an open forum meeting on this subject, it certainly appears that there is an almighty effort to have the Point Yacht Club and the Durban Paddle-Ski Clubs displaced.
The PYC has hosted numerous world sailing championships from its beachsite, and competitors in these events have always said that Durban has some of the best dinghy sailing waters in the world.
What is even more concerning is that the Durban Undersea Club has attempted to start a sailing section!
Watersport facilities throughout this country are under threat, especially those in Transnet controlled areas. As watersport enthusiasts we all need to work together to ensure our place in the sun is neither threatened nor taken away by overzealous officials.
Let’s hope that sense prevails and that sanity is restored to the Vetchies Beach area very soon.
Cape 31 Launched
It’s finally been launched – and what a beauty she is. Irvine Laidlaw and his team have done a phenomenal job as this is as near to perfection as perfection can be!
She’s also been on the race course too during the Fling Regatta, and certainly the comments from those her saw her were highly favourable too. She will be competing in the Mykonos Race this weekend, so having had round-the-cans racing and a long distance race within two weeks of her launch is a good test, her performance will be better understood.
The interest is high with 8 boats already ordered, and more interest still to come. Plus the new owners have already met to discuss the class rules to ensure that the ‘strict one-design’ concept is maintained from the outset.
This may well be a catalyst for renewed interest in keelboat sailing, and other events.
A full review will be in SAILING Mag soon.
70th Anniversary – Forgotten by the Sprogs!
Browsing through some old ‘Sprog Logs’ I have in my archives dating back from March 1956 to July 1961, I suddenly tumbled to the fact that the class had missed its 70th anniversary – which should have been last year. The first Sprog launched was ‘Stroppy’ – HH McWiliam’s boat which he designed and built himself.
‘Stroppy’ was launched in March 1946.
The April 1958 Sprog Log gives this very brief history of the Sprog – under the heading “How it All Began” and written by her designer.
“It all began in 1938. I fell for an advertisement in an American Yachting journal for a knockdown kit with which to build a 14 footer. The boat turned out to be a freak, but I did discover the enormous strength of plywood and it did not take much imagination to see that something beamier would be more stable and faster. The idea was discussed with Helmut Stauch and he undertook to let me have a set of lines for a 14′ hull with a beam of 3′ and with 60 sq. ft. of sail. This turned out to be ‘Tippy’, appropriately named and the crankiest craft ever handled.
“Then followed five years of isolation from sailing, and as an ordinary seaman I was glad to have something to occupy my mind and pass away the dreary hours of watch. Somewhere in the Bay of Bengal in 1945 we had to heave-to in the tail end of a cyclone and jamming myself into a corner I had the urge to sketch the Sprog (naval slang for a small edition of something bigger and better). There my accumulated ideas were sorted out, some inspired by the construction of the Mosquito Aircraft.
“Not being an expert in the matter of evolving lines I again turned to my old friend Helmut Stauch who modified the lines of the hull and suggested a sailplan used in a 14′ canoe at T.Y C. These full sized sections were further modified in the prototype ‘Stroppy’ which was finally launched in March, 1946. She was constructed largely from ply stripped from the liner ‘Mauritania’ when her cabins were gutted for conversion into a troop ship. It is interesting to record that the entire boat cost little over £40 and the sails £7.16″0d.
“Stroppy’s performance at her first race was such that there were dozens of requests for plans. Several sets of half plywood frames were cut from the remaining stock of the ‘Mauritania’s’ cabin partitions; one for Helmut himself and another two for Albert Mild and Syd Robinson and another boat was built in Durban. So it was that in 1947 in Durban the first series of Sprog races were held and these were won by ‘Stroppy’.
“By 1948, articles published overseas brought requests for plans from places as far apart as Chile and Australia, Canada and Aden, Lagos and Madras. By this time it was discovered that our plywood was not water-proof and horrid smells arose from the watertight compartments and ghostly crops of mushrooms thrived. ‘Stroppy’ had to be overhauled frequently and by 1951 I realised that lighter and newer Sprogs were more than a match for the gallant old boat so she found a resting place in the Marine Hall of the Port .Elizabeth Museum.”
I have since found a full history of the boat, also written by her designer, and will consider using this in SAILING Magazine (incorporating SA Yachting) in the next few months.
I do hope that the Class is able to make plans to hold a reunion regatta very soon, and to get all those old ‘Sprogites’ out of the woodwork and back on the water.
It was a common belief some years ago that unless you had won a Sprog national title you were not really a good dinghy sailor – hence the list of winners reading like a who’s who of sailing in this country.
More on Herbert Hastings McWilliam (1907 – 1995)
“A Hard Fought Ship” is the story of ‘HMS Venomous. It includes an account of McWilliams rescue by ‘HMS Venemous’ when ‘HMS Hecla’ sank on Armistice Day 1942.
McWilliams features quite prominently in Chapter 13 of this book.
