Historical

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Great Victory Dash

By Richard Crockett The South African yacht ‘Voortrekker’ is now in the lead of the single-handed transatlantic yacht race. She was sighted yesterday by Geoffrey Williams of the ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’, who reported to the organisers of the race that he had seen her clearly. This means that she must be within three to four miles of the ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’, and with the 12-hour penalty incurred by the British yacht, this makes the ‘Voortrekker’ the leader. READ THE FULL …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Pipped At the Post by A 12hr Penalty?

By Richard Crockett Although English schoolteacher Geoffrey Williams (25) was first home today in the single-handed transatlantic race, he may not be declared the winner. The second boat across the line seemed certain to be ‘Voortrekker’, sailed by South African Bruce Dalling (29), and because of a 12-hour penalty imposed on the ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’, with Williams aboard, his 50 ft ketch may be awarded the Observer trophy instead. READ MORE HERE:  1968 06 27 – Evening Post – Bruce …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Voortrekker Just 16 Miles From Leader

By Richard Crockett Back in the old days vessel tracking was something one just dreamt about, so aircraft were used to find vessels close to shore. On 26 June The Star reported as follows: A Royal Canadian Air Force plane spotted the ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’, crewed by Briton Geoffrey Williams, and ‘Voortrekker’ about 300 miles out from the finishing point at Newport, Rhode Island. From Newport, the “Daily Express” correspondent reports that it is becoming increasingly obvious that the first …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dalling May Win Today

By Richard Crockett The finish of the singlehanded Transatlantic Race was slated to be a “thriller” as a desperately close finish was expected between Britain’s ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’ and South Africa’s ‘Voortrekker’. Geoffrey Williams was reported to be 60nm ahead of Bruce Dalling, and just 400nm from the finish. The advantage Dalling had was that Williams was penalised 12 hours for arriving late at the start venue. READ MORE HERE:  1968 06 26 – Rand Daily Mail – Bruce Dalling …

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Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Concern Over Dalling in Raging Atlantic

By Richard Crockett There is some concern here as to how Voortrekker’s jury-rigged boom has stood up to Tuesdays raging Atlantic seas and wind of 32 to 38 mile an hour. Skipper Bruce Dalling. who is also having trouble with three winches, said last week he was sure that the repairs he had made to the boom would hold, so long as he didn’t have to contend with any strong winds. READ THE FULL REPORT HERE:  1968 06 13 – …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Carry on Regardless, Bruce

By Richard Crockett Yesterday a message was radioed to Dalling from the STAR Committee and Trustees of the ‘Voortrekker’ venture saying: “Bad luck, but carry on regardless – now good luck to you”. One wonders whether that message brought comfort to Dalling or not? It was further reported that in fact a winch had not seized, but rather the roller reefing system which attaches the boom to the mast. (See the attached diagrams). I am off on a short break …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dalling in Trouble: Boom Breaks

By Richard Crockett Bruce Dalling, the South African entrant in the singlehanded transatlantic yacht race, is in trouble 300 miles out in the Atlantic after his boom broke in a high wind yesterday, reported the Cape Times on 4 June 1968. He fashioned a jury rig and was not turning back. The incident happened when he was trying to reef the mainsail in a Force 7 wind. The boom swung out and broke at the gooseneck and blew overboard, taking …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. “Vrystaat” Spur for Dalling

By Richard Crockett Bruce Dalling set sail from Plymouth at noon today aboard the ‘Voortrekker’ in the 3,000-mile solo yacht race across the forbidding North Atlantic to Newport, Rhode Island. Ringing in his ears was the shout of “Vrystaat” roared out by the small band of South African supporters gathered at the Millbay Docks to watch the start of the loneliest yacht race in the world. When asked for a final quote as he stepped aboard, Dalling simply said “I’ll …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Yachts Set Out for U.S. in A Downpour

by Richard Crockett Thirty-four men and a woman with her dog sailed out of Plymouth in-pouring rain today, 1 June 1968, on the third, 3200-mile single-handed transatlantic yacht race. Tabarly was the favourite to win, and he took the lead very soon after the start. While this report is short, I have chosen it today due to the photograph which shows Norma Johnson of the Hermanus Yacht Club presenting Bruce Dalling with a burgee shortly before the start. READ MORE …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Most Exciting Journey this World Has Left to Offer

By Richard Crockett The great single-handed transatlantic race starting from Plymouth today will be as much a test of a competitor’s stamina – his ability to fight off sleep, to carry on in spite of sickness and exhaustion – as of his actual sailing skill. This point was made by Sir Francis Chichester, first in the 1960 race and second in the 1964 event, when he said after a gruelling time in the latter race that “the greatest hazard was …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Atlantic Solo ‘68

by Richard Crockett Over the past few weeks I have covered all the build up to the singlehanded transatlantic race, and how Voortrekker was conceived, built and sailed to the starting line. Today I am able to share a full-on review of the race, the yachts and the people as published in Yachtsman Magazine in the UK. Interestingly Bruce Dalling and Voortrekker hardly feature – something which no doubt spurred Dalling on to greater heights. READ IT ALL HERE:  1968 …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dalling Gets More Nervous Every Day

by Richard Crockett “I am a bit more nervous every day and will be more than relieved to get to the starting line” he said in Plymouth. Since Voortrekker arrived at Plymouth nearly a month ago, Dalling and his. companions, have worked from eight to 12 hours a day preparing for the race. “I do not expect people at home to realize the amount of preparation which this race has entailed,” said Dalling. “I doubt whether there is any boat …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Voortrekker’s Speed Has Amazed Experts

By Richard Crockett At Plymouth, all three South Africans could barely conceal their delight and pride over the yacht’s, performance. The figures are impressive: Voortrekker averaged 158 miles a day; her best day’s run was 220 miles, the worst, 83 miles. Admittedly the weather was kind, with very little calm to slow them and not too much sailing into the wind. Their passage piqued the interest of the British public, and was roundly applauded by local South Africans as it …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Voortrekker Faster Than First Thought

by Richard Crockett Having described ‘Voortrekker’s’ 45 ½ day passage on arrival in Plymouth from Cape Town as fast, a few days later during a quiet moment Dalling found an error in his calculations. The passage had in fact taken 43 ½ days as their passage from the Azores took days and 15 hours, some two days faster than the eight to nine days originally estimated. Voortrekker had performed better than was originally thought. READ MORE HERE:  1968 04 29 …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Atlantic Racer Sails Into Plymouth

by Richard Crockett Dalling completed the 8000nm delivery of ‘Voortrekker’ from Cape Town to Plymouth a day a head of schedule, averaging about 160nm a day. This no doubt gave him an indication, and confidence, that he had a good solid boat, prompting him to say that “if we don’t win, it won’t be from a lack of trying”. READ MORE HERE:  1968 04 26 – Western Evening Herald – Bruce Dalling Archives – S&A – 002351-1_Redacted – OCR

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