On This Day – 15 December. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

1970. “Durban ‘Fleet’ to Sail on Boxing Day”. ·Nomad, the New Zealand yacht entered for the Cape to Rio race, left Durban for Cape Town on Saturday with owner Bill Williams :and his family aboard.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 15 823

1970. “Mercury Busy on Deep-sea Trials”. Mercury, the sleek 13-metre (42ft.) ocean racing yacht representing the Province of Natal in the Rio race, is due back in port tomorrow after five days of deep-sea practice.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 15 843_Redacted

1986. “ Demolition in Table Bay”. Two top Cape yachts were among the 10 casualties when gale-force winds and collisions wreaked havoc on the first day of the Rothman’s Week Regatta in Table Bay.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 12 15 695

1986. “New York Yacht Club Bows Out of America’s Cup”. New Zealand skipper Chris Dickson today ensured that the 1987 America’s Cup will not go back to New York.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 12 15 709_Redacted

1991. “Solo Sailor Plans New Trip”. Lone sailor Anthony Steward, back home after
completing two thirds of his round-the-world voyage, disclosed this week that he plans another world first.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 12 15 711

1992. “Optimist Team Chosen”. A five-man South African team has been named to contest the Optimist world junior yachting championships in Argentina.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1992 12 15 383

1995. “King’s Set to Rule At Popular Regatta”. There will be even more to the annual Rothmans Week this year than taking the honours. This year’s event will also serve as a dress rehearsal of sorts for local yachtsmen who will soon take part in the classic Cape-to-Rio race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1995 12 15 654

1999. “Youngest Yachtie Keen to Go to Rio”. Having the guts to take part in the gruelling MTN Cape-to-Rio 2000 yacht race is special – to tackle the race when you are only 12 years old is astonishing.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 12 15 156

1999. “Sailing off to Rio”. You know you are doing something right when President Thabo Mbeki comes to christen the yacht you will captain in the MTN-Cape to Rio 2000 yacht race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 12 15 159


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.

The possibilities are endless – so watch this space.

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