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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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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1982 Vasco Da Gama Race

By Richard Crockett Always known to be a tough race, this was one of the tougher ones as it was a beat all the way from start to finish! But a special mention of Siggie Eicholz and his crew who beat all the way from East London to the start, arriving mere hours before the start, then turning round and beating all the way back again! That’s over 500nm of beating! How many yachties today would do that? Today I …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1981 Vasco Da Gama Race

by Richard Crockett With the 2024 Vasco da Gama Race due to start later this week, the time is opportune to bring back the past and share some history on the race. This is mainly due to there being a dearth of info on this year’s race. The 1981 race was part of the South African Games, with winners receiving SA Games medals as well as the normal race prizes. The gold medals I am told had a goodly amount …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 10th Double Cape Race in 1990

by Richard Crockett A total of 72 yachts competed in the 10th anniversary Double Cape Race, yet it was a cruiser which pushed the hoy-shots off the top step of the podium. Winning is such a sweet pleasure for the best of the hot-shot “yotties” but when you are basically into cruising and nobody from your yacht club has ever won a Double Cape race in its 10 year history … and you actually WIN … well, its just a …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1989 Double Cape Race

by Richard Crockett There appears to be a lot of interest in this race, so I am happy to share more again today, that year being the 9th race. 54 yachts competed in this race, the fleet spread across four different start/finish lines – which is the very essence of the Double Cape Race. The wind was generally light, yet just 34 boats finished. The Farr 38 ‘Sinderella II’ took line honours while Kalahari, a Dix designed Shearwater, won the …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1988 Double Cape Race

By Richard Crockett Continuing yesterday’s thread on the Double-Cape race, I will share the story of the 1988 race today. It was a light wind race with lots of “holes” in places and many tales of woe from those who were caught in the windless patches. Some persevered while others succumbed to the iron topsail and retired. With ‘Assegai’ having a lead of some three hours on handicap at one point, her endless battle of being becalmed saw ‘Gwaap’ become …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1987 Double Cape Race

by Richard Crockett As another Double-Cape race finished over the weekend, it’s appropriate to recall some history of this great race. Sadly today the race is a shadow of it’s former format as it takes in just two of the rounding marks, and not the four from days of yore. In those days there were rounding marks in Cape Town, Hout Bay, Simons Bay and Gordon’s Bay. While bemoaning this fact, I am more than happy that the race still …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1984 Vasco. A Personal Account and A Wrap

By Richard Crockett It’s a good time now to wrap up the memories of the 1984 Vasco da Gama storm with a personal account from a competitor. But before that, I would like to pay my respects to the crew of ‘Rubicon’ and their families who were traumatised by their respective losses. Siggie Eicholz had selected a good and competent crew, and I doubt whether it entered anyone’s mind that in the conditions which prevailed, if anyone was to succumb …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1984 Vasco. Selected Newspaper Reports

By Richard Crockett Today I will share some newspaper reports from the 1984 Vasco da Gama Race, as they offer additional insights into the drama and conditions experienced by crew. It also includes a response from the Sunday Tribune newspaper after both David Cox and Chris Bonnet objected to their reporting. Here are the 10 headlines from the selected newspaper cuttings. (CLICK on the link following the headline to open the report): 2 Children on Missing Yacht:  1984 04 27 …

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