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

by Richard Crockett

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

1985. “Ahoy There!”. This summer, why be content to tan on the sands or splash in the shallows of South Beach – when there are girls having fun out with the buoys?
Imagine the crew members of a rescue craft, and a 16-year old, freckled, Std 7 student does not immediately spring to mind.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1985 09 21 482

1989. “All-women Crew Now Have to Play Doctor”. The all-girl crew of Braby’s Equinox continued to be plagued by ill-luck as the 1989 Crystic Beachcomber Crossing entered its fifth day yesterday.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 21 016

1991. “Davis Holds A Strong Hand”. Excitement has captivated the Indian Island of Mauritius hours before the start of today’s 1 600 nautical miles Crystic Beachcomber crossing to Durban and hard sailing, canny tactics and good old fashioned luck will determine the eventual winner.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 09 21 814

1991. “One Girl and 120 Men – At Sea”. Blonde Laura Duthie is the only girl among 120 South African and foreign yachtsmen racing in the fourth biennial Crystic Beachcomber Crossing from Mauritius to Durban this week.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 09 21 820

1994. “SA Sailor Suffers Setback in BOC Race”. South African singlehanded sailor Neal Petersen was last night limping towards the Caribbean to effect repairs to his damaged yacht, Protect Our Sealife, which had sustained broken rigging just two days after the start of the BOC Challenge round-the-world race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 09 21 999

2001. “Prestige Event for Benoni Sailing Club”. The most prestigious event of the season, the Inter-club, was held at the Benoni Sailing Club.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2001 09 21 440

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.