On This Day – 20 September. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

1985. “Mishaps Dog SA Yachts Before Start of Race”. Several South African yachtsmen are licking their wounds on the island before the start of the first Beachcomber Crossing on September 28.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1985 09 20 – 000237

1986. “Martin Back to Front”. John Martin sailed Tuna Marine Voortrekker II back into the lead yesterday – by four nautical miles – at the halfway stage in the BOC round-the-world race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 09 20 125

1988. “Royal Cape Skippers Scoop the Top Honours in Weekend Race”. Royal Cape Yacht Club skippers took all the top honours in the 133-mile Double Cape Race at the weekend.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1988 09 20 934

1989. “Major Tactical Decision for Crossing Yachts”. Yachts taking the more southerly route as they prepare to round the notorious southern tip of Madagascar in the Crystic Beachcomber Crossing are having a torrid time battling 35·knot winds and huge seas.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 20 – 000115

1991. “Count Down to Tough Crystic Yacht Crossing”. At 10am Mauritius time tomorrow the fourth Crystic Beachcomber Crossing starts off Grand Baie with 18 ocean racers, crewed mostly by South Africans, vying for line and handicap honours over the long and difficult haul to Durban.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 09 20 832

1996. “Trophies Stolen From Dutch Club”. Three valuable replicas of Dutch sailing ships – prizes for next week’s De Nederlandsche Double Cape Yacht Race – have been stolen.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 09 20 223

1996. “Frances Outsails the Men”. Yachtswoman Frances Park-Ross has beaten the men this year – and has just made history by being named the Point Yacht Club’s Yachtsman of the Year.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 09 20 224

1996. “Vaal Dam Triumph for ‘Old Fart’”. Yachting administrators are often perceived to be a bunch of old farts who know little about the current realities of the sport and do the job for self glorification.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 09 20 225

2005. “PE Yacht Warrior Takes Top Title in Coastal Competition”. Well-known Port Elizabeth yacht, the Warrior has come out tops in the newly re-launched Mauritius to Durban race, crossing the finish line in just six days and 11 hours.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2005 09 20 537

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.

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.