In the book he is described as follows: “architect, naval officer, artist, author, wit, photographer, Springbok yachtsman, yacht designer and builder, traveller in the Victorian sense” (Keith Sutton) was rescued by HMS Venomous when his ship, HMS Hecla, was torpedoed off the North African coast on Armistice Day 1942. His vivid description of that night written in a letter to his mother within days of his rescue and the extraordinary ink wash drawings of ‘Hecla’ sinking in the Imperial War Museum, London, will keep the memory of its loss alive for generations to come.
McWilliams was born in Port Elizabeth, Cape Province, South Africa, where his father had an architectural practice. As a boy of five he made a voyage to England with his family aboard ‘RMS Grantully Castle’, was taken down the engine room in his dressing gown and made his first drawing of a ship. He was educated at St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown, but did not impress the Headmaster who told his father in 1923 that even if his son remained at college “until he had a long white beard” he would never be able to pass ‘matric’.
He left at the age of sixteen and was sent as an articled clerk to the office of Sir Herbert Baker and Partners in Cape Town, to be trained as an architect. He went to London in 1926 to study at the Architectural Association in Bedford Square and obtained his diploma in 1929. He travelled in Italy, Germany, Holland and Spain and exhibited at the Royal Academy before returning to South Africa in 1931 to enter his father’s practice of Jones and McWilliam.
The following link, sent to me by Bill Forster of Holeywell House Publishing, is fascinating as it includes much about McWilliams and his sketches too. SEE IT HERE
Another Anniversary. Flying 15 – 70th
I have a soft spot for the Flying 15 as it is a dinghy I did much of my competitive racing in, before having to make a choice of continuing the small boat stuff or going the keelboat route as quite simply I was unable to do both effectively as they regularly clashed.
It’s great class that provides good competitive sailing despite the ‘old man boat’ and other derogatory remarks made about it. Yes, they do go sideways upwind – but they ALL do this together, so it was a case of working out how to keep ‘sideways’ under control and work it to your advantage.
It’s also an eccentric class! Her designer certainly was eccentric, while some of the class members at the time frowned upon those who practised! For many of them it was their Saturday afternoon time off which was preceded by a good PYC pie, curry gravy and lashing of chips – washed down with a few beers BEFORE sailing.
Eccentric also as the tolerance on most measurements was about an inch or more, which had some older members mumbling into their Saturday beers as some tried to push those tolerances to the limit and create super-fast boats.
I suppose the most eccentric player though, maybe even harrassable too, was her designer Uffa Fox, a highly respected English yacht designer, author and raconteur.
This extract from the April 1973 Flying 15 Class news in SA Yachting said: I enjoy hearing stories about Uffa Fox and feel that I should share this one. Mrs. Fox is French and Uffa Fox never learnt the language nor could Mrs. Fox speak English. So when asked how they conversed Uffa replied “one eats, lives and sleeps with one’s wife so where is the need to talk to her”. One way out of being nagged for spending too much time at the Yacht Club!
In his book “Sailing Boats”, published in 1959, Uffa Fox wrote as follows in the introduction:
“Sailing has several advantages over other sports. Once you have your vessel, you do not take anything from the earth’s resources to enjoy your racing, cruising or day sailing. Your power is invisible and silent, and there is always wind to spare, whether you use it or not.
“Sailing also has the great merit of being able to be enjoyed by people of all ages, from the very young to the very old, providing they choose a boat to suit their age and strength. Broadly speaking, this is a foot of length for every year of age. Sailing too has wonderful character-building qualities, endowing people with resourcefulness, thoughtfulness, courage and endurance.”
Most designs are the result of a great deal of thought and many hours of work on the design board, where every detail is developed and perfected. Not so the Flying Fifteen, which came as vividly and swiftly as a flash of lightening said Fox.
“After a long, hard day’s work, I was stretched out relaxed in my bath before dressing for dinner and the glorious evening ahead. Suddenly, in my mind’s eye, I saw quite clearly the Flying Fifteen marching in triumph before a brisk nor’wester. Her mast, rig, the shape of her hull, the layout of her decks, her shark like fin keel and her rudder, were as clear in my mind’s eye as though the first boat was built and sailing on her trials.”
The above is an abbreviated version of an article in the March issue of .SAILING Magazine (incorporating SA Yachting).
Nominations Called for the 2016 South African Sailing (SAS) Awards
SAS has the following annual awards which can be bestowed upon worthy recipients:
Owen Aisher Trophy – Sailor of the Year
David Butler Trophy – Youth Sailor of the Year
Gordon Burnwood Trophy – Meritorious Ocean Race or Passage
Stan Jeffrey Trophy – Services for Yachting
Each member of SAS Sailing may nominate one person for each of the awards. The nomination process closes on 28 February 2017 following which the SAS Council will select a list of finalists for each award. The list of finalists will be published for a final vote for the award winners. The voting period for the finalists will remain open between 8 and 20 March 2017 following which the winner will be determined and announced at an event to be confirmed in April 2017.
Keep in mind, it isn’t all about winning the award, but recognising those that have made an impact to our sport. A collection of nominees will be selected to the final shortlist and will be announced as finalists for this annual distinction.
These awards cover the period 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016.
