On These Days – 16, 17 & 18 November. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

Here’s a bumper read having had a busy weekend away from computers and social media!

Kicking off is a race report from 1969 and the PYC Commodore winning the race, but as one reads further down, the report states how David Hudson scored a comfortable two-minute-plus win over Cecile Harris in his Sprog.

The official KZN yacht in the 1971 Rio Race commanded a lot of news space as it’s “full steam ahead”. Staying with the Rio Race there’s news on the 12 Durban-based yachts competing, while another tells of Dalling’s yacht being rescued by a rival.

The RSA Hobie team acquitted themselves well in the Hobie 14 Worlds in New Caledonia.

Ant Steward survived a series of gales in the Pacific.

Now here’s a great read under the headline of “It’s brains that count”, plus a pic of David Abromowitz and Rob Sharp.

Mike Plant’s disappearance during the BOC Challenge caused concern.

Latimer’s Landing in East London harbour was under construction, with an old diver’s launch being craned into position as part of the development.

Hero’s welcome for boy sailor – 18 year-old David Dicks became the youngest person ever to sail around the world solo and non-stop.

Neal Petersen fulfilled his dream when he sailed into Cape Town on the first leg of the single-handed Round the World race.

Eight spirited young sailors from the MTN Sailing Academy had their sights set on making it to Rio.

The world’s fastest dinghies were in battle off Durban for the 505 and Flying Dutchman world champs.

Durban scooped the 2005 Clipper Race stopover.

Wizard took the legal yachting honours.

Jonathan Swain was preparing for the Volvo Ocean Race.

To read the full reports, click on the LINK following the headline.

1969. “Commodore Wins Yacht Race”. Ken McKenzie, the Commodore of the Point Yacht Club, won his race in the Enterprise class on Durban Bay. Bigger news was David Hudson scoring a comfortable two minute-plus victory over Cecile Harris in the Sprog Class.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1969 11 17 607 8

1970. “Full Speed Ahead on Raising Funds for Mercury”. About R12 000 has now been donated towards the cost of the Province of Natal’s R75 000 ocean racer, ‘Mercury’, most of it from private individuals.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 11 17 313_Redacted

1970. “It All Depends on the Handicap”. Twelve Durban-based yachts, worth R400 000, have entered for the longest conventional yacht race in the world, the 3 600 mile non-stop crossing from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro next January.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 11 17 314

1970. “Bruce Dalling’s Yacht in Rio Race Rescued by Rival”. Jakaranda, Bruce Dalling’s yacht in the Cape-to-Rio yacht race, was saved from possible serious damage in Durban yesterday by crew members of the yacht, Eshowe, which will be competing against Jacaranda in the race in January.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 11 18 323_Redacted

1989. “SA Hobie Team Finishes in World Champ Top 15″. The team of five South Africans that went over to New Caledonia to take part in the Hobie 14 World championships, acquitted themselves with great distinction, all finishing in the first 15.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 11 16 380 2

1991. “SA Open Boat Sailor Survives Series of Gales”. Anthony Steward, the South African yachtsman attempting to become the first man to circumnavigate the globe in an open boat, has arrived in the New Caledonian Islands deep in the Pacific Ocean, having survived a series of gales.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 11 18 733

1992. “It’s Brains That Count”. With his record-breaking mini-maxi now dethroned as the undisputed line-honours king of SA sailing by new bigger yachts, Dave Abromowitz, switched tacks this week – saying that brains and not brawn will win the Rothmans Cape to Rio race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1992 11 17 430 12

1992. “Plant’s Disappearance Causes Concern in Yachting Circles”. As the yachting world waits anxiously for news of missing American single-handed sailor Mike Plant, South Africans who knew him during the BOC Challenge will be particularly saddened – and none more that Bertie Reed.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1992 11 18 430 33

1993. “Boat Hoisted onto building site”. Construction workers watched the latest addition to the R6 million Latimer’s Landing development being hoisted into place here yesterday morning – a five-and-a-half ton boat.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1993 11 16 240

1996. “Hero’s Welcome for Boy Sailor”. An Australian teenager yesterday received a hero’s welcome after becoming the youngest person to sail around the world solo and non-stop.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 11 18 770

1998. “Neal Fulfills His Dream”. When partially disabled yachtsman Neal Petersen, 27, reached Cape Town this week on the first leg of the single-handed Around Alone world yacht race, his home-coming marked another phase in the life of a person unable to walk freely until the age of six because of a hip disorder.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1998 11 18 809

1999. “Hell Or High Water, These Young Salts Aim for A Win”. Eight spirited sailors from the MTN Sailing Academy have their sights firmly set on the shores of Rio de Janeiro . They are aged between 15 and 21, but have a wealth of sailing experience between them, says their skipper.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 11 16 494

2000. “Hoist the sails. World’s fastest dinghies in battle off Durban”. Two of the world’s fastest classes of racing dinghy will be sailing in a world championship event off Durban from tomorrow.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2000 11 16 517

2003. “Durban Scoops Global Yacht Race”. The City of Durban will represent South Africa in the international Clipper 2005-2006 Round the World Yacht Race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2003 11 16 843

2004. “Wizard Takes the Legal Yachting Honours”. The annual AR Munnik Legal Eagles Charity Yacht Race was held at the Royal Cape Yacht Club on Saturday November 13.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2004 11 18 749

2005. “Home-grown Bluff Yachtsman Sets Sail”. While the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race makes its way to Durban this week, Bluff yachtsman, Jonathan Swain is preparing for the 31,250 nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race starting in Spain.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2005 11 18 831

Comments and contributions are welcome. Email: editor@sailing.co.za

What is “On this Day” About?
I am busy archiving many boxes of press cuttings I have accumulated and which I guestimate run into tens of thousands! A daunting task which I believe to be necessary before ditching them as I have been concerned for many years about the lack of interest Clubs, Classes and other sailing related organisations give to preserving their history.

This is my personal crusade, and instead of simply archiving and keeping the contents away from prying eyes, I will share my spoils in the hope that you will enjoy reminiscing as much as I have, and continue to do as I wade through the labourious process of scanning each and every cutting in my archives.

As each scanned cutting will be searchable, I will be able to create presentation packs personally tailored to a persons exact requirements – ie. Rathmines Week, the NCS Regatta, the Rio Race, Mauritius Race, Vasco da Gama Race and more – or simply by the name of an individual (like Ant Steward and his open boat exploits) who want a record of his/her sailing career for the family archives.

I have already done this by scanning in excess of 4000 pages of material I have on ‘Voortrekker’ – from idle chatter, to concept, to the formation of what ultimately became the South African Ocean Racing Trust (SAORT), to the fruition of the 1968 OSTAR Race in which Bruce Dalling and ‘Voortrekker’ excelled – and even beyond that.

Comments and contributions are welcome. Email: editor@sailing.co.za

The possibilities are endless – so watch this space.