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.

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 20 More Pics

by Richard Crockett Not enough time for any words today, so enjoy 20 more pics from the Dabchick archives.

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“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 …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Pics Galore

by Richard Crockett And now for something completely different. Instead of the written word today, feast your eyes on this selection of pics, freshly dug out from the archives yesterday, and then scanned and captioned. These pics are mainly of individuals and boat numbers, either individually or as small groups. I scanned about 100 pics …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Dabbling in Dabchicks

by Richard Crockett I have sung the praises of this little yacht for decades now, so I won’t bore readers yet again with my thoughts as they are well documented. Several days ago a post on a Dabchick Facebook page caught my eye as it announced that this year is the 65th anniversary of the …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Rampage Around the Cape in ‘Caprice’

by Richard Crockett Earlier this week I noticed a post on the Royal Cape Yacht Club Facebook page of someone wanting some info on a yacht named ‘Caprice’, a name I had become familiar with when browsing through my archives. However the article reproduced here does not give much away about the boat, other than …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Sundancer is A Boat to Watch

by Richard Crockett There is just so much good information to be had that delving through my archives is anything but a chore. And guess what I found – a review on the three-masted schooner ‘Sundancer’ which was an unofficial entry in the 1976 Cape to Rio Race. At 32 metres long overall and a …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. The Tack 24-hour

By Richard Crockett While researching the magazine pages for yesterdays “Laser Doings” I came across a report in Yachtsman RSA magazine on the Tack 24-hour race on Midmar Dam in 1977. Up front and unashamedly I will tell you that the Tack dinghy was a horrible little thing, in fact it was an awful critter …

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“Talking Sailing From My Archives. Key Laser Events in 1977

by Richard Crockett The Laser Class at this early stage of its life in South Africa was beginning to stand up and be counted, not just as a class boat that provided really good one-design competition, but as a class in which there was an inordinate amount of fun to be had too. In this …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. More Laser Doings in 1976

by Richard Crockett The Laser class was still in its infancy in this country, yet the enthusiasm and interest was exponential. Her designer Bruce Kirby had obviously hit a “sweet spot” as this is the boat local dinghy sailors wanted. In the April issue of SA Yachting it was announced that Bruce McCurrach had received …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Laser Doings in 1975

by Richard Crockett Still in the building phase, the Laser continues to grow at a pretty rapid pace, with the class competing in an ever increasing number of regattas. The first Natal Laser Champs were held offshore of Durban, with the Yachtsman RSA report headline reading “No Contest for Lasers” as only two of the …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Laser – It’s Beginning in RSA

by Richard Crockett Yesterday I covered the launch of the very first Laser in South Africa. It created an immediate and positive response, as can be seen in this extract from the June 1974 issue of SA Yachting as written by the South African Laser Class Association: “In Durban we had the incredible situation where …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. First Laser Launched in RSA

by Richard Crockett It is never easy choosing what dinghy class to share and comment on in these pages as we have so many. And the Laser dinghy is one that does stand out, so I will cover some early years of the class over the next few days. It was designed in 1970 by …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Mainstay Week 1979

by Richard Crockett Mainstay Week is just one year old and has already grown into one of the greatest ocean-racing regattas in the country. This year, Mainstay Week attracted an entry of 46 yachts, and incorporated the national championships for Royal Cape One Designs, of which there were 11 competing. In the weeks preceding Mainstay …

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The Lipton Challenge Cup – A Potted History

by Richard Crockett Like most people who follow the sport of sailing in our country, the Lipton Challenge Cup is the one competition which stands head and shoulders above all others, and which commands much interest, comment and a large and diverse following. In the above the word “challenge” is very important as the Lipton …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. What A Corker As Witbank Win!

By Richard Crockett The best way to write about the 2019 event is to start at the prize giving! It had been said countless times in the build-up to the regatta, and while racing was taking place, that this was simply the most competitive fleet for many years with the cream of our best sailors …

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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!