I HAVE GOOFED! Apologies, but I read this as the Optimist Nationals (must have been too early this morning) – but enjoy this little bit of youth sailing history anyway – and the pics of Optimist sailors from years gone by. Apologies.
by Richard Crockett
I am not sure whether a girl has even won the Optimist Nationals after Gillian Theunissen did in December 1974? Maybe one of the Optimist class doyens has that answer?
And a deserving winner she was too as she won three of the six races and finished 10 points clear of her nearest rival Mike Vulliamy, with Dave Vinnicombe third.
Sailed from the Transvaal Yacht Club on Hartbeespoort Dam, nearly all the top skippers of the Republic took part in winds which were light putting the very strong Cape contingent of 16 boats (out of 48) at a disadvantage.
She had such a command of the conditions that one skipper was overheard saying this: “I think Gillian Theunissen can smell when the wind is going to change”!
The results column shows many a well known sailing name today, some of whom have gone on to achieve great heights, and is well worth a lengthy look.
Enjoy the next bunch of pics from my archives too, and please don’t forget to SHARE and COMMENT.
READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: Pages from 1975 02 – SA Yachting – OCR