On This Day – 21 December. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

Today the written word plays a minor role in our history with the power of pictures taking pride of place. So be sure to follow the link to see all the pics.

1984. “Durban Boat Set Fair to Capture Share of Regatta Booty”. For the first time in years, Natal yachts have been at the forefront of the annual Rothmans Week Regatta in Cape waters, and will be returning However home with a good share of the silver-ware.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 12 21 728

1988. “Martin Lands 4-year Racing Sponsorship”. Allied Bank made South African yachting history today when it announced its full financial backing for a four-year racing programme to be undertaken by Springbok yachtsman John Martin.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1988 12 21 681

1989. “West Coast Cruise Largest Ever”. A record number of 62 yachts, representing an excess of R6 million in leisure craft, have entered and will be participating in the West Coast Cruise, making the 1989 Cruise the largest ever in South Africa.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 12 21 381 9

1990. “John Martin Wins Second Leg”. John Martin cruised through Sydney Heads today to win the second leg of the BOC Challenge around-the-world yacht race in record time.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1990 12 21 777

1991. “Messing About in A Boat for Holiday Fun”. For water rats – and an awful lot of people _ just messing about in boats is the ideal holiday and the rivers and marinas of the Eastern Cape offer great opportunities, from canoe trails to luxurious steamboat cruises.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 12 21 414 35

1994. “Meek Scuppered by Late Protest”. Geoff Meek was left high and dry after the result of the first day’s sailing in the Rothmans Week Regatta was altered in favour of Orion Express, after a protest.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 12 21 017

1999. “If Only Manuel’s Boats Were As Big As His Passion for Sailing to Rio”. There’s one person in Cape Town whose Latin blood will be boiling next month at the start of the MTN Cape-to-Rio race. Disillusioned Portuguese sailor Manuel Mendes is not allowed to sail the 3600-mile ocean classic as his boat is almost a metre too small.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 12 21 864

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