“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 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 »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dabchick Millennium! Plus More Archive Pics

By Richard Crockett That headline is a little misleading although it does grab one’s attention. Its significance is that 1,000 sets of Dabchicks had been sold and were in the market place. While much of what is said in this article has been regurgitated from previous reports, there are some interesting little tid-bits worth reading. For instance, some statistics: • A Thousand Dabchicks must give pleasure to at least 3,000 people. • At least 92,000 square feet of plywood was ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dabchick No. 500 is Afloat

by Richard Crockett Just two years after the Dabchick was first featured in SA Yachting magazine, the 500th boat hit the water. This showed just how popular the boat was, how easy it was to build, and how it filled a gap in the market. Hats off to Jack Koper for the design as judging by the comments to my Dabchick post this week, and the number of people who have recently posted their own personal pics of themselves sailing ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dabbies Grow Exponentially!

By Richard Crockett The demand for plans for the Dabbie grew so fast and so quickly that even her designer, Jack Koper, was taken by surprise. In the Editorial Comment of the May/June issue of SA Yachting in 1958, the Editor said this: “Our feelings that economy is the key to making yachting a truly national sport were borne out by an overwhelmed Mr. J. Koper, of Pinelands, who had his £20 Dabchick publicized in our past issue. He rang ... Read More »