by Richard Crockett
For almost 18 months I have been bringing the history of our sport into life by posting information from my archives on my Blog (www.sailing.co.za) – almost daily too. These have been a mix of newspaper cuttings, or more recently articles from early issues of SA Yachting Magazine, and photographs too.
With the Cape to Rio Race 50th anniversary being on 16 January 2021, about 3 weeks away, I have been concentrating in recent weeks on endeavouring to complete the scanning and archiving of every item on that event, to enable me to share it in the build-up to that anniversary. To date I have 2500+ files on the South Atlantic Races alone, many of them running to multiple pages.
On a spread-sheet I have the fleet lists, results and prize winners from almost all those events. A very powerful tool when researching that and other races and events.
I also have over 20 000 newspaper cuttings on sailing, the oldest being from 1914!
In progress is the digitising of every single SA Yachting magazine, Yachtsman RSA newspapers / magazines, and SAILING magazine. When complete (about 30 years left to do), I will have 60 years worth of sailing information at my fingertips – and all word searchable too.
Now here’s the rub. I can see glaring “holes” in my archives where there is little or no information on specific South Atlantic Races. Sadly, it is the latter races in the computer and digital era, where info may have been available at the time, but now has been lost in cyberspace as it was in electronic format and NOT on paper.
So my Christmas wish is for anyone with Cape to Rio race archive material, whether a scrap book of newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, negatives or just bits of paper with race info on them, to please let me have them to archive. (For Cape to Rio it is best to take that as the Rio races, the races to Uruguay and Salvador too). Obviously all information on sailing in this country would be appreciated.
Having honed my scanning skills on top-end scanners, both A4 and A3 in size, I am now able to bring to life old photographs, negatives, slides (transparencies), newspaper cuttings and more. My promise to anyone who will share their original material with me is to scan their material and return it to them along with a memory stick or DVD with their scanned material. This will give those people a digital record too.
If interested, please contact me personally – firstname.lastname@example.org – and I will respond.
So now in the countdown to the real festive season, it’s time for me to take a break until the new year. Should the whim arise, I may post the occasional teaser during this period.
In closing, I have over 1000 files of information on the 1971 Rio Race alone, plus many hundreds of newspaper cuttings to add. So my gift to you is the 1971 Cape to Rio Race official catalogue to browse through and enjoy at your leisure this festive season. As you will see it was scanned from a pretty tatty copy, so if anyone has a good quality one to let me have and scan – that would be a bonus. READ IT HERE: 1971 – Cape to Rio Official Brochure – final OPTIMISED – OCR
Stay safe and masked-up this festive season.