On This Day – 2 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.

1968. “Meander Wins 140-mile Yacht Race”. In pitch darkness and a squally south-easter, skipper Helmut Boehnke brought his 33-ft. Lello-design Meander across the finishing line yesterday to take the Burradoo Trophy yacht race with a corrected time of 25 hr. and 50 min., an hour and 12 seconds·ahead of Aloha, skippered by Ivor Jamieson.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1968 09 02 806

1985. “East London Luxury Yacht Stolen”. A luxury yacht was stolen from its moorings in the harbour here on Saturday night only hours before its owner was to sail for Cape Town.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1985 09 02 – 000216

1986. “Martin Shipshape, Reed Rudderless”. John Martin of South Africa is leading the BOC single-handed yacht race and at 11 am South African time yesterday was reported via the Argos satellite system to be 450 km out of Newport on his way to Cape Town on the first leg of the 43 000 km race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 09 02 091

1992. “Durban Results ‘Disappointing’”. The top Durban team who contested the 1992 Joko Lipton Cup in Hout Bay returned home this week disappointed with their overall result but happy with their campaign effort. The Point Yacht Club entry MMI Mazda finished fourth overall in the 19-strong fleet behind Zeekoevlei, Hout Bay
and Royal Cape.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1992 09 02 426 1

1996. “Protest Wipes Out Top Lipton Crew’s Chances of Winning”. In a dramatic turn at the Lipton Cup regatta in Table Bay one of the pre-race favourites, East London Yacht Club, was disqualified from the opening race after a protest meeting last night.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 09 02 122

2005. “From Swartkops to the America’s Cup”. Local boy Michael Giles is part of Team Shosholoza, South Africa’s entrant in prestigious international sailing contest.
Growing up in the Port Elizabeth suburb of Amsterdamhoek, along the banks of the Swartkops River, developed in Michael Giles a passion for sailing which would eventually become an all-consuming career.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2005 09 02 504

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