On This Day – 6 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.

1986. “Making A (Sailing) Dream Come True!”. Everyone has to have a dream – but making a dream come true is quite a different matter!
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 09 06 234

1988. “’Worst Experience’ for Shipwrecked Sailor”. A British yachtsman, who has been sailing ‘all his life’, yesterday described the experience when his yacht, Burnt Edge, ran aground off Durban’s Bluff on Sunday as the ‘worst of my seafaring life’.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1988 09 06 5_Redacted

1989. “Voortrekker, the Boss Smash Records”. South Africa’s most famous yacht, Voortrekker II has smashed the Cape Town-to-Mauritius record by 24 hours while sailing up for the start of the Crystic Beachcomber Crossing.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 06 – 000077

1991. “Reinhold is Back At the Helm”. Transvaal yachtsman Reinhold Antweiler (52), who was hurt and nearly drowned In Crystic Week in Durban in July, is fully recovered and ready for a tilt at handicap honours in the fourth biennial Crystic Beachcomber Crossing from Mauritius to Durban In September.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 09 06 890

1995. “Skipper Quits Fight to Sail Cape to Rio Race”. Swedish skipper Ludde Ingvall, banned from entering his yacht, Nicorette, in the Rothmans Cape-to-Rio race because it is sponsored by a product which helps people stop smoking, has finally given up the fight to take part.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1995 09 06 094

1996. “Rarity for Yachting As “Rain Stops Play” in Table Bay”. The “rain stopped play” slogan is not normally associated with yachting, but yesterday’s fifth stage of the Lipton Cup Challenge was called off before the start, due to the foul Cape weather conditions.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 09 06 195

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