“Talking Sailing” from my archives. 1 day to 1971 Rio Race Start

by Richard Crockett

50 years ago tomorrow the very first Cape-to-Rio yacht race started in Table Bay.

If it ain’t done by now, it’s unlikely to get done before the start! That’s undoubtedly how many skippers and crew are feeling right now, especially those with newly launched and built boats that have possibly not had sufficient time at sea to really assess them and fine-tune them. But for most, this is a whole brand new experience as few have ever crossed an ocean before, so they are learning how to prepare the hard way and will undoubtedly rue some decisions taken, and some items they have overlooked.

I remember an old salt once telling me that he always carried his own spare set of knife, fork and spoon for the very simple reason that someone aboard will feel into the wash-up bucket, feel nothing there, and toss the contents. Sadly for that entire crew a plate covered the bottom of the bucket – and all the utensils were lost overboard! It’s just one of those things that happens at sea – and even worse when the only can-opener aboard is sent to Davy Jones’ locker!

“One Day to Go for Race”. With the first Cape-to-Rio race just one day away, Cape Town’s yacht basin is humming with activity as skippers and crews make last-minute preparations for tomorrow’s mass start at 4.30 p.m.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 16 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000473 – OCR

“Where to See Start of Race”. What will be the best position to watch the start at 4 30. p.m. tomorrow of the Cape-to-Rio yacht race.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 16 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000476 – OCR

“Skippers and Crews Praise Rio Race Organizers”. Skippers and crews of the parting vessels had nothing but praise for the men and women who organized the Cape to Rio race.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 16 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000575 – OCR

“Favourites for the Honours”. On handicap, it is anyone’s race. But there are odds-on favourites for ‘line honours’ – the first yachts over the finish line at Rio.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 16 – Rio 1971 – Frans Loots Collection – 354 – OCR_Redacted

“Tabarly – To-day’s Cool Favourite”. The French remember the words of Montesquieu, “Ce sont toujoura Les aventuriers qui font de grandes choses” (it is always the adventurers, who accomplish great things) and 39-year-old Eric Tabarly, France’s foremost ocean-sailing yachtsman and favourite for to-day’s Cape to Rio race is a national hero, established as such by the award of the Legion of Honour.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 16 – Rio 1971 – Frans Loots Collection – stitched final – 351 – OCR