So, give this some serious thought and submit your nominations HERE
Hands up those who knows what this stands for?
Okay, and to keep you out of your misery, it stands for Kind Hearted Old Bastards!
Its an organisation I have heard reference to ever since I started sailing in Durban, although I have never really been able to glean much info about it.
Some years ago Bruce McCurrach sent me some of his personal sailing archives for safekeeping, and amongst them was a Certificate of Membership.
More recently I came a cross reference to this ‘society’ in “Yachting in Southern Africa” by Anthony Hocking who wrote: “the nationals were marked each year by meetings of a mystic organisation known as the KHOB – Kind Hearted Old Bastards. Its gatherings were noted for unusual noise – particularly the cries of novice initiates and the sounds of breaking sail battens. Its aims and functions remain shrouded in intrigue, though occasional stories have filtered down the generations to be retold with more than a touch of awe.
Office bearers in the organisation were given distinctive titles. OB was the Organising Bastard, SOB was the Secretarial Old Bastard. MOB was the Miserable Old Bastard. A member who was known only as EN was awarded the most inspired title as when starting a race with a blank fired from a canon on the eve of his initiation, managed to hit the Club Boatman as he walked past!
The membership certificate I have in my possession is signed by the BB – I assume the Boss Bastard – or would that be Bloody Bastard?
Can anyone shed any more light on this society? There must surely some very old KHOBs out there? If so make contact please. E-mail HERE – firstname.lastname@example.org
I have, thanks to Hillary Ralph, a KHOB blazer lapel badge – pictured with the membership form sent by Bruce McCurrach.
I do know that Geoff Wingrove of the Point Yacht Club had a lot of info on the society, as well as memorabilia, lapel badges and more. Does anyone know what may have happened to them?
I suppose the question that really needs to be asked at this juncture is whether the ‘society’ should be resurrected – and if so who the OB should be. I can think of many who would quite easily fit the bill of MOB.
Incidently, there is an ‘Australasian Order of Old Bastards’, but they have nothing to do with sailing.
Something our sport can be proud of is that it has taken firm anti-discrimination action by not permitting countries who practice discrimination by not permitting them to hold World Championship sailing events.
This also goes for the Olympic movement as a whole too.
The Trumpet’s ban on people born in some Muslim countries from entering the USA may well backfire as World Sailing events may well have to be re-scheduled. And what will happen to the Los Angeles bid to host the Olympics in 2024?
Makes you think – doesn’t it?
The world is changing fast with new words being added to dictionaries more regularly than before. Here are some that specifically refer to people’s cell phone habits!
Textpectation – that anticipation felt when waiting for a response to a text.
Cellfish – an individual who talks on his or her cell phone even when doing so is rude or inconsiderate of other people.
Cellfool – public nuisance who obstructs or endangers others by driving or walking with his phone in his ear and his head up his ass.
Cellhole – a person using a cell phone while being completely oblivious to their surroundings, other people, or tasks requiring full and immediate attention.
Cellibate – in crowded situations when one decides not to make chatty or long calls on their cell phones. They do this out of politeness and to preserve the sanity of those around them.
Celliloquy – the one-sided conversation that you end up having when the other person you are talking on your cell phone is dropped.
Celliot / cell-iot / celliriot – the word is used to describe someone that is constantly on their phone, particularly between people in conversation, hence being an idiot on his/her cell phone, or behaving like an idiot on his/her cell phone, a celliot.
Cellking – Portmanteau of ‘cell’ phone and ‘sulking’; someone who’s getting all upset that the person they’re calling or texting isn’t responding.
Celllicker adj, – one who is constantly glued to his/her cell phone;
one who talks loudly on cell phone in public places like movie halls;
one who can’t help showing off his/her latest cell phone model;
one for whom, the pricier and slicker the cell phone, the higher the social status.
Sailing is Badly Broken
Having read the piece below in Scuttlebutt (www.sailingscuttlebutt.com), I felt this simply had to be shared as there are so many truths in it as well as many parallels to the situation in our own country. Enjoy.
Bill Canfield may hail from Saint Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but there is nothing small about his position in the sport. His involvement extends far beyond the Caribbean, and he has been taking note of what he is seeing. Here he shares his observations…
I have spent the past 50 years thoroughly enjoying the sport of sailing as a competitor, volunteer, regatta organizer and race official. I’m an active member of three yacht clubs and look forward to a full summer of events. However, I recently sat back and looked at my sport through critical eyes and came up with the following conclusion. Sailing is Badly Broken!
A few things to consider:
• Handicap racing is a confusing mishmash of letters using a lot of R’s and C’s such as IRC, ORC, ORC CLUB, ORR, and the un-administered (nationally) PHRF. Who knows what it all means?
• Between the expense of coaches and travel for Junior Sailing, and the cost of exotic sail material on keelboats, families can no longer afford to race the family yacht outside their home club.
• Twenty years ago, Miami and Key West were the centre of the universe for sailing, and now our only annual Race Week event can’t draw 100 boats.
