On These Days – 24, 25, 26 & 27 December. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

Apologies for the break, but the dreaded lurgy, rather than “Big Red” visited us during the festive season. So a healthy, happy and prosperous closing of 2019, and a good ‘n for 2020.

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

Today the written word plays a minor role in our history with the power of pictures taking pride of place. So be sure to follow the link to see all the pics.

1970. “What A Lovely Lot of Land-lubbers!”. Landlubbers are a lovely ·lot, they really are. One of the things that has staggered me most about the Cape to·Rio race is the way in which people .who have never·had anything to do with yachts or the sea have come forward with offers of help for the entrants.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 24 828_Redacted

1970. “World Star Arrives for the Rio Race”. Eric Tabarly, rated, as one of the most outstanding small-boat sailors in the world today, arrived in Cape from the South Pacific yesterday afternoon.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 25 844_Redacted

1970. “Rio Race Yacht Badly Damaged in High Seas”. Gale force winds and mountainous seas almost wrecked the 48-ft. ketch llanda, off Port St Johns early on Christmas morning.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 27 846

1985. “Rampant II Leads Yacht Race After Chaotic Start”. Sydney sloop Rampant II ripped along the New South Wales coast last night in first place after a chaotic start in the 630-nautical-mile Sydney – Hobart yacht racing classic.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1985 12 27 900

1988. “Record Goes in High Seas”. Pre-race favourite Windward Passage II was ahead of target to break the record for the Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race after fours hours spent battling heavy seas yesterday.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1988 12 27 684

1992. “Off-shore Protests Sour ‘A Fine Sailing Regatta’”. Rothmans Week is arguably the country’s premier keelboat regatta and that’s where all the action was just before Christmas. Regrettably though, the action was not all on the water where it should have been, but also in the protest room.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 12 26 983

1994. “SA Sailor Fifth in Race”. With a broken mast as testimony to fierce December storms, South African sailor JJ Provoyeur sailed into Sydney harbour on Christmas Day to finish the second leg of the BOC Round the World Challenge.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 12 27 978

1996. “Safety Or Hi-tech Yachts is Questioned”. The Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race, which starts on Thursday, is regarded as one of the toughest ocean races in the world. But some sailors question whether the latest hi-tech yachts are safe enough for its treacherous conditions.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 12 24 248

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 8500 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.

The possibilities are endless – so watch this space.

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