On this Day 10 October. A Peek Into Our Sailing History

by Richard Crockett

Singlehanded sailing has become something of a ‘norm’ in the sport of ocean sailing today, but it took guts and sheer determination from the pioneers of this type of sailing to achieve their goals in the ‘60s.

Today in 1967, the Daily news reported that Alec Rose was 260nm south of Cape Town.

Fireball sailors of yore, especially those in KZN, will remember the well-known dinghy builder G E de Bruin who made top-class plywood Fireballs. We have some info on him and the class in KZN.

John Martin is back in the news again twice today, once in 1986 and again in 1990.

1967. Round-the-world yachtsman waits for Cape breeze. Alec Rose survived seas “like sledgehammers” smashing into his 37′ yacht, Lively Lady, 72 hours ago. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1967 10 10

1969. Natal Fireball championships begin. The Natal Fireball championships started in Durban today with at least 13 yachts from all over South Africa competing in the four races scheduled. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1969 10 10

1968. Martin counts his chicks as RCYC hatches big welcome. ‘Tuna Marine Voortrekker II’ skipper John Martin found chickens in his last two eggs when he broke them open for breakfast today. CLICK on this link to read all about it: 1986 10 10 100

1990. Martin snatches the lead. Springbok John Martin, who on Monday celebrated his 36th birthday, snatched the lead from arch rival, Frenchman Philippe Jeantot, during the early hours of yesterday morning – a belated birthday present for South Africa’s premier single-handed ocean racer. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1990 10 10 393

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. Rothmans 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.