From the Archives

A Blast from the Past

On this page are pics and images from our archives that we think may be of interest to readers, as they may have made it into the pages of either SAILING or SA Yachting magazines. We invite readers’ comments, information about the pics and even clarification on information we may have regarding the pics, the people and the boats featured.

All comments and contributions to: editor@sailing.co.za

“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Great Victory Dash

By Richard Crockett The South African yacht ‘Voortrekker’ is now in the lead of the single-handed transatlantic yacht race. She was sighted yesterday by Geoffrey Williams of the ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’, who reported to the organisers of the race that he had seen her clearly. This means that she must be within three to four …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Pipped At the Post by A 12hr Penalty?

By Richard Crockett Although English schoolteacher Geoffrey Williams (25) was first home today in the single-handed transatlantic race, he may not be declared the winner. The second boat across the line seemed certain to be ‘Voortrekker’, sailed by South African Bruce Dalling (29), and because of a 12-hour penalty imposed on the ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’, …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Voortrekker Just 16 Miles From Leader

By Richard Crockett Back in the old days vessel tracking was something one just dreamt about, so aircraft were used to find vessels close to shore. On 26 June The Star reported as follows: A Royal Canadian Air Force plane spotted the ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’, crewed by Briton Geoffrey Williams, and ‘Voortrekker’ about 300 miles …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dalling May Win Today

By Richard Crockett The finish of the singlehanded Transatlantic Race was slated to be a “thriller” as a desperately close finish was expected between Britain’s ‘Sir Thomas Lipton’ and South Africa’s ‘Voortrekker’. Geoffrey Williams was reported to be 60nm ahead of Bruce Dalling, and just 400nm from the finish. The advantage Dalling had was that …

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Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Concern Over Dalling in Raging Atlantic

By Richard Crockett There is some concern here as to how Voortrekker’s jury-rigged boom has stood up to Tuesdays raging Atlantic seas and wind of 32 to 38 mile an hour. Skipper Bruce Dalling. who is also having trouble with three winches, said last week he was sure that the repairs he had made to …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Carry on Regardless, Bruce

By Richard Crockett Yesterday a message was radioed to Dalling from the STAR Committee and Trustees of the ‘Voortrekker’ venture saying: “Bad luck, but carry on regardless – now good luck to you”. One wonders whether that message brought comfort to Dalling or not? It was further reported that in fact a winch had not …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dalling in Trouble: Boom Breaks

By Richard Crockett Bruce Dalling, the South African entrant in the singlehanded transatlantic yacht race, is in trouble 300 miles out in the Atlantic after his boom broke in a high wind yesterday, reported the Cape Times on 4 June 1968. He fashioned a jury rig and was not turning back. The incident happened when …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. “Vrystaat” Spur for Dalling

By Richard Crockett Bruce Dalling set sail from Plymouth at noon today aboard the ‘Voortrekker’ in the 3,000-mile solo yacht race across the forbidding North Atlantic to Newport, Rhode Island. Ringing in his ears was the shout of “Vrystaat” roared out by the small band of South African supporters gathered at the Millbay Docks to …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Yachts Set Out for U.S. in A Downpour

by Richard Crockett Thirty-four men and a woman with her dog sailed out of Plymouth in-pouring rain today, 1 June 1968, on the third, 3200-mile single-handed transatlantic yacht race. Tabarly was the favourite to win, and he took the lead very soon after the start. While this report is short, I have chosen it today …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Most Exciting Journey this World Has Left to Offer

By Richard Crockett The great single-handed transatlantic race starting from Plymouth today will be as much a test of a competitor’s stamina – his ability to fight off sleep, to carry on in spite of sickness and exhaustion – as of his actual sailing skill. This point was made by Sir Francis Chichester, first in …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Atlantic Solo ‘68

by Richard Crockett Over the past few weeks I have covered all the build up to the singlehanded transatlantic race, and how Voortrekker was conceived, built and sailed to the starting line. Today I am able to share a full-on review of the race, the yachts and the people as published in Yachtsman Magazine in …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dalling Gets More Nervous Every Day

by Richard Crockett “I am a bit more nervous every day and will be more than relieved to get to the starting line” he said in Plymouth. Since Voortrekker arrived at Plymouth nearly a month ago, Dalling and his. companions, have worked from eight to 12 hours a day preparing for the race. “I do …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Voortrekker’s Speed Has Amazed Experts

