On this Day – 9 October. A Peek Into Our Sailing History

by Richard Crockett

Today, way back in 1967, was the day that Bruce Dalling was announced as skipper of ‘Voortrekker’ after a tough selection process. Dalling inspired the nation by coming so close to winning the OSTAR singlehanded Transatlantic race.

There is also news on the ‘Sandefjord’ movie premiere. This movie also inspired the nation and many took to the water after watching it. This movie inspired my passion for sailing way back then when I was 12 – some 52 years ago!

Plus there’s more on the Mauritius Race, BOC Race and an Optimist named ‘Piglet’.

1967. Atlantic Race ‘Springbok’. Bruce Dalling (29), of Pietermaritzburg, a lecturer in agriculture at the University of Natal, has been chosen to sail South Africa’s entry in the single-handed yacht race across the Atlantic next year from Plymouth to New York. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1967 10 09 091_

1967. SA’s lone Atlantic sailor selected. Another announcement of Dalling’s appointment, this time on the front page of the Cape Times. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1967 10 09 093_

1967. Brilliant film of ketch’s voyage. I can’t remember when last I heard an audience applaud a film so readily and so vociferously as did the gala-nighters at the Lyric on Saturday, when ‘Sandefjord’ had its world premiere. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1967 10 09

1967. Premiere of film nearly missed. The film on ‘Sandefjord’s’ round-the-world voyage nearly missed her premiere on Saturday night. A frantic phone call from the South African Embassy in Paris the day before, only just saved the situation. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1967 10 09 c

1967. Im all at sea over solitary sailors – wrote Fiona Chisholm! It’s always wonderful when newspaper columnists take an interest in our sport. Fiona Chisholm wrote a lot about sailing. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1967 10 09 a

1986. Durban yacht race to be highlight of sea festival. The Beachcomber Indian Ocean Crossing yacht race from Mauritius to Durban in 1987 is to coincide with Mauritius’s first Festival of the Sea. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1986 10 09 091

1986. Survival! That’s the name of the game. A BOC special report in the Cape Argus puts the race in perspective. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1986 10 09 115_a

1990. A picture caption of Annabelle Pilcher (10) of Durban derigging her optimist named ‘Piglet’. CLICK on this link to read all about it:  1990 10 09 a 393

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. 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) 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.