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. 1994 Agulhas Race

by Richard Crockett It’s a classic race and one of those that all Cape yachties want on their CV – even if it is just a single race they have done! Sponsored by Spilhaus, the race was a tough one which started in Hout Bay and turned in Struisbaai before finishing between Cape Point and …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Downham Inter-club

By Richard Crockett When I tumbled upon the report on the Downham Inter-Club regatta for Dabchicks, I wondered whether the event still takes place today? Maybe an alter follower of this Blog will have the answer? The opening paragraph read as follows, and is of interest as many of those mentioned in today’s report are …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. 1994 Fireball Worlds Durban

By Richard Crockett Following is how SAILING Magazine opened its report on the Fireball Worlds off Durban in 1994: “The Durban Unlimited Fireball World Championships was an outstanding success from the very first race of the pre-worlds, until the last competitor left. But most importantly, Durban as an international sailing venue has received the blessing …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. ENZA’s Record Circumnavigation

by Richard Crockett On 16 January 1994, the 92 foot cat ‘Enza’ crossed the Ushant start line in a bid to win the Jules. Verne Trophy. On 1 April she re-crossed the line, having taken 74 days, 22 hours , 17 minutes and 22 seconds to race round the world, handsomely beating the existing record …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. From Rooster to Feather-Duster

By Richard Crockett “We went from rooster to feather duster in no time at all” has to be one of my all-time favourite headlines. Not because of the disaster that befell Chris Dickson and his ‘Tokio’ crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race of 1994, but because Dickson captures the desperate situation so well …

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“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Good Hope Knock-down

by Richard Crockett Staying with the them of news from 30 years ago, today I am sharing the story of a lone singlehander battling to survive a Cape storm, and the stark horror she shares of being knocked down. It’s not the severity of the storm which specifically caught my eye, but rather the sobering …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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!