By Richard Crockett At Plymouth, all three South Africans could barely conceal their delight and pride over the yacht’s, performance. The figures are impressive: Voortrekker averaged 158 miles a day; her best day’s run was 220 miles, the worst, 83 miles. Admittedly the weather was kind, with very little calm to slow them and not …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Voortrekker Faster Than First Thought

by Richard Crockett Having described ‘Voortrekker’s’ 45 ½ day passage on arrival in Plymouth from Cape Town as fast, a few days later during a quiet moment Dalling found an error in his calculations. The passage had in fact taken 43 ½ days as their passage from the Azores took days and 15 hours, some …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Atlantic Racer Sails Into Plymouth

by Richard Crockett Dalling completed the 8000nm delivery of ‘Voortrekker’ from Cape Town to Plymouth a day a head of schedule, averaging about 160nm a day. This no doubt gave him an indication, and confidence, that he had a good solid boat, prompting him to say that “if we don’t win, it won’t be from …

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June History pic 1
June History pic 2

June 2017  issue

by Richard Crockett

I always enjoy browsing through the SAILING Mag archives and looking at the pics of yesteryear as some bring back memories. This month a file named ‘Dragons’ caught my eye as I know they are a popular class in the UK, and knew of one here in Durban. And then close to that file was one marked ‘Enterprise’ – and having sailed one, and restored one, I though it was worth a look especially as one hardly hears about this classic class any longer, despite some top names having owned them.

Pic 1. The caption to this reads: One of South Africa’s two Dragons: **Galatea sailed by Guy Reynolds in Durban. At the next Olympics South Africa hopes to be represented in this class fro the first time.

Now this pic is undated, so can anyone give an indication of that, and the name and home club of the second Dragon in the country?

June History pic 3
June History pic 4

Pic 2. This is an old pic, dated 1955 – so it was taken over 60 years ago. It was taken during the 1955 Cowes Regatta. The caption says: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (right) pulls in the genoa as his yacht **Bluebottle rounds the Old Castle Buoy. Uffa Fox can be seen in front of The Duke.

Chris Talbot has advised me that this is Trio was owned by Leo Caney. He also said that he was a bailer-boy on Trio in his youth and had to keep his head below deck at all times to keep windage to a minimum. Plus, it appears that Caney had an uncanny knack of running into Enterprises and dismasting them. His crew threatened to notch the tiller for every hit!

Pic 3. A fleet of Enterprise dinghies in close contest. The caption reads: Adam French, the new Highveld champion, being closely followed by Carlo Brovelli and Maurice Hare.

Does anyone know if Adam French still sails?

Pic 4. The Enterprise was always a tough old boat to sail in a breeze. This pic, taken in 1975 at the Enterprise Highveld Champs on Florida Lake, has this caption: Brian Downham and crew hanging out well in their Enterprise whilst sailing through a gust at Florida Lake.

Brian Downham was a dab-hand in most classes he sailed.

Responses to Previous Issues
Johan Van Rooyen
April 2017 issue pic 1 pg 28
L- R are Suzette Anderson, then Kate Steward. I am not sure who the third person is. I believe it was when they sailed **Fouchini Girl in the Cape to Rio Race.

Rob Martin
April 2017 issue pg 28
Regarding the Sprog pics, the 1969 Champion at Allemanskraal Dam was John Mackay on ‘Stagalee’. I was his crew.

‘Stagalee’ was the first Sprog with Highfield levers and an adjustment at the foot of the mast including a cunningham cringle at the Jib. It was first owned by Bryan Metcalf and then purchased by the Mackay’s.

John and his brother Daniel won the Graduate National Championship in Lourenco Marques in the early Sixties. I think he was then twelve or fourteen years old. After that he competed in ‘Stagalee’.

June History pic 4

He is the brother-in–law of the Tarboton family who sail at Midmar.

John Mackay’s swansong was the Saint Helena Race where he crewed for John Levine on a Stadt34 – the average age of the crew was in the middle sixty’s – and the old buggers showed the way!