On This Day – 21 November. A Newspaper History of Sailing

Richard Crockett

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

The Rio Race in 1971 struck a chord with so many people around the world that there were many heartbreaking stories about those whose lifetime dreams were about to be shattered. “Yacht stranded – no sponsor” said the headline.

John Martin is in the news today several times as in 1985 he joined Padda Kuttel for the second leg of the Whitbread Race, and in 1990 he signed up for the Globe Challenge.

BOC Challenge competitor John Biddlecombe was rescue in the Atlantic by an SA Navy Minesweeper.

‘Silk Cut’ set a new 24-hour record in the Whitbread Race with a distance of 448,9nm.

Tessa Wentzel from Mitchells Plain was out to prove that yachting was not just for rich men with white trousers and a gin & tonic in hand.

1970. “Yacht Stranded – No Sponsor”. Because her sponsor has gone insolvent, one of the biggest and most revolutionary yachts entered in the Cape-to-Rio race in January, the ferro-cement ketch, ‘Petralis’, has been stranded at a port on the south coast of England.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 11 21 328_Redacted

1985. “John Martin in Kuttel’s Crew”. John Martin, one of South Africa’s top yacht racing skippers, has joined the international crew of the maxi ‘Portatan’, which with a new mast fitted in Cape Town will start as a hot favourite for line honours in the second (“Roaring Forties”) leg of the Whitbread Round-the-World Race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1985 11 21 844

1986. “Yacht Skipper Rescued in High Atlantic Seas”. John Biddlecombe, skipper of the R2-million yacht ‘ACI Crusader’, arrived in Cape Town today a weary and disappointed man after being rescued in the Atlantic.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1986 11 21 588

1990. “John Martin Signs Up for the Globe Challenge”. South