• The America’s Cup boats are battery powered toys without the need for any traditional sailing skills or sailors to compete. Absolutely no positive trickle down.
• With the advent of catamarans, Match Racing is now speed driven without the tactics and strategy that had made it totally unique and pure.
• High School and College sailing are thriving but will soon be endangered by the push for expensive coaching and equipment to satisfy an unexplained need to win Olympic Medals in European driven classes.
• US boat building is nonexistent right now and no class appears to be growing. If you wanted a new boat what would you buy?
• To top it off, most of the young professional sailors that drive the sport today have never really had an opportunity to enjoy the best part of our sport. The days of simply getting on a boat and sailing to a weekend regatta, having a few beers and a simple meal with friends, have now been replaced with plane tickets, hotel reservations, crew dinners, etc. Too bad!
People keep telling me it is cyclical and it will come back. I have my doubts.
Wind Overtakes Coal Power in Europe as Turbines Head Offshore
Wind farm developers installed more power than any other form of energy last year in Europe, helping turbines to overtake coal in terms of capacity, industry figures show.
European wind power grew 8 percent, to 153.7 gigawatts, comprising 16.7 percent of installed capacity and overtaking coal as the continent’s second biggest potential source of energy, according to figures published by the WindEurope trade group. Gas-fired generation retained the largest share of installed capacity.
With countries seeking to curb greenhouse gas emissions that causes climate change by replacing fossil fuel plants with new forms of renewable energy, investment in wind grew to a record 27.5 billion euros ($29.3 billion) in 2016, WindEurope’s annual European Statistics report showed.
“Wind and coal are on two ends of the spectrum,” said Oliver Joy, a spokesman for WindEurope, in an e-mail. “Wind is steadily adding new capacity while coal is decommissioning far more than any technology in Europe.”
The group underscored that wind, which only produces power intermittently, hasn’t yet overtaken coal share in total power generation.
European wind investment increased 5 percent in 2016 from a year earlier driven by the offshore segment that attracted 18.2 billion euros, the report said. That offset a 29 percent investment decline in the onshore market. See more at gCaptain HERE
What Kills Sailing Clubs?
Two comments in Scuttlebutt (www.scuttlebutt.com) are of interest as they are very pertinent to yacht club life.
“The thing that will kill a club’s energy and ambience, for many, are the cliques of certain groups. But, they’re having a good time so ‘who cares?’ Well, the rest of us, that’s who.”
“Cliques are what kill a yacht club faster than anything. Most people will decide whether to race or putter about, but cliques are what murder a yacht club.”
British Warship With £1bn In Gold To Be Raised
A British warship which was launched in 1697, is thought to contain around £1 billion in gold is to be raised by an Argentinian treasure hunter.
The ‘Lord Clive’ was sunk 250 years ago off the coast of Uruguay, in a battle with the Spanish.
The ship’s captain, Robert McNamara, was attempting to reclaim the city of Colonia del Sacramento at the end of the Seven Years’ War. The 64-gun vessel was sunk in a Spanish counterattack, however, with 272 of its crew killed, including McNamara.
78 servicemen made it to shore, only to be tried and hanged by the Spanish.
Now, Ruben Collado, who discovered the wreck in 2004, is attempting to recover the ship, which is thought to contain a vast haul of gold coins.
A team of divers will be sent to recover the former Royal Navy ship in February.
It’s estimated the operation will cost around £4 million and require a team of 80. See more HERE
International Interest Building in Ostar 2017
The Royal Western Yacht Club’s Original Singlehanded Transatlantic Race, established as the OSTAR in 1960, has attracted strong international interest. The event which is the ultimate 3000 mile Corinthian challenge across the North Atlantic has already received confirmed entries from Australia, USA, Italy, Ireland, France, Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Holland and the UK.
The race which starts with its sister event the TWOSTAR at midday on Monday 29 May 2017 will be the culmination of a weekend of historical maritime activity. On Sunday 28 May, Plymouth will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Sir Francis Chichester’s return in 1967 from his epic Round the World voyage when he was greeted by over 200,000 people on Plymouth Hoe. Celebratory events are planned with a ‘Gipsy Moth’ arrival re-enactment followed by a Tiger Moth air display. A strong link exists between Sir Francis, who was knighted for his exploits at Greenwich, and the RWYC. He won the first OSTAR in 1960 and was the Commodore of the Club in 1972. Read more HERE
America’s Cup Less than 100 days to Go
On 15 February there were just 100 days until the start of the greatest race on water, the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda.
Well some may refer to it as the ‘greatest race on water’, while others take a pretty dim view on the direction it has now taken.
I must admit to liking the sheer speed of the America’s Cup boats today, but do miss the cut and thrust of the match racing days in monohulls.
I am sure that there is as much knowledge, or even far more, needed now to get these multihulls up to maximum speed – and keep them there as there was in terms of making a monohull go fast and employing tactics to fend off the opposition in tight situations.
Whatever your view, the America’s Cup still has a huge following.
Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America’s Cup, and the most successful sailor in America’s Cup history, expects the 35th America’s Cup will be the best event yet in the illustrious 166 year story of the competition for the world’s oldest international sports trophy.
A sign of how close the event is, shows in the launching of the America’s Cup Class (ACC) boats the teams will race in May and June. The step forward that these boats will have, in performance terms, is from all accounts incredible as races that, in past America’s Cup events, took hours, will now be played out in around 22 minutes.
“Incredibly the boats will perform at least the same number of manoeuvres within this time, meaning this new format will place a premium on crew fitness and making accurate tactical decisions within this much more limited time frame.
In the right conditions, the boats will most likely stay up on their foils for the entire race, which is going to produce fast moving racing for everyone watching at the venue, as well as the millions of people watching on TV and on the internet.
Land Rover BAR Launch the Boat They Hope Will Bring the Cup Home
85,000 man hours over three years by a 120-strong team and the end product for Land Rover BAR is ‘Rita’, the British America’s Cup team’s America’s Cup Class (ACC) yacht which was recently launched at the team’s brand new base in Bermuda’s Royal Dockyard.
‘Rita’, as all Ben Ainslie’s competitive boats have been named, is the yacht which will carry the hopes of the British nation as Ainslie and his team attempt to win the 35th running of the America’s Cup, the first time in its 166 year history that the Cup would be won by a team from Great Britain.
Ben Ainslie told guests at the unveiling that “this day is a big deal for us, finally being able to launch the race boat. The America’s Cup has always been a design race as much as a sailing race and what we’re launching today is the culmination of two and half years of flat out work from our designers, boat builders and our shorecrew, and all the guys who’ve been out there in our test boats.
“It’s a great moment to see our ACC race boat hit the water in Bermuda. The launch represents the sum of all the team’s efforts to bring the America’s Cup home, and we’re delighted to get her in the water here in Bermuda. We’re a start-up team, and we had to build not just the boat but the design and engineering team, the facilities and the processes to get to this point today. There are just a few short months before the racing starts at the end of May, and we will be working very hard now on the final development and testing of this boat to make sure we are ready for the racing.
“The next few weeks and months are going to be a fascinating period. Once you put in all that effort, over 85,000 man hours in total on the design and build, into the water you’re locked in to what you’ll be racing with and as the other teams launch their own boats, this is going to be very interesting. To a certain extent we’ve been playing catch up with the teams which have carried on since the last America’s Cup, and we’ve seen that in the test boats, but the ACC boats are another big step up and we’re very excited about ours going into the water.”
‘Rita’ by the numbers:
Length: 15 metres
Width: 8.48 metres
Wing height: 23.5 metres
Wing area: 103 sqm
Total crew weight: 525 kgs
Sustained power delivered by crew: 1200w
Oracle Team USA and Airbus Warming Up for the Final Race
ORACLE TEAM USA have unveiled their new yacht developed in collaboration with Airbus that will race the America’s Cup in June. The American AC Class catamaran embeds many innovations as the result of a two year partnership between the two engineering design leaders where Airbus is Official Innovation Partner of ORACLE TEAM USA.
“The new AC Class yacht really displays what a leading sailing champion and a leading aircraft manufacturer can achieve together. We share the science of aerodynamics and we are all very proud of both teams for their pioneering spirit and engagement to excel in bringing the AC Class to reality,” says Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. “With ORACLE TEAM USA we set a goal to support the team to design a yacht to win the America’s Cup Trophy for the third time in a row. We look forward to seeing this boat flying above water later in June!”
Flying and sailing have many similarities in fields such as aerodynamics, composites and structures, hydraulics and control systems, data measurement and analysis. As a result, the new AC Class yacht features lighter and stronger components.
A new interface and “high level” control system is required to control the stability of the yacht in foiling condition and since beginning of 2017, Airbus has provided expertise in the design of a “control system”. Improvements in this area were required to enhance the team’s ability to fly on foils for 100 percent of the race time, considered a key requirement to be dominant in this next America’s Cup.
“The innovative ‘control system’ technology on this boat is adapted from the aerospace world. This hydraulics control system allow us to actively control the foils and overall stability of the yacht with a significant improvement in performance”, declares Grant Simmer, ORACLE TEAM USA Managing Director. “The relationship with Airbus is beyond our expectations showing flexibility to adapt and propose new solutions according to our needs. We have truly grown and evolved together!”
Kiwis Go With Pedal Power?
A test sail on their new boat revealed that their grinders will be using leg power.
With four out of the six crew expected to be grinding nearly full-on during the race, the Kiwis have opted to use the legs which can generate more power than arms.
One of the strong reasons for going down this path for TNZ is it frees up the hands for any flight control systems they’ve developed. They can effectively have a pilot and not just rely on a helmsman or the trimmer.
Yet always playing a cat ‘n mouse game, the Kiwis are keeping mum on any of their developments and may well spring a few surprises when they get to Bermuda – especially as their loss in the last America’s Cup event must still be hurting big time!
Lavender Creek – a Possible Solution?
