On This Day – 14 September. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

1937. “Comedy of Errors on Zeekoe Vlei”. On Sunday the yachtsmen sailing on Zeekoe Vlei experienced the first South-Easter of the season. Though it was far short of gale strength, it was strong enough to make even the biggest boats reef their sails, and the waves near Lotus buoy made beating to windward a decidedly wet business.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1937 09 14 – dix combined – converted to OCR 11

1946. “Fill the White and Rustling Sail”. The opening of the season at Zeekoe Vlei this afternoon is a most welcome event for those who go down to this lake to sail, even if it is not attended by quite·the same gaiety that marked the meetings of the oldest yachting club in the world two centuries ago.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1946 09 14 – dix combined – converted to OCR 71

1959. “S.A. Yachting Team for Games”. A four-man Springbok yachting team for the Olympic Games, at Naples next year, was announced here at the week-end.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1959 09 14 706

1987. “Panther Wins Double Cape”. The maxi, Panther, skippered by Geoff Meek, won the Romans Double Cape yacht race around the Cape Peninsula yesterday.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1987 09 14 – 000304

1989. “Norwegian Freighter Saves Irish Yachtsman”. A 63-year-old Irish sailor trying to circumnavigate the world said yesterday that he owed his life to the crew of a Norwegian freighter who rescued him after his yacht was damaged in heavy seas.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 14 012

1989. “Goodwill Act Saves SA Yachts”. Last-minute intervention by top Mauritian officials has ensured that the four stranded South African racing yachts will be able to race in the Crystic Beachcomber Crossing from the island to Durban on Saturday.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1989 09 14 377 14

1990. “Jeantot Plans to Circle the World in 124 Days”. Frenchman Philippe Jeantot aims to shave 10 days off his record when he leaves Newport on Saturday to begin defending his title in the Challenge Around Alone yacht race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1990 09 14 – 000353

1992. “Yachts Slip Up At First Marker”. Geoff Meek sailed brilliantly on Indigo for a PHRF handicap victory in the First Bowring Double Cape Yacht Race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1992 09 14 426 18

1994. “Durban’s Bowman Most Impressive”. Robbie Bowman, skipper of Southern Floe, the oldest and smallest yacht in the Point Yacht Club’s Mauritius Crossing Race, is emerging as the favourite for handicap honours after a record passage from Durban.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1994 09 14 047

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

About “On This Day”
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!

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


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