Author Archives: Sailing website

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Vasco Race Memories From 1981

by Richard Crockett The 50th Vasco da Gama Race starts on Sunday with an eight-boat fleet as two boats have withdrawn. It’s not a big fleet, but ocean races along the Wild Coast no longer attract big numbers. With three Fast 42s competing, this is likely to be where the line honours contender comes from, with the handicap race being pretty much an unknown. The fleet is as follows: Adios – John Tudehope – Fast 42 Chinook – Neville Bransby ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Da Gama Race Photo-Finish

by Richard Crockett On Saturday I posted some Vasco da Gama Race info with a pic of the extremely close finish between ‘Shaya Moya’ and ‘Spirit of Appletiser I’ – just seconds after 265nm of racing. It created a major amount of interest and comment, so there’s no better time than the present to reproduce the report of that race in 1985 as written in SA Yachting magazine. So many of the people depicted in the pics are still around, ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” from my archives. 50th Vasco da Gama Race

by Richard Crockett It came as an unxpected surprise to me when researching the Vasco da Gama ocean race that this year’s race, which starts on Sunday 16 May, will in fact be the 50th race to be sailed. Ten boats have entered. That’s one huge chunk of sailing history which gives the race serious stature, and makes it the oldest ocean race in this country, in terms of races sailed, by far It’s a race with a rich heritage, ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. L26 – its First Birthday Report

by Richard Crockett It seems that so much good happened to sailing in South Africa about 40 years ago as several features have recently been published with a 40-year time line. And the L26 is one of those. Yes, it’s hard to believe that 40 years ago the L26 celebrated its 1st birthday. So much has happened since then that the design has peaked at heady heights, now waned, and is destined to be a development training boat for the ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. International 505 Day

The International 5O5 Sailing Class has adopted the 5th May as International 5O5 Day to celebrate the 60+ years of history and community. For over 60 years this astounding racing dinghy has maintained its position as the most successful two person sailing boat on the planet. Enormously popular amongst Olympians, World champions and enthusiastic weekend sailors alike, the Class will use the 5th May to celebrate the 505 Community that spans over 17 countries and over six decades of racing ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” from my archives. The Finn Dinghy

by Richard Crockett I recently tumbled to the fact that the Finn Dinghy made it’s debut at the Olympics in 1952 in Helsinki. That’s 70 years ago – and this class is still a powerhouse in international sailing. It was designed by Rickard Sarby in 1949, specially for the 1952 Olympics. On checking my archives I have four large folders of information on the Finn dinghy, and especially Finn sailing in this country. There is too much info in those ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 2 Lavranos Two-tonners

by Richard Crockett When archiving old magazines it’s always fascinating to be reminded as to what was happening “back in the day”! Who would have guessed that 40 years ago Angelo Lavranos designed two almost identical IOR two-tonner sisterships – Dieter Mielke’s ‘Nutcracker’ in aluminium and Neil Bailey’s ‘Sensation’ in a cold-moulded construction. Both were campaigned hard and were generally on the podium when raced. Sadly ‘Sensation” was wrecked when she ran aground off the KZN Wild Coast during the ... Read More »

Talking Sailing From My Archives. Skippers and Crews – Some Sage Advice

by Richard Crockett It’s all to easy to get caught up in the romance of going sailing, especially to cross an ocean or on a lengthy passage. It’s not always what it’s cracked up to be, and what one reads in magazines and sees in the movies. Way back in 1980, this issue was addressed in Yachtsman RSA Magazine, and while written in a low key manner, the author unknown, the subject is one which all crew, especially those new ... Read More »

Lord Jim. A beautiful Alden Schooner

By Richard Crockett In 1983 when working for Yachtsman RSA Magazine (remember it?) I was very fortunate to be invited aboard the beautiful Alden Schooner named ‘Lord Jim”. Her owner then was a guy named Holger Kreuzhager, and besides letting me simply “have a look” I also got to take photos, interview him and delve into the history of the vessel. Holger even entrusted me with the original blueprint plans to have them copied! Sadly I have not been able ... Read More »

Ocean Sailing Association of Southern Africa (OSASA)

A Bridge Over Troubled Waters: OSASA Leads South African Cruising Into A Brighter Future. By Richard Crockett It’s not often that a bunch of people get together to talk about a problem and possible solutions, and end up doing anything effective other than generating a lot of hot air! But there is change in the wind as Peter Sherlock, John Franklin and Jenny Crickmore-Thompson formed the above organisation to assist foreign cruisers caught in the pandemic last year and initially ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Omuramba

by Richard Crockett The final yacht in the 1975 South African Admiral’s Cup team was ‘Omuramba’, owned and skippered by Hans Berker. Her crew was made up as follows: Hans Berker (skipper); David Joyce; Keith Bellamy; Gutz Klohn; Geoff Meek; Felix Unite; James Brewer; Nigel Heath and John West. It appears that little expense was spared to get this boat ready for the Admiral’s Cup, as is indicated by this report from SA Yachting Magazine: “And our veteran ocean-racer, Hans ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Golden Fleece

by Richard Crockett Continuing with the 1975 South African Admiral’s Cup team, Gordon Neill’s ‘Golden Fleece’ is the yacht featured today. She is a Sparkman & Stephens design, with her crew as follows: Gordon Neill (skipper); Bob Harrison; Bertie Reed; Bruce McCurrach; Dave Hudson; Keith Wilson; John Wolfe; Chris Talbot; Hal Hofmeyr and Les Fella. Sadly this team was the lowest placed overall of the three South African teams. This was obviously the team of “Jaapies” with the best humour ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. ‘Frigate’

by Richard Crockett A Frigate popped out of my archives recently! Well not really, but a file of pics of a yacht called ‘Frigate’. They rang a bell as I was pretty sure that this was one of the boats in the 1975 South African Admiral’s Cup team. Indeed it is too. History relates that she was a Dick Carter design and made available to the team through the generous sponsorship of Ian Haggie of Haggie Rand fame. Her skipper ... Read More »

Offshore App from PredictWind – The Complete Weather Tool

PredictWind has been working hard on improving the Offshore App adding new features, along with the best forecast data available, making the Offshore App vital for safe offshore passages. More than ever when mariners are coastal sailing or crossing the ocean, they find the PredictWind Offshore App has all the weather tools and connection capabilities needed to keep them safe. From highly experienced users, sailing non-stop around the world to those taking their first passage, the Offshore App offers the ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Wrapping Up the 1979 Fastnet Race

by Richard Crockett The last 2 Blogs on the 1979 “Fastnet Race Disaster” concentrated on the newspaper cuttings and touched on the South African crew who survived that ferocious storm aboard their chartered 35-footer. This info was from the personal archives of Vaughan Giles. Today I will wrap this saga with some of the most prominent reports and findings to come out of the race, and which I feel with be educational and pertinent. Whilst these are not really bedtime ... Read More »