Durban’s notoriously smelly and filthy Lavender Creek which spews rubbish from the city centre directly into the yacht basin, has been the bane of yachties lives for as far back as one can remember.
There may be a solution to the rubbish problem in sight, although the smell may linger for some years to come.
Seabin is a floating rubbish bin that is located in the water at marinas, docks, yacht clubs and commercial ports, collecting all floating rubbish. Water is sucked in from the surface and passes through the catch bag filter inside the Seabin. The water is then pumped back into the marina leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag to be disposed of properly. The Seabin also has the potential to collect a percentage of oils and pollutants floating on the water surface. The team at Seabin Project are currently using 12 volt submersible water pumps, which have the option to use alternative and cleaner energy sources. This may be using solar, wave or wind power technology depending on the geographical location and current technologies available.
Seabin’s global pilot programme will be launched in April with the presentation and installation of the latest prototype (V5 Hybrid) in different locations around the globe. Helsinki will be one of these locations and is to date the only one in the Nordic countries. During the three month test period, user experience and data will be gathered from the pilot partners before commercial sales of the Seabins commence.
The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä has signed an agreement with the Seabin Project to join their global pilot programme, which addresses the worldwide littering problem affecting our oceans. The project aims at approaching the challenge from multiple angles with a key emphasis on education, research and technology.
Wärtsilä will work in cooperation with Seabin Project for the next three years and has sponsored both the city and port of Helsinki’s involvement with the programme. The Wärtsilä – Seabin partnership aims at dynamic and versatile actions using Wärtsilä’s experience, established technologies, and know-how in environmental product development.
Background on Ocean Littering
The effect that plastic is having on our environment and ecosystems is staggering.
It is estimated that by 2025 there will be 1 tonne of plastic in the ocean for every 3 tonnes of fish. Furthermore, by 2050 oceans are expected to contain more plastics than fish by weight (source: Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2016).
Over the last 10 years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. Plastics cause more than USD13 billion of damage to marine ecosystems per year. Animals ingest and become entangled in our discarded rubbish. Local marine environments suffer, leading to lower fish and seafood stocks. Shipping and tourism industries can be damaged, while humans unwittingly consume harmful pollutants when eating contaminated seafood.
Foiling Moth Takes Line Honours in Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Andy Budgen sailing his Mach 2 foiling International Moth Nano Project completed the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace of 4 hours, 23 minutes, 18 seconds, to established the Absolute Foiling Monohull record.
He also broke his own personal record time from a few years ago when he sailed his VO70 Monster Project into the record books for the Absolute Monohull Record.
There was only one Absolute record broken this year (the Singlehanded Monohull record) and that went to Andreas Berg from Germany, aboard his Dufour 44 ‘Luna’. Berg managed to sail at a consistent speed and complete the course in 8 hours, 7 minutes, 31 seconds, trimming an impressive 1 hour, 39 minutes and 11 seconds off the previous record.
NOAA’s New Weather Satellite Sends First Images Back to Earth
The GOES-16 satellite, the first spacecraft in NOAA’s next-generation of geostationary satellites, captured the first high-resolution images using its Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) instrument.
Included in the images are a composite colour full-disk visible image of the Western Hemisphere captured on January 15, 2017, an image of the continental United States showing the significant storm system crossing N. America on Jan. 15, 2017, and a 16-panel image showing the continental United States in the two visible, four near infrared and 10 infrared channels on ABI.
NOAA says ABI covers the Earth five times faster than the current generation GOES imagers and has four times greater resolution, allowing meteorologists to see smaller features of the Earth’s atmosphere and weather systems. The ABI can provide a full disk image of the Earth every 15 minutes, one of the continental U.S. every five minutes, and has the ability to target regional areas where severe weather, hurricanes, wildfires, volcanic eruptions or other high impact environmental phenomena are occurring as often as every 30 seconds.
“Seeing these first images from GOES-16 is a foundational moment for the team of scientists and engineers who worked to bring the satellite to launch and are now poised to explore new weather forecasting possibilities with this data and imagery,” said NOAA’s assistant administrator for Satellite and Information Services. “The incredibly sharp images are everything we hoped for based on our tests before launch. We look forward to exploiting these new images, along with our partners in the meteorology community, to make the most of this fantastic new satellite.”
NASA successfully launched GOES-R on November 19, 2016 from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Once in orbit the satellite, orbiting 22,300 miles above the surface of the Earth, was renamed GOES-16.
A Note to Our Government. Hands Off Our Natural Anchorages
This was supplied by a reader who wished to remain anonymous.
A notice has been sent out by West Coast National Parks that with effect 1 July 2017 no yachts will be able to overnight at Kraalbaai anymore.
This decision was made purely on commercial reasons as they have requested tenders to operate their few houseboats and one of the conditions to create this monopolistic commercial venture, is that no yachts can overnight.
No consultation has taken place with the broader yachting community nor was there a call for public participation in this decision.
This action is clearly illegal as it limits the access to one of the safest and more beautiful anchorages in South Africa, which as readers know, our country does not have many.
Kraalbaai has been frequented by yachties since the days of Frank Wightman on his yacht ‘Wylo’, who stayed there for more than 15 years paving the way for other yachtsman to this pristine and safe anchorage.
A number of institutions such as RCYC and Saldanha Yacht Club have raised objections to this decision.
Once the tender has been awarded then it will then become a legal mess and only expensive court cases could overturn the decision, even though the decision making seems seriously flawed.
I have also written to SAS regarding this matter. There was also an article in the Sunday Times highlighting this draconian decision.
A while back you published an interesting article about a Cat that sailed into the Breede River estuary and stayed there for a while. SANParks also operate houseboats there so I am sure that this will be their next target?
I believe that this action should be resisted at all levels and your voice will greatly strengthen the cause.
ED. This needs to be fought with as much might as possible. Natural anchorages on our coast simply cannot be put out to tender, nor can recreational vessels be prohibited from anchoring in them.
I have written before in both this forum and SAILING Magazine, that there appears to be a concerted effort by government departments to do everything possible to kill recreational boating in the country. This is just another nail in our coffin.
We have some very astute legal yachtie brains in our sport, so I sincerely hope that they are putting their heads together to oppose this as strongly as possible.
I have head that there is legal action pending, but no more than that.
Controversy Over Plett Small Harbour Plans
Some years ago there were plans to build a small craft harbour under the Robberg – and pretty advanced they were too.
Our sport needs as many hidey-holes as possible along our coastline, but a fierce battle between the developers and those against the project saw this whole thing come to nought.
It now appears that the plan is being resuscitated with a R4 billion small craft harbour and adjacent development in the Piesang River estuary close to the town’s central beach.
The project is said to include almost 500 residential units, office space, a 110-room 5-Star hotel, luxury homes, retail space, plaza space, a yacht club and several thousand parking bays.
Concerns are the loss of estuarine habitats through dredging and the reclamation of parts of the estuary to accommodate the harbour. The question of water quality becomes another issue along with air and noise pollution. Readers thoughts are invited. E-mail HERE
Lexus Enters the Maritime Market
Marquis Yachts makers of Marquis and Carver Yachts has partnered with Toyota Motor Corporation’s marine department to engineer and build a prototype, concept boat.
The result apparently is a one-of-a-kind, bespoke 42′ open sport yacht that applies the Lexus design language to a maritime concept.
Judge for yourself.
Keelboat Handicapping. ORC & IRC Unite For World Champs
There are many handicap and rating systems in use around the world, but the two most successful in terms of numbers of subscribers are ORC and IRC. Together the two have rated over 15,000 boats in over 50 countries worldwide in 2016.
There have been World Championships run since 1999 for yachts handicapped under the Offshore Racing Congress’ IMS and ORCi rating systems, while for the first time since being sanctioned as an International Rating system by World Sailing in 2003, IRC scoring will be used in a World Championship.
A pragmatic and innovative solution now opens the door to allow an offshore fleet derived from ORCi and IRC-rated boats to assemble and compete for their discipline’s ultimate title, ‘World Champion’. By using a combined scoring system, this combined fleet will, in 2018, be able to compete on the water against each other for the first time using both systems.
The compromise reached at the sport’s international federation (World Sailing) conference in Barcelona last November calls for each boat entering the world championship to have a measurement certificate from each of the two systems, ORCi and IRC. ORC had previously approved the proposal bid from organizers from The Hague to be hosts for the World Championship based on the ORC’s standard week-long championship format, however the details of format and scoring will be re-examined by a Working Party formed from IRC and ORC to examine the options
Stan Honey, chairman of World Sailing’s Oceanic and Offshore Committee said: “It was really important to come up with a solution to find a way for the two most important fleets of offshore yachts to compete for a world title. By using both systems conjointly for the event’s scoring neither group is compromised and both groups benefit from the dual system solution that we agreed upon in Barcelona last month. I’m looking forward to the return on experience from this event in 2018. I’m sure it will be a popular and successful event.”
Into a Raging Sea – Great South African Rescues
by Tony Weaver & Andrew Ingram
The waters off South Africa’s coastline are regarded as some of the most dangerous on earth. Sudden changes in weather, rip currents and freak waves all play their part in putting humans in peril, which sometimes ends in tragedy.
No matter the danger, however, the brave volunteers of the NSRI are always willing to risk their lives to save others. Setting out, often in ‘dirty weather’ and in dark and icy conditions, they do their utmost to bring the victims back safely.
To commemorate 50 years of Sea Rescue (1967-2017) we have published a collection of short stories written by Tony Weaver, Andrew Ingram and others. Some of these stories will make you laugh; some will have you on the edge of your seat – others may be quite difficult to read.
Here’s an extract:
‘We had more than 700 mm of rain in a couple of days, and all the rivers came down in flood. The sea turned into this mass of floating vegetation. There were hippos and crocs everywhere, cattle on the beaches, human corpses on the beach, dead and living dogs, there was so much debris about we couldn’t even use our vehicles on the beach.
In the middle of it all, the station got a Mayday call from a solo yachtsman who was desperately battling his way to Richards Bay through giant swells. ‘The seas were horrendous, the swell was bigger than ten metres, it was unbelievable.
‘We were powering our way through to get to him and I had my head down checking the radar screen, and the next moment it felt like I was being pushed down by a jet thrust, I looked up and we were completely airborne. We crashed down, breaking the one engine mounting.’
This book has been kindly published by JONATHAN BALL PUBLISHERS, a division of Media24 (Pty) Ltd at no charge to Sea Rescue.
Into a Raging Sea will be available at R240 from all good book stores and online.
Sea Rescue has a small stock which can be reserved – to order your pre-release, follow this link to our website. Please note that any postage or courier arrangements would need to be discussed upfront with Stephanie or Natasha 021-434 4011 or EMAIL HERE
I have heard of many forms of signalling distress, including setting fire to a barrel of tar in the foredeck! But certainly not this one.
Apparently underwear hanging from a yacht’s rigging is a universal sign of distress!
I would have thought that a frilly pair of red knickers would be an invitation to board while a tatty pair of y-fronts would be an invitation to steer clear.
Are there other quirky methods of signalling distress that readers would like to share? Email HERE
A Navy Admiral was being court-martialled for an incident where he was found to be chasing a young lady through the hallways of the hotel in which they were both staying.
Neither of them were wearing anything. One of the charges was that of “being out of uniform.”
The Admiral’s lawyer argued that the officer was not out of uniform, as the regulations read: “A Naval officer must be at all times be appropriately attired for the activity in which he is engaged.”
The Admiral was acquitted.
Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on. — Billy Connolly
I Like This
I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.
• A bumper edition! As always, a great read. Nice one.
• Thanks Richard, another great issue with lots to think about.
• Thanks for the bit about drinking straws – I had not read of that one before. My pet pollution peeve is helium balloons. Not so much of a problem in SA, here in USA it is a massive problem that grows bigger every year. Car dealerships, realtors, school graduations parties and everyone else who is trying to attract attention uses them as decoration. That is OK but then most of them are set free to float up into the clouds, sometimes in massive bunches. The same also happens at many memorial services. What goes up must come down, so they end up in forests, wetlands, rivers and oceans. Not only aquatic animals but also land animals are eating them or becoming trapped by them. I think that they are Mylar film, which is not biodegradable to my knowledge.
Recently a micro brewery in Florida has developed plastic packaging for six-packs from brewery waste products that are edible, so not harmful to wildlife. We need that mind set to expand into all of the packaging industry.
• You wrote of the US National Sailing Conference. There is a local part of that programme being held in our area on Saturday and I will be attending. I asked for “putting the fun back into junior sailing” to be added to the agenda. Dudley Dix
• The Cape to Rio Race finish has always seen complaints about light winds near the finish but that we can live with and people must just learn how to sail in fluky wind conditions. But the line that they have used the past two races seems to me to be simply crazy. Read the Blog HERE
A Lasting Gift – A Subscription to SAILING Magazine
Need a gift for a loved one, sailing friend or crew? A subscription to SAILING Magazine will last the whole year round as we produce 12 issues per year – and it costs just R290 per year.
Call 031-7096087 or e-mail HERE
Subscriptions are available as a printed magazine OR a digital e-zine. Your choice.
Sailor of the Month – Submit Your Nomination NOW
SAILING Magazine, in conjunction with MDM Marine Services, North Sails and Southern Spars, back the ‘Sailor of the Year’ Award.
Monthly winners are featured in SAILING Magazine, with the overall ‘Sailor of the Year’ receiving a substantial cash prize.
Roll Of Honour – 2017
January Matt Ashwell
Roll of Honour – Sailors of the Year
2016 Rob van Rooyen
2015 Stefano Marcia
2014 Blaine Dodds
2013 Asenathi Jim
2012 Roger Hudson
2011 Stefano Marcia
2010 Asenathi Jim
2009 Taariq Jacobs
2008 David Hudson
2007 Dominique Provoyeur
2006 Craig Millar
2005 Shaun Ferry
2004 Justin Onvlee
2003 Dominique Provoyeur
2002 Golden Mgedza
2001 John Eloff
Who can make nominations? Anyone (individuals, clubs, class associations or administrators) may submit nominations.
What are the criteria? The award is strictly for ‘sailing excellence’ or in exceptional circumstances, for ‘dedication to the sport’.
What is the procedure? All nominations must be fully motivated in writing, and must be accompanied by a head-and-shoulders picture of the candidate, plus an action sailing pic aboard his/her boat (unedited hi-resolution (300dpi) digital images are required). Motivations must include current performances, a brief CV of the nominee, and other pertinent, personal background information (age, school, employment, home town etc) so that an interesting editorial on the winner may be written. Failure to submit the required material will result in the nomination not being considered.
Deadlines. Nominations must be received by the 1st of every month, although this may be extended at the Editor’s discretion, so it is recommended to submit them as soon as possible.
If you think there is a sailor worthy of nomination, simply send the nomination with a motivation and a photo of the person. EMAIL HERE