On This Day – 18 September. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

1945. “Zeekoe Vlei Sailing Season Opens on Good Note”. At Zeekoe Vlei the sailing season opened on a very good note on Sunday when Vice Admiral Sir Robert Burnett steered Lotus II in the opening cruise, marking the official commencement of the Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club 1945-46 sailing season, and the first peacetime event since 1939.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1945 09 18 – dix combined – converted to OCR 47

1967. “Durban Sailors Seventh”. Durban yachtsman John Sully came seventh in the week-long World :Flying Dutchman sailing championship which ended here on Saturday. His crew is fellow member of Royal Natal Yacht Club AIec Hardie.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1967 09 18 – Pfotenhauer – 000102

1986. “Busy Weekends Lie Ahead for Peninsula’s Sailing Fraternity”. Now that most of the local clubs have opened their sailing seasons the activity is really getting into its stride year.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 09 18 – 000010

1987. Chance to Meet Andy”. South African yachtsmen will be brushing shoulders with royalty when Andrew and “Fergie” – the Duke and Duchess of York – present the trophies at the Beachcomber Hobie 14 World Championships in Mauritius next month.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1987 09 18 – 000310

1989. “A Mixed and Windy Night”. This morning we were about 250 mile from the southern tip of Madagascar, lying fourth overall in the Crystic Beachcomber Crossing from Mauritius to Durban.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 18 – 000108

1989. “A Trouble Free Night for Most on Route”. Aboard the Meiring Naude – After all the drama in the opening stage of the 1989 Crystic Beachcomber Crossing from Mauritius to Durban, most of the yachts reported a trouble-free night and some extremely fast sailing.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 18 – 000117

1989. “Yacht Race Favourite Quits on First Day”. Disaster struck twice in the first few hours of the 1989 Cry tic Beachcomber yacht race from Mauritius to Durban on Saturday .
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 18 – 000119

1991. “Smaller Yachts Have the Edge in Crossing”. If history: is to repeat itself, the Crystic Beachcomber Crossing from Mauritius to Durban, which starts on Saturday, will be won by a yacht with a waterline less than 35 feet.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 09 18 846

2005. “No Sign of Yacht That Sent SOS”. Durban boat, racing for its home port, transmitted a one-second distress signal – and then it vanished.
An air search and rescue team was unable to find a missing yacht by late yesterday after a distress signal was sent out by the vessel Moquini on Friday.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2005 09 18 533

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

About “On This Day”
It was towards the end of September last year, yes 2019, that I started “On This Day. A Newspaper History of Sailing.” So nearly a year has passed without a day being missed and without there being any newspaper news or pics available in my newspaper archives to share.

It all started while I was 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 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, and that of our sport.

This is my personal crusade, and instead of simply archiving and keeping the contents away from prying eyes, I share my spoils in the hope that you will enjoy reminiscing as much as I do.

As of the end of September the format will change as it’s simply not sustainable to continue for another full year on a similar basis. I have some 25 000 scanned newspaper cuttings, and have used the best so far – but as in life some variation and change is required. What those changes are I have not crystallised yet, and would enjoy feedback from followers of this Blog as to what they would like to see.

I have tons of material available – from every single issue of SA Yachting, Yachtsman RSA (newspaper – remember it?) and Sailing Inland & offshore Magazine. Between those publications – from October 1957 until June 2017 – a period spanning 60 years of coverage of the sport of sailing in this country – I have in my possession.

I am scanning every single issue of those 60 years – that’s 720 issues – and digitising them to get the fullest value possible from them. So far I have uncovered some incredible gems in their pages, and will share these as we go.

Plus I have a photographic archive of photographs in b/w negative format, colour negative, colour slide (transparency) and photographic prints I intend to scan, digitise and share with the sailing community at large.

But all this takes time – and is a slow process – so all I ask is for patience.

My plea thought – to all followers and everyone interested in the history of sailing in RSA, is to please assist me by sharing their personal archives, pics, press cuttings and whatever with me, so that I can scan them and share them. My promise is that I will treat them with the utmost care, and get them back to you safely.

To date, the response to “On This Day. A Newspaper History of Sailing” has been phenomenal, and it’s heartening to see how many people appreciate, LIKE and SHARE the material I have shared in the past year. And this is from ‘Saffers’ and others who have lived and sailed here, or have travelled internationally to sail here.

I am overwhelmed by the response – and thank all those who have personally made contact.

Should you wish to copy, forward or share material from here, PLEASE acknowledge the source as: Sourced From the SAILING Mag Archives & Historical Records (www.sailing.co.za).

As each scanned cutting and article is searchable, I am 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) – for those who want a record of his/her sailing career for the family archives.

I have already done this by scanning in excess of 18 000 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 as it all simply gets better every single day!

So sit back, grab a cup of your favourite brew, and enjoy what’s on offer today.