“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Response From Brian Hallock & ‘64 All-Class Nationals

The good wide launching slip which the Saldanha Bay Yacht Club inherited after the January 1964 National Regatta. The slipway which was put down at the Railway jetty at Saldanha in or about 1963, more or less at the same time as the founding of the Saldanha Bay Yacht Club which started life over there. It was laid down for a national regatta in January 1964. The Sea Harvest factory is on the other side of the jetty. The slipway faces towards the Naval gymnasium across the waterway.

by Richard Crockett

I have been corresponding with Brian Hallock for several years now as he took an immense interest in the historical pics I printed in SAILING Mag every month. He would always comment and regularly sent me pics from his own collection to use. I enjoyed interacting with him then, and continue to do so now, as he is an avid follower of this Blog.

This is his recent missive: “Richard, you really stirred some memories with that pic of the “Hole” at the ’64 Nationals at Saldanha Bay.

SA Games in 1964 – Saldanha Bay.
The caption in SA Yachting read as follows: Lunchtime quiet at The Hole, Saldanha Bay, scene of this year’s S.A.Y.R.A. National Regatta and “Games”. Looking down on the anchorage
on the left was the Naval Gymnasium, where hundreds found hospitality, and below it the President’s Jetty where the deep-sea craft had their headquarters. On the right was the dinghy H.Q . and the fine slipway, financed by the Western Province Sailing Association and a permanent amenity for yachtsmen. Beyond stretches the beginning of the wide waters of the Bay proper. The F.D., Sharpie and Spearhead course was out of the picture on the right.
Inset is one of the “Olympic trials” medals awarded this year to leaders in gold, silver and bronze.

“It was arguably the most successful all-class National to that date, so successful that SAYRA followed up with another National at the same venue in 1966 and a third in 1968, despite it being other Provinces turn to host Nationals.

“Saldanha Bay in 1964 was a fabulous, unspoilt stretch of clean open water with a South west ground swell being compressed through the Heads and giving exhilarating sailing especially to the FDs, Sharpies and Spearheads who sailed on the outer course off Hoedjies Point and Marcus Island. In those days there was no iron ore and oil terminal breakwater and no causeway between Marcus Island and Hoedjies Point to restrict this natural swell action. Dredging of the bay had not yet commenced.

“The regatta ran from the 6 to 15 of January and included two tune-up races, an Interclub and Interprovincial races for all senior classes.

“The National Championship consisted of six races in total, with just one race per day. The courses were about 10 miles long for the larger dinghies and 7 miles long for the smaller classes .

“A major factor attributing to the success of the regatta was the co-operation of the SA Navy who accommodated most of the ‘yachties’ in the dormitories and fed them in the mess halls. They also provided Guardships for the races and hosted the prize giving on the quarterdeck of the Navy’s Flagship ‘SAS Good Hope’.

“The sailing conditions in the main were ideal with steady winds of between 10 to 15 knots although the South Easter ripped through on a two occasions. Racing was cancelled on one of these days and the temporary Pub on the jetty did a roaring trade.

“SAYRA stopped all-class Nationals after 1968, I guess that they were coming too big and unmanageable? Individual Class Nationals took their place. They did try to reintroduce them again at Simonstown in 1975, but that was the last time.

Could this have been in Saldanha Bay in the ’60s?

“Today, Saldanha is an industrial port, and the last bit of good regatta sailing water has been covered with mussel beds.”

As a gesture of goodwill and thanks to Brian Hallock, I have included the 1964 all-class nationals report, PLUS the full set of results too.

What intrigued me is that the Point Yacht Club won the Inter-Club National Championships, and Natal won the Inter-Provincial National Championships. But best of all is reading all those names from “yesteryear” – names that became synonymous with excellence in our sport during that era.

READ THE 1964 ALL-CLASS NATIONALS HERE:  1964 01-02 – all class nationals – SA Yachting – OCR


Could this also have been Saldanha Bay way back in the ’60s?