“Talking Sailing From My Archives. Lots of Rio!

Caption Translation. Before a deep sea voyage, which can take weeks, it is of utmost importance to join the crew as a close team and prepare them for the task that awaits. Skipper Dave Abromowitz uses every opportunity to bring his eight crew together, just for a chat or several times for a cruise on a Saturday afternoon aboard any available yacht in Table Bay. Pictured is the crew, except for Durbanite Norman Grimbeek, in the basin of the Royal Cape Sailing Club. The men are from left to right: John Newmarch, Mike Puttergill, Rob Nelson, Clive Tattersall, Geoff Meek, Dave Abromowitz (squatting in front) and Mel Stephens. (Photo: Bart Steen)

By Richard Crockett

So here’s a little fun to get the week off to a good start with 3 really good reads.

As I have already said several times in the past weeks, the 1971 Cape to Rio Race really caught the imagination of the sailors as well as the public who were fascinated by the ‘madmen’ (and women) crossing an ocean in small boats. Maybe that was simply because they did not have the courage or wherewith all to do it themselves. And lest I forget, the daily and magazine media were hooked too.

So here are just three articles that appeared in Huisgenoot magazine and Scope – remember it!

The Opening blurb of the Huisgenoot article reads as follows:

Die Huisgenoot Vaar Mee Na Rio
Vir die groot internasionale wedvaart tussen Kaapstad en Rio de Janeiro word koorsagtige voorbereidsels get ref. Die Huisgenoot het ‘n aandeel geneem in ‘n jag wat nou in Kaapstad gebou word vir die wedvaart in Januarie. In hierdie artikel oor die wedvaart stel ons die bemanning van ,,ons jag” aan die lesers voor. Van tyd tot tyd sal ons vertel hoe die jag en die planne vir die wedvaart vorder.

TRANSLATION. Huisgenoot Sails To Rio
For the great international race between Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro, feverish preparations are being made. Huisgenoot looks at a yacht that is now being built in Cape Town for the race in January. In this article on the race we introduce the crew of “our yacht” to the readers. From time to time we will tell you how the hunt and the plans for the race are progressing.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE:  1970 08 07 – Huisgenoot – FINAL – OCR

Obviously, and not to be outdone, the girlie magazine Scope (remember it!) took a part-sponsorship in the all-girl boat ‘Sprinter’.

Their brag was simply this: “we’re out to prove that a pretty girl can trounce the toughest of he-men”.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE:  1970 10 30 – Scope – FINAL – OCR

Stormy at full ‘chat’ with her spinnaker crammed full of wind.

“A Howling Gale and 40-foot Waves”.

Scope mag again ran a story about the passage the ‘Stormy’ delivery crew had from Rio to Cape Town under the headline “A Howling Gale and 40-foot Waves”.

The intro read as follows:
Our “SCOPE girls” have no illusions about what lies ahead of them in the longest yacht race ever organised. Six men and a woman have just made the reverse journey – from Rio to Cape Town – in the 52-foot ketch, Stormy. David Alexander, of Durban, navigated Stormy on the voyage and his description of a tremendous storm they ran into makes hair-raising reading. This is the sort of weather our girls on Sprinter, as well as the crews of the other 60-odd yachts taking part in the race, are likely to run into.