“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett. Full Report – the Sinking of Pionier

by Richard Crockett One of the most dramatic incidents of the 1971 Cape to Rio race was the sinking of ‘Pionier’ in mid-South Atlantic. Her crew were lucky to have spent only 19 hours in their liferaft after the yacht sunk beneath them very quickly at night, in an area way off the traditional shipping lanes. It’s a good read from anyone going to sea in a small vessel should glean some useful information. The article below is an extract ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. First Message from Pionier Crew.

by Richard Crockett There is little news available today for some reason, other than news coming from the crew of ‘Pionier’ who were battling to come to terms with their dramatic sinking. It is interesting, that despite a six-hour delay after the start to effect mast repairs in the clam of Robben Island, ‘Albatross II’ continues to lead the fleet on actual distance left to Rio, and on handicap. And her sistership, ‘Mercury, maintains second spot on both calculations. So ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Having A Whale of A Time!!!

By Richard Crockett Spending 19 hours in a liferaft can hardly be classified as “having a whale of a time”, but that’s what the crew of Pionier did after hitting a whale mid-ocean, and at night too. Luckily for them they were rescued relatively quickly. Back in those days there was no GPS, no handheld satellite phones and basically none of the personal safety gear available today, so once in the liferaft they were at the mercy of the elements ... Read More »

Vendee Globe. The Closest Finish Ever

by Richard Crockett What a nail-biting finish – and a very different finish for the Vendee Globe singlehanded non-stop race as the first boat over the finish line was not the overall winner – which is very unusual! Let me explain. In mid-December Kevin Escoffier was rescued from his sinking vessel by three competitors who diverted from their chosen courses to assist a man in distress. For their efforts, all three were awarded a time bonus by the International Jury ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Media Attention Focussed on Graybeard

by Richard Crockett Media attention focussed on the front of the fleet, especially ‘Graybeard’, while the back markers and those who have radio issues are causing concern and anxiety back at home from loved ones. One reporter sent back the following: “Most impressive of the frontrunners is undoubtedly ‘Fortuna’, which we found about 4 p.m. yesterday running before a 15-knot easterly under a spinnaker, mainsail, mizzen and unusual two-tone water sail ballooning out over her port bow.” One can only ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Tabarly Angers the Fleet

by Richard Crockett As the front-runners edge ever closer in the light winds to the halfway point, anger is mounting in the fleet as Eric Tabarly aboard ‘Pen Duick III’ keeps everyone guessing as he does not co-operate in reporting his positions daily. While this most likely upsets the line-honours contenders as they cannot plot his course and see his progress, the rest of the fleet probably could not care less as they are having their own personal battles with ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Albatros Takes the Handicap Lead

by Richard Crockett Although ‘Stormkaap’ and her problems continue to hog the headlines, there were two bits of good news as ‘Albatros’ had taken the lead on handicap with her near sistership ‘Mercury’ second overall, and the all-women yacht which had not reported a position for six days, managing to make contact with the Guardship. Today’s Results. Line Honours 1 Striana 2 Graybeard 3 Ocean Spirit 4 Hamburg 5 Albatros Handicap 1 Albatros 2 Mercury 3 Hamburg 4 Striana 5 ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Bad News Hogs the Headlines

By Richard Crockett Today’s Results – Line Honours 1 Striana 2 Graybeard 3= Ocean Spirit 3= Hamburg 5 Pen Duick Handicap 1 Hamburg 2 Albatros 3 Mercury 4 Striana 5 Flica It’s sad how bad news make newspaper headlines, but it’s the news that people appear to want to read. So this “hot” news dominated the headlines with the newsmen forgetting about the race itself and bringing news as to how the race itself was unfolding. Today, 50 years ago, ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Line Honours Leaders Just 1 Mile Apart

By Richard Crockett It’s a week ago since the very first Cape to Rio Race started. I felt it time to tone down the ‘Jakaranda’ saga which has hogged much of the limelight since the start, but Bruce Dalling, being a hero of the South African nation, simply gets the publicity without trying. But I must say that he is a true gentleman who is never shy to thank all those who help him, which is why I was interested ... Read More »

Les Fella – A “Fella” of the Sea

by Richard Crockett One of the perks of sharing my historical records daily is the excitement and joy it gives some people who are suddenly jolted back in time when a memory that is dear to them is triggered. This was the case a week ago when I shared the memories, newspaper cuttings and photos of the very first Cape to Rio Race in 1971 – the 50th anniversary of the race. It prompted a guy by the name of ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Ocean Spirit & Graybeard Duel

by Richard Crockett Positions Today – Line Honours 1 Ocean Spirit 2 Graybeard 3 Striana 4 Hamburg 5 Stormy Handicap 1 Hamburg 2 Albatros II 3 Striana 4 Corsair 5 Ocean Spirit At the very front of the fleet the two leaders are having a ding-dong battle to lead the fleet, which one journalist has described as follows: “which promises to be the highlight of the Race to Rio”. On handicap there is little change, except to ‘Corsair’ which has ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. ‘SOS’ From Molly: Panties Overboard!

By Richard Crockett Results Today. Line Honours: 1 Ocean Spirit 2 Graybeard 3 Striana Corrected Time: 1 Hamburg 2 Striana 3 Ocean Spirit The first SOS in the race, fortunately sent in jest to the Guardship, was from Molly Warr, the skipper of ‘Sprinter’ asking yachts behind them to look out for floral panties lost overboard on washing day! Richard “Thirsty” Bertie was mentioned in despatches for being the man aboard ‘Jakaranda’ who went over the side to inspect the ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Corsair Hits A Whale

by Richard Crockett Position reports today show that ‘Ocean Spirit ‘was leading the fleet with ‘Graybeard’ in second. On handicap ‘Hamburg VII’ was the leader with ‘Albatross II’ in second spot. This is a remarkable turn-around for ‘Albatross II’ after their mast mishap forced them to effect repairs in the shelter of Robben Island within hours of the start. That’s a great recovery. Bruce Dalling has brought ‘Jakaranda’ into Cape Town, and once repairs are complete he will rejoin the ... Read More »

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Damage Control and Racing in Earnest

By Richard Crockett The lead has changed with ‘Ocean Spirit’ now being the front-runner, yet the headlines continue to cover Bruce Dalling and his rudder issues on ‘Jakaranda’, as do they with ‘Stormkaap’ whose skipper Dave Abromowitz has put in to Port Nolloth for repairs. Dalling had a fleet of experts and workers awaiting his arrival back in Cape Town in order to quickly effect repairs. The SA Air Force flew over part of the fleet giving a reporter a ... Read More »

Cape2Rio 2023. Adrian Kuttel is First Single-handed Entry

The Kuttel name is well known in the world of local and international ocean racing circles, least of all the Cape to Rio Race, and their involvement will continue in 2023 as Adrian Kuttel has entered the singlehanded division – the first in this division. The late Peter “Padda” Kuttel competed in two Whitbread Round the World Races on his yachts ‘Xargo3′ and ‘Atlantic Privateer’, as well as two Cape to Rio’s aboard ‘Atlantic Privateer’ and ‘Namsea Challenger’. His brother ... Read More »