On This Day – 30 December. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

1970. “Good Food, Plain Sailing for Mercury”. For the crew of the Mercury, Natal’s official entry in the Cape to Rio yacht race, it has been plain sailing and three course meals all the way to Cape Town.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 30 855_Redacted

1985. “’Trekker Out of Agulhas Race”. Veteran yacht Voortrekker retired last night with damaged gear after encountering rough seas and high winds on the return leg of the Anglo-Alpha Agulhas race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1985 12 30 908

1986. “One is A Cowboy, Some Are Sailors and Another A Real Lunchtime Legend”. Some are engineers or builders, others are full-time sailors and there are those who have not sailed at all.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 12 30 789

1999. “Age ‘Not A Barrier’ for Sailor Derek Bird”. He’s the oldest man in the fleet, but when the gun is fired at the start of the sixth MTN Cape-to-Rio race next Saturday, cancer survivor Derek Bird will relish his first ocean crossing with as much enthusiasm as 12-year-old Gareth Arnott, the youngest sailor in the race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 12 30 862

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 8500 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