“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. A Second Agulhas Victory for Whitehead

by Richard Crockett Yesterday I reported that there were some poor decisions made by the Race Committee regarding the winner of the 1978 race, but this time round Jerry Whitehead and his crew thoroughly deserved the elusive “double” victory of overall handicap and line honours wins. 34 yachts crossed the start line, and that figure would have been closer to the 40 mark had a few casualties during Rothmans Week not pulled out. As always the weather played a prominent ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Whitehead is Agulhas Race Winner

by Richard Crockett Another Agulhas Race, and more accounts of strong headwinds, exhilarating downwind sleigh-rides, tough conditions generally and fine seamanship. And least we forget the RCOD ‘Spray’ with her remarkable 25-hour dash from Mossel Bay to the finish line in False Bay. Now that must have been the ride of a lifetime! Sadly there is little mention of the time allowance given to Dieter Mielke’s ‘Inshallah’ for standing by a dismasted competitor, suffice to say it appears to have ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Abro Wins Tough Agulhas

by Richard Crockett Today most yachties look down their noses at the Miura as a dog of a boat, yet back in its day it was winning Rothmans Week and now the very tough Agulhas Race too. Talk of 29 hours of beating would put anyone off ocean racing, but this is what the crew of ‘Sundance Kid’ endured in winning the 1976 race. Going to weather is as much part of ocean racing as is downwind sailing. We all ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1971 Agulhas Race’s Sparkling Finish

by Richard Crockett Coverage on the past Agulhas Races has created much interest and feedback, both online and privately. So here goes with more of that classic tough race. “Pipped on the post right at the end of a fabulous race to the finish! That’s the story of the 1971 Cape Agulhas Ocean Race: Having taken the lead soon after the turn at Mossel Bay and after having increased and held it all the way back to Cape Town, some ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Cape Town, Lamberts Bay & Saldanha Race

by Richard Crockett Staying with the Ocean Racing theme, I stumbled across info on the above race yesterday and felt it worthy of publishing as in those days yachties were seamen who went ocean racing for the challenges, the camaraderie and ultimately the memories which live on forever. The weather was just part of the equation, and something one had to take on the chin as modern-day weather forecasting was something of a pipe-dream then. So irrespective of the weather ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Gale-torn 1974 Agulhas Race

by Richard Crockett Although the first Agulhas Race report yesterday did not attract as much attention as I had envisaged it might, it did catch the eye of Frans Loots who requested that the 1974 race be published again. That was a tough race with gale force winds, massive seas and plenty of fine seamanship on display as boats took refuge from the appalling conditions, before carrying on once the wind and seas had moderated. One boat, with CPO Bertie ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Early Roots of the Agulhas Race

by Richard Crockett I firmly believe that one needs a little madness to go to sea off our coastline in a small boat, and especially to race. But there are many of us with that touch of madness, myself included, who have done just that and have received great pleasure and made wonderful memories doing it. A few weeks ago now a race started from Simon’s Town taking competitors around Cape Agulhas to Mossel Bay. The results of that race ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1988 Dabbie Nationals + 32 More Historical Pics

by Richard Crockett I chose this event randomly and am delighted that I did as it has some startling facts about sailing back in the day. The 1988 Junior Nationals (now referred to as “Youth Nationals”) were at Midmar and attracted 167 entries across the Laser, Dabchick and Optimists fleets. Plus three international sailors – one from England and two from Italy competed. I don’t believe that today we get anywhere near those numbers despite the event appearing more like ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1979 Dabchick Nationals

by Richard Crockett Response from Michael Matter to some pics posted yesterday has prompted this report, written by Gordon Lanham-Love, of the 1979 Nationals on the Vaal Dam and hosted by LDYC. He opened his report as follows: “I could, of course. give you the results now but on the basis that you never know the winner of a race till the end let’s produce the results that way; but what a cliff hanger! Comma six of a point was ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Girl Wins Dabchick Nationals

by Richard Crockett The above headline is what SA Yachting mag shouted in 1975 in the Dabchick Nationals report. That girl was Gillian Theunissen. The reported opened with this: One of the most successful Dabchick National Championships ever held took place on December 17 – 21 at the Transvaal Yacht Club at Hartbeespoort Dam. Nearly all the top skippers of the Republic took part and although winds were light, there were no drifters. The lack of heavy winds proved a ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The 1st Dabchick Nationals & More Archive Pics

by Richard Crockett The first official Dabchick Nationals were held in December 1970 at Zeekoe Vlei, with 47 boats competing in six races. Sadly the report does not give results, nor do results appear anywhere in SA Yachting magazine, so those remain a mystery unless anyone has a copy and would like to share them? READ THE REPORT HERE:  Pages from 1970 01 – SA Yachting -000245 – OCR   Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 25 New Full Colour Dabchick Pics.

By Richard Crockett Besides the black & white Dabbie pics in my archives there is a smattering of full colour slides and prints too. Most of these are now scanned and 25 posted today for all to enjoy. Sadly none of the slides come with captions or any details on venue, date and the people sailing them. So please let me have details in order to update each and every pic (Info to editor@sailing.co.za) or online. The last few pics ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Some ‘Natal’ Dabbie News

by Richard Crockett Today I have selected an interesting piece to open with as it shows just how proud some Natal schools were of their sailing teams. Written under the “Durban Doings” headline, the opening paragraph said: “When a Durban newspaper recently announced in all innocence and good faith that Hilton College had become the first South African school to found its own yacht club, more knowledgeable people sat back with interest to await the reaction. “It came swiftly.” READ ... Read More »