On this Day 11 October. A Peek Into Our Sailing History

by Richard Crockett

I continue to be fascinated as to the variety of news stories our newspapers have produced on our sport – with some amusing ones today, from “Baptism of Water” to a British skipper with a fine Irish temper. Oh, and lest we forget, plastic is a no-no at sea these days! Enjoy this selection.

1967. “Baptism of water” for Dalling. Bruce Dalling will be given a baptism of water as he must sail the 50-foot craft to England instead of the comfortable ocean crossing by mail boat which was planned for him! This reporter must have been a landlubber of note to think that Dalling would have preferred the mail ship option, yet it gave him an ‘in’ to write a lengthy piece about Dalling and ‘Voortrekker’. Oh, and don’t you like the fact that the Sunday Express was ‘mainly for men’! CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1967 10 11 094_Redacted

1969. Tupperware – the nicest thing that ever happened to your kitchen! This letter from Tuperware to Bruce Dalling confirming that they will supply him with their product. Little did anyone back in the ‘70s know how plastic would damage our seas. CLICK on this link to read all about it: 1967 10 11 662

1969. Quite a collection – quite a problem. I have a suspicion who Tackline is, and his scribblings always had a humorous side to them. This is a fascinating read and shows just how far yachts have developed since those days. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1969 10 11

1986. Some snippets from the America’s Cup which was underway ‘down under’. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1986 10 11 101

1986. British skipper with a fine Irish temper said the headline. This is a look at the lighter side of Harold Cudmore – and is a great read. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1986 10 11 103

1987. A major honour for Durban yacht. Read about the Mauritius Race prizewinners. CLICK on this link to read all about it: 1987 10 11 5

1991. Another long day on the Vaal. A report on Keelboat Week from that time. Some interesting names in the results – including one David Rae who skippered ‘Nitro’ to victory in the Lipton Cup recently. CLICK on this link to read all about it: 1991 10 11 412 6

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.