On This Day – 7 December. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

1970. “Rio Yacht In Storm Drama”. Four distress flares, fired in the teeth of yesterday’s storm from a yacht being driven perilously close to shore, caused Natal’s official Cape-to-Rio race entry, the Mercury, to break away from a warm-up exercise and speed to the rescue.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 07 815_Redacted

1986. “Australia IV in A Big Hurry”. Showing tremendous off-wind speed, Australia IV came from behind twice yesterday to defeat Kookaburra II in the third round of the America’s Cup defenders’ trials.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 12 07 670

1986. “Rich Man’s·playground or A True Test of Sailing?” The millions of dollars that have been poured into it could have watered, fed and clothed the starving Ethiopians. Instead they are fuelling the sail of the century.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 12 07 671

1991. “Durban Contingent Bent on Spoiling Cape Charge”. South Africa’s only J33, MSC Donna Mia, imported from the US eight months ago, and a Simonis 35, Zing, which took to the water only two weeks ago, are among entries from Durban’s Point Yacht Club for the Rothmans Week regatta.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1991 12 07 115

1994. “Free As A Bird But Flying Over the Waves”. The philosophies of aircraft design have been applied to build a unique 65-ft aluminium racing yacht for the Cape to Rio yacht race which starts in January 1996.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 12 07 730

1994. “Repaired-autopilot A Boost for JJ’s Morale”.  JJ Provoyeur, South Africa’s sole remaining BOC Challenge participant left with the object of sailing the country’s new flag around-the-world solo, boosted his morale in the Southern Ocean yesterday when he repaired his broken autopilot.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 12 07 084

1994. “BOC Dreams Shattered”. Neal Petersen’s dream of finishing the BOC Challenge single-handed around-the world yacht race was shattered yesterday when, during a ferocious 50 knot storm in the Southern Ocean, huge seas smashed his yacht over 140 degrees and dismasted it.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 12 07 087

1999. “Cape to Rio Challenge”. The world famous Cape to Rio yacht race is once again the main concern for a number of South African yachtsmen brave enough to face the sea, sun and competitors in this annual event.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 12 07 136

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.

The possibilities are endless – so watch this space.

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