“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 »

“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 »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1979 Fastnet: Lost in A Quest for More Speed

By Richard Crockett Yesterday I covered the initial reaction and shock to the 1979 Fastnet “disaster”. Today the nitty-gritty of just what happened, how large a scale the rescue was, plus reactions from crew. The question that always gets asked when these incidents occur is “why was the race not stopped?” – or why did the organisers not foresee the conditions?” It’s always a difficult one to answer as in terms of the Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) the onus ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. PE Yachties Complete 1979 Fastnet “Disaster”

By Richard Crockett The iconic Fastnet Race is one that all dyed-in-the-wool offshore yachties want to compete in, yet few from our country ever get to do both Cowes Week and the Fastnet Race in the same year. But in 1979 a crew of Port Elizabeth yachties set out to race, and little did they know that this was to be the toughest Fastnet Race ever – as a storm blew over the fleet and devastated it, with a consequence ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Experience Tells At Olympic Trials

by Richard Crockett Browsing through my archives always reveals something interesting, with this report on the 1959 Olympic Trials being no exception. Trials are always tough, and there will always be some disappointed competitors, and some “if only” questions asked. These trials were no different as the opening paragraph of the report shows: “Maturity won the day after a week’s keen sailing for the Olympic dinghy trials on the water of the Mossel Bay Yacht Club early in September. And ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. A Selection of Pics to Enjoy

by Richard Crockett I spent some time in the last few days scanning a bunch of slides from a folder named “possible cover pics”. Some saw the light of day in SAILING Magazine, others did not. So enjoy the selection from yesteryear as there are many memories and good times in these pics.  All 22 pics are captioned, so no need for me to say any more.   Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Lightweight Sharpie Class

By Richard Crockett The photos, words and articles on the Sharpie over the last few weeks created interesting comment and feedback, with particular interest in the Lightweight Sharpie Class which originated in Australia. I found a brochure on the “SA Lightweight Sharpie Class” in my archives. IT CAN BE VIEWED AND READ HERE:  Sharpie – SA Lightweigh Brochure – OCR However, here are a few key highlights from this: “The craft is well-named – with an overall length of 19 ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Some Humour

by Richard Crockett There are often occasions when I wished that I had the ability to draw well enough to depict scenes in a cartoon format, as good cartoonists are worth their weight in gold. I have a file in my archives named “Cartoons”, and depicted here are some of the better ones. I don’t know who the cartoonist “ARIB” is, nor “JORGI”, other than they have done some good work, as have others too. Enjoy the laughs, and please ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Islands of the Cape Coast

by Richard Crockett Some time back David Abromowitz was looking for the book “Fair Winds At The Cape” written by Mary Kuttel. It is the story of yachting at the Cape. Not having it in my library, I was unable to help Abromowitz, but was reminded of this fact when I came across an article in SA Yachting magazine entitled “Islands of the Cape Coast”, also written by Mary Kuttel. Hopefully this will be enjoyed by David? Mary Kuttel was ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Sharpie Saga Continued with Photos

By Richard Crockett The “Sharpie Saga” published last week created some good interest – even as far as Australia. My old sailing rival in Flying Fifteens, Allan Bush, made contact as he was part of the Zwartkops guys who undoubtedly watched as the old guys sped around the river on their Sharpies. Having read the article, this is what Allan Bush had to say: “Cliff Bush was Allan’s Dad, Lionel Harling was Allan’s Godfather (he was married to Allan’s Dad’s ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Heavy Weather

by Richard Crockett The Frank Wightman feature I ran about a week ago certainly created immense interest, so when I came across a file labelled “Frank Wightman” in the archives a few days ago, I had to stop everything a read it. Basically it consisted of two letters to SA Yachting Editor, Brian Lello, and made reference to the ‘Mischief’ article, so I searched the SA Yachting pages and found the article. It was an intriguing read as it was ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Sharpie Saga

By Richard Crockett I have always heard from those old hardened yachties from days of yore as to how special and exhilarating it was to sail a Sharpie. Sadly I never got to experience the thrills of a Sharpie. So when I read this teaser headline in the 1959 January/February issue of SA Yachting, I had to read further to see just what I had missed. “A whole generation of South African yachtsmen can thank the Sharpie for their greatest ... Read More »

Frank Wightman Tells How He Found Saldanha’s Flamingo Lagoon

by Richard Crockett As I completed digitising every issue of SA Yachting magazine today, I decided to go back to that issue to see what was worth digging out and sharing with followers. I had originally missed this piece when scouring it for material to use some months ago, and when I came across it I knew that it was right for today. There is plenty more of Frank Wightman I have to publish, and which I will get to ... Read More »