On this Day 19, 20 & 21 October. A Peek Into Our Sailing History

by Richard Crockett

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

Having missed out two days due to a busy weekend, there is some extra reading today in order to catch up. Way back in 1967 round-the -world cruisers were a rare and hardy bunch who were news wherever they went as their pioneering spirit caught the attention of news hacks and of course a broad cross-spectrum of readers who found their stories compelling reading. So it was not surprising that ‘Three men, one girl sailing the world on trip to adventure’ was a headline.

We then jump to 1986 when Bertie Reed was welcomed ‘home’ as he finished the first leg of the BOC Challenge.

There was tragedy on the Crystic Beachcomber Crossing when a crew member was washed overboard by a giant wave from ‘Camalot’. In the same year Hermanus Yacht Club had a big start to the Club’s season.

Geoff Meek was knocked out of the Omega Gold Cup, while the Cape Times carried a big full colour pic of a Whitbread 60 closing in on Punta del Este. A not-so-good black & white pic showed Grant Dalton at the helm of ‘New Zealand Endeavour’ on their way to winning the first leg of the Whitbread Cup.

Sometimes I feel that Clubs forget about the NSRI and all the good work they do. This report is about the NSRI Benefit Regatta at Midmar.

1967. ‘Three Men, One Girl Sailing the World on Trip to Adventure’. Four New Zealanders – three men and a girl – sailed into Durban on a 41′ ketch, ‘Bona Dea’, from Invercargill yesterday afternoon for a three-month call on a round-the-world trip. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK: 1967 10 19

1986. ‘Bertie Billows Back to Harbour’. A lone piper and a crowd of almost three hundred people gave South African Bertie Reed a tumultuous welcome as his BOC Challenge racer ‘Stabilo Boss moored in the Royal Cape Yacht Club yesterday afternoon. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 10 21 162

1987. ‘American Yacht Skipper Tells of SA Friends ‘Face in Wave Behind Us’”. The skipper of the yacht ‘Camelot’, which lost a crewman during the recent Crystic Beachcomber Mauritius-to-Durban race, described at the weekend how his friend had been washed overboard by a giant wave. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1987 10 19 10_Redacted

1989. ‘Big Start to Club’s Season’. The Hermanus Yacht Club, perhaps one of the most picturesque and well-endowed clubs in South Africa, started its season with a bang – the first of the Western Point Series regattas. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 10 19 379 5

1993. ‘Meek’s Hopes Sunk’. South Africa’s match racing fortunes sunk at the Omega Gold Cup in Bermuda yesterday when Geoff Meek failed to make the cut for the finals in the last day of qualifying at the prestigious event sailed in Hamilton Bay. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1993 10 20 195

1993. ‘NSRI’s Weekend Benefit Race’. The annual NSRI benefit regatta takes place this weekend at Midmar, hosted by Henley Midmar Yacht Club. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1993 10 21 205

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.