On This Day – 1 September. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

It was towards the end of September last year, yes 2019, that I started “On This Day. A Newspaper History of Sailing.” So nearly a year has passed without a day being missed and without there being any newspaper news or pics available in my newspaper archives to share.

It all started while I was busy archiving many boxes of press cuttings I have accumulated and which I guestimate run into tens of thousands! A daunting task which I believe to be necessary as I have been concerned for many years about the lack of interest Clubs, Classes and other sailing related organisations give to preserving their history, and that of our sport.

This is my personal crusade, and instead of simply archiving and keeping the contents away from prying eyes, I share my spoils in the hope that you will enjoy reminiscing as much as I do.

As of the end of September the format will change as it’s simply not sustainable to continue for another full year on a similar basis. I have some 25 000 scanned newspaper cuttings, and have used the best so far – but as in life some variation and change is required. What those changes are I have not crystallised yet, and would enjoy feedback from followers of this Blog as to what they would like to see.

I have tons of material available – from every single issue of SA Yachting, Yachtsman RSA (newspaper – remember it?) and Sailing Inland & offshore Magazine. Between those publications – from October 1957 until June 2017 – a period spanning 60 years of coverage of the sport of sailing in this country – I have in my possession.

I am scanning every single issue of those 60 years – that’s 720 issues – and digitising them to get the fullest value possible from them. So far I have uncovered some incredible gems in their pages, and will share these as we go.

Plus I have a photographic archive of photographs in b/w negative format, colour negative, colour slide (transparency) and photographic prints I intend to scan, digitise and share with the sailing community at large.

But all this takes time – and is a slow process – so all I ask is for patience.

My plea thought – to all followers and everyone interested in the history of sailing in RSA, is to please assist me by sharing their personal archives, pics, press cuttings and whatever with me, so that I can scan them and share them. My promise is that I will treat them with the utmost care, and get them back to you safely.

To date, the response to “On This Day. A Newspaper History of Sailing” has been phenomenal, and it’s heartening to see how many people appreciate, LIKE and SHARE the material I have shared in the past year. And this is from ‘Saffers’ and others who have lived and sailed here, or have travelled internationally to sail here.

I am overwhelmed by the response – and thank all those who have personally made contact.

Should you wish to copy, forward or share material from here, PLEASE acknowledge the source as: Sourced From the SAILING Mag Archives & Historical Records.

As each scanned cutting and article is searchable, I am able to create presentation packs personally tailored to a persons exact requirements – ie. Rothmans Week, the NCS Regatta, the Rio Race, Mauritius Race, Vasco da Gama Race and more – or simply by the name of an individual (like Ant Steward and his open boat exploits) – for those who want a record of his/her sailing career for the family archives.

I have already done this by scanning in excess of 18 000 pages of material I have on ‘Voortrekker’ – from idle chatter, to concept, to the formation of what ultimately became the South African Ocean Racing Trust (SAORT), to the fruition of the 1968 OSTAR Race in which Bruce Dalling and ‘Voortrekker’ excelled – and even beyond that.

The possibilities are endless – so watch this space as it all simply gets better every single day!

Comments, thoughts and contributions are welcome. Email: editor@sailing.co.za

So sit back, grab a cup of your favourite brew, and enjoy what’s on offer today.

To read the full reports, click on the LINK following each headline.

1986. “Yacht Club ‘Is Welcome to Stay’”. After years of uncertainty about its future siting, the Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC) was given an assurance at the weekend that it would be welcome to continue occupying its present leased premises in Table Bay docks for at least the next decade.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 09 01 087

1986. “Drama At the BOC Start”. The BOC Round the World singlehanded yacht race started dramatically at Newport Rhode Island at 3pm yesterday.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 09 01 095_Redacted

1989. “Ikhwezi the Talking Point in Mauritius”. A SADF-crewed 10 metre yacht is the talking point in Mauritius after taking only 14 days to reach the island in huge seas and gale force
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 01 – 000067

1992. “No Money, No Glory for SA Sailors”. Crippling financial costs have ended the Olympic dreams of top South African catamaran sailors – including the World Hobie 16 Champions, David Kruyt and Michelle van der Merwe – just two weeks before the team trials in Durban.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1992 01 09 415 12

1987. “Cape Crews Dominate Lipton Cup”. The Lipton Cup sailed off Gordon’s Bay last week saw the Royal Cape Yacht Club sail away with the cup in fairly convincing style.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1997 09 01

2006. “RCYC Still the Team to Beat – But the Race Ain’t Over Yet”. Defending Lipton Cup champions Royal Cape Yacht Club (RCYC), sailing in Green Light, had a perfect race yesterday in what were close to ideal conditions and crossed the finish first, showing that, if the winds were consistent, they were still the team to beat.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2006 09 01 556

2007. “Lipton Delight for Holders”. A win in the final race of the Lipton Challenge Cup yesterday secured the championship victory for defending champions Greg Davis and Gareth Blanckenberg, on Theewater Sports Club’s Dalys Insurance, after a week of racing in Cape Town’s Table Bay.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2007 09 01 571

Comments and contributions are welcome. Email: editor@sailing.co.za