On This Day – 3 September. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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!

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

So sit back, grab a cup of your favourite brew, and enjoy what’s on offer today.

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

1937. “Yachting Starts Early on Zeekoe Vlei”. First race to be sailed on Sunday afternoon.
Zeekoe Vlei yachtsmen are to start their racing season earlier than usual this year, so as to take full advantage of the most unusually deep water, which is now at a higher level than it has been for over ten years.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1937 09 03 – dix combined – converted to OCR 5

1970. “Daily News Man Arrives”. Michel Fascio, a special representative of The Daily News, is in Rio de Janeiro to report on the preparations there for the Cape to Rio yacht race in January – and to get a first-hand idea of the South Atlantic crossing.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 09 03 542

1970. “Rio Race Clashes with Carnival”. The Cape to Rio and the Buenos Aires to Rio ocean yacht races will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Iate Clube de Rio de Janeiro early next year.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 09 03 546_Redacted

1970. 20 Days At Sea… Then A Mirage”. South African yachts in next year’s race to Rio de Janeiro will rub brine-weary eyes in delighted disbelief when they reach the finish line.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 09 03 549

1985. “Dream Yacht Thief Believed to Be on the Run”. Yacht club members here believe the theft of a luxury yacht, Compass Rose, from here at the weekend, is the work of a lone sailor who has heavy financial debts and wants to leave the country.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1985 09 03 – 000041

1996. “Breathtaking Manoeuvre Clinches Second Victory for Meek”. King Neptune would have loved the Lipton Cup regatta in Table Bay yesterday as four clubs led the fleet at certain stages before Geoff Meek broke the tape to win for Hermanus by seconds from False Bay.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 09 03 126

1996. “Meek Yes, Mild No”. Hermanus Yacht Club entry Africa Glass was the first L26 vessel to cross the line in a tight second leg of the Lipton Cup Challenge in Table Bay yesterday.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 09 03 132

1999. “Sailing by Dale Granger”. Paraplegic sailor Russel Vollmer is bracing himself for a barrage of abuse from his six crew in January when he sets out on ITI Windforce to become the first yachtsman to skipper a boat across the Atlantic in the Cape-to-Rio yacht race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 09 03 323

1999. “Yacht Club Celebrates 75th Year”. Nestled on the northern edge of Hartbeespoort Dam, west of Pretoria, is the Transvaal Yacht Club (TYC).
Launched in Pretoria on May 23 1924, the club celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 09 03 324

2006. “Having A Whale of A Time”. My brief from the Sports Editor is to keep readers informed about sailing in Durban specifically, while also keeping abreast of provincial, national and international sailing.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2006 09 03 559

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