On this Day – 26 October. A Peek Into Our Sailing History

by Richard Crockett

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

We continue with a few stories from yesterday. The first being more info on the missing yacht ‘Carina’. The other being a headline that no Durban yachtie would have liked to see, that being: “Council told: Leave Durban Bay Alone”.

The America’s Cup is back in the news, well in 1985 anyway, with announcements of challengers for the 1987 series.

In his heyday John Martin had a strong following and was a man with a good eye to get as much exposure for his sponsors as possible. Here is an article on his 1986 BOC Challenge aimed exclusively at the kids.

I am not a great believer in mad-cap sailing schemes, but they do get publicity, as did Sergio Testa and his 3,5-metre yacht he planned to sail around the world in.

In 1990 readers of the Cape Times expressed their anger at having to pay to see the BOC Challenge fleet anchored in Cape Town. And quite right too!

1967. “Search is Still on for Yacht”. The ‘Carina’, the ketch being sailed single-handed from Lourenco Marques to Durban by a former Michaelhouse boy, Simon Holmes-A-Court, is still missing.  To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1967 10 26

1967. “Council Told: Leave Durban Bay Alone”. Councillor Eric Seymour yesterday urged Durban City Council to freeze all further Bay reclamation work until Lord Holford and Professor Roy Kantorowich have reported on plans to turn the Umgeni River into an aquatic playground for motor-boats, yachts and water-skiing.  To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1967 10 26 b.

1985. “R250-m Bid to Win Yacht Race”. Six United States syndicates plan on spending upwards of R250 million to recapture the America’s Cup from the Australians in 1987. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 10 26 – 12 330 2

1986. “The Challenge of Trans-Atlantic Sailing”. Hello Kids…..   To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 10 26 161

1986. “Solo Sailor’s Little Ship Prepares for Atlantic”. Against a backdrop of sleek-round-the-world race yachts, solo round-the-world yachtsman Sergio Testa, right, and a helper prepare the tiny 3,5m ‘Acrohohc Australis’ in which the 35-year-old Australian hopes to complete a circumnavigation in the smallest yacht yet to do so.  To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 10 26 – 12 330 2

1988. “Aussie Unite in Cup Bid”. Australia’s two declared challengers for the next America’s Cup have united under the boxing kangaroo banner of 1983 cup Victor Alan Bond.  To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1988 10 26

1990. “I Jib At Having to Pay to See Yachts”. Charging Capetonians to see the BOC Challenge yachts has raised the hackles of one caller… .  To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1990 10 26 393

1992. “New Zealand Enters the Fray”. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has announced a 1995 America’s Cup challenge headed by round-the-world yachtsman Peter Blake. To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1992 10 26 427 46

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.

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

The possibilities are endless – so watch this space.