Historical

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1993 Rothmans Week

by Richard Crockett This is an interesting feature article as this was no ordinary Rothmans Week. The first race for the 62-boat fleet was ready to hit the start line at 10h00, but Table Bay remained bereft of wind until well past midday, when the race started and then had to be abandoned. Then sometime after 14h00 the southeaster roared through, gusting up to 40 knots at some points. And if that was not enough, the author of this feature …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Smallest Boat Non-stop Circumnavigation Attempt

by Richard Crockett Who will ever forget Ant Steward’s open boat circumnavigation? In fact, who can ever forget this remarkable man? His thirst for circumnavigations was not quenched after his open boat escapades, so he planned another in the smallest sailing vessel ever. This time he wanted to attempt sailing around the world non-stop, in the smallest boat ever, a passage that was likely to take nine months, all things being good. Ultimately he never did embark on this passage …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1994 Agulhas Race

by Richard Crockett It’s a classic race and one of those that all Cape yachties want on their CV – even if it is just a single race they have done! Sponsored by Spilhaus, the race was a tough one which started in Hout Bay and turned in Struisbaai before finishing between Cape Point and Bellows Rock. It was won by Jendo Ocenasek aboard a Simonis 35. READ IT ALL HERE:  Pages from 1994 03 – SAILING Magazine – OCR …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Downham Inter-club

By Richard Crockett When I tumbled upon the report on the Downham Inter-Club regatta for Dabchicks, I wondered whether the event still takes place today? Maybe an alter follower of this Blog will have the answer? The opening paragraph read as follows, and is of interest as many of those mentioned in today’s report are still active sailors. “Pretoria Sailing Club retained the Downham lnterclub trophy for the eighth successive year. Martin Lambrecht was the most successful skipper from this …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1994 Fireball Worlds Durban

By Richard Crockett Following is how SAILING Magazine opened its report on the Fireball Worlds off Durban in 1994: “The Durban Unlimited Fireball World Championships was an outstanding success from the very first race of the pre-worlds, until the last competitor left. But most importantly, Durban as an international sailing venue has received the blessing of all the competing international yachtsmen who could not heap enough praise onto the organisers and clubs alike.” READ MORE HERE:  Pages from 1994 04 …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. ENZA’s Record Circumnavigation

by Richard Crockett On 16 January 1994, the 92 foot cat ‘Enza’ crossed the Ushant start line in a bid to win the Jules. Verne Trophy. On 1 April she re-crossed the line, having taken 74 days, 22 hours , 17 minutes and 22 seconds to race round the world, handsomely beating the existing record and also beating her rival ‘Lyonnaise des Eaux Dumez’. READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE:  Pages from 1994 06 – SA Yachting – ENZA – OCR

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. From Rooster to Feather-Duster

By Richard Crockett “We went from rooster to feather duster in no time at all” has to be one of my all-time favourite headlines. Not because of the disaster that befell Chris Dickson and his ‘Tokio’ crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race of 1994, but because Dickson captures the desperate situation so well in words. It’s a great story to read, which opened like this: “No matter how many times you drum into yourself the idiom that “it …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Good Hope Knock-down

by Richard Crockett Staying with the them of news from 30 years ago, today I am sharing the story of a lone singlehander battling to survive a Cape storm, and the stark horror she shares of being knocked down. It’s not the severity of the storm which specifically caught my eye, but rather the sobering list of “Lessons Learned”. This paragraph gives an indication of the severity of that storm: “The storm increased its fury. I lay in my bunk …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1994 505 Worlds Off Durban

by Richard Crockett As this week is all about the first 30 years of democracy in this country, and casting ones vote wisely on Wednesday, I felt it appropriate to share news from the May 1994 issues. What appeared in my search first were the 505 Worlds off Durban. Despite a fleet of only 40 boats, the Durban Unlimited/Land Rover 505 World Championships turned out to be an excellent event, and proved that numbers are not important, as long as …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1987 Vasco Was Downhill ALL the Way

by Richard Crockett The Vasco da Gama Race has a reputation for being tough and unrelenting, but in 1987 that changed as the race was downwind ALL the way. This is what I wrote as an introduction to the report in SAILING Mag: “Any crew sailing the Wilbur Ellis Vasco Da Gama Race for the first time must have wondered why it has been dubbed the “acid test of seamanship” and regularly referred to as the toughest in the country. …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1986 Vasco Da Gama Race

by Richard Crockett This was another classic Vasco with both upwind and downwind conditions, nothing too strong though, but enough to sort the men from the boys! ‘Ilse’, the DB2, was skippered by Terry Clarence, who for the second time took both line and handicap honours, although being a relatively quick race, the entire fleet finished within 15 hours of the line honours winner, and half the fleet withing five hours. READ 2 REPORTS HERE: Pages from 1986 06 – …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1985 Vasco Photo-Finish

by Richard Crockett It’s rare that one sees a photo-finish in a coastal ocean race, but just 13 seconds separated Brian Tocknell’s ‘Shaya Moya’ from Chris Bonnet’s ‘Spirit of Appletiser’ on the finish line. Bonnet however snatched the handicap honours from Tocknell – so the honours were shared equally as Tocknell was second on handicap. The SAILING Mag report opened with the following: “Unlike last year’s event which will be referred to for many years to come because of the …

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“Talking Sailing” for My Archives. Close – But No Cigar

by Richard Crockett It’s done and dusted, and was fast too. This 2024 Vasco da Gama Race was one that will be etched in the memory of all crew for all the good about ocean racing, and not for the toughness and “vasbyt” one often needs to tame the Wild Coast. More importantly, there were some outstanding performances and new names to add to the trophies. Of course the addition of a two-handed division is welcomed. Worldwide two-handers compete alongside …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 2024 Vasco – A Fast Race So Far

by Richard Crockett If ever there was a Vasco race to do it was this one as the wind has been behind for most of the race so far, with the front runners having sailed over 200nm since the start 21 hours ago. Now that’s a fast race. It’s sad that there are just 11 boats racing, and that info from the organisers is simply non-existent, so to write anything meaningful is very difficult. Luckily there are reliable trackers with …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1983 Vasco Da Gama Race

by Richard Crockett This was the slowest race on record at the time, yet it was a toughie as in true Vasco tradition the fleet was clubbed by a strong south wester on the first night, catching some unawares and forcing others to retire. It was a race with it all – upwind, downwind, no wind – and lots, lots more… ! READ IT ALL HERE:   Pages from 1983 06 – SA Yachting – OCR Pages from 1983 06 – …

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