“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Having A Whale of A Time!!!

By Richard Crockett

Spending 19 hours in a liferaft can hardly be classified as “having a whale of a time”, but that’s what the crew of Pionier did after hitting a whale mid-ocean, and at night too. Luckily for them they were rescued relatively quickly. Back in those days there was no GPS, no handheld satellite phones and basically none of the personal safety gear available today, so once in the liferaft they were at the mercy of the elements until found. Lucky they were as they were unable to get a Mayday out as they sunk so quickly!

Albatros still leads the race on handicap, and has now done so for four days, while her sistership ‘Mercury’ holds second spot overall. And the media continue to give the line-honours boats the bulk of the coverage, with ‘Striana’ now being the line-honours leader.

There is a delightful report about the three Johns aboard ‘Albatros’.

Results – Handicap
1 Albatros
2 Mercury
3 Striana
4 Hamburg
5 Matchless

Line Honours
1 Striana
2 Albatros
3 Fortuna
3 Graybeard
5 Mercury

“Whale Sinks City Rio Yacht: Crew Saved”. The small cape sloop ‘Pionier’ hit a whale and sank about 1 500 sea miles from Cape Town at 5 a.m. yesterday. All members of the crew were rescued by a passing American freighter, ‘Potomac’.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000409 – OCR

“Pionier Crew Were Adrift for 19 Hours”. Crew members of the Cape-to-Rio race sloop ‘Pionier’ spent 19 hours adrift in an inflatable rubber dinghy yesterday after the yacht hit a whale and sank.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000408 – OCR

“Striana Takes the Lead”. The French ketch ‘Striana’ (A. Maupas) yesterday took the lead from John Goodwin’s ‘Albatros II’, which followed second in line but maintained·her position of first-on-handicap for the fourth consecutive day.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000344 – OCR

“Wind Changes for Front-Runners”. South Africa’s ‘Albatros II’ and ‘Mercury’, placed second and fifth on handicap according to last night’s computer, found themselves running into 10-knot south-westerly winds in their position south of the other front-runners today.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000556 – OCR

“A Hard Time for the Cooks”. Any day now the glorious 2 000 sea-mile run across the Atlantic is going to take on a new aspect as the following wind changes to cross-winds, probably from the north.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000535 – OCR

“Is There A John on Board? – Yes Three”. On board “macaroni-masted” ‘Albatros II’, the Knysna sloop carrying the hopes of the Thesen family and reported to be out front among the leaders, there are no fewer than three Johns. In order to avoid the inevitable confusion when anybody shouts “Where’s John?” or What a grotty supper John cooked to-night”, they have been dubbed “Red John”, “Green John” and “Kaal John”.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000362 – OCR

“Handsome·Fortuna Chases Graybeard”. Main interest out here in mid-Atlantic is in the fortunes of ‘Fortuna’ (skipper Cdr. M. Rivero-Kelly), the handsome yawl carrying th ensign of the Argentine Navy in the Cape-to-Rio race.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000243 – OCR

“Position Reports”.
READ MORE HERE:  1971 01 29 – Rio 1971 – Dave Elcock Collection -000452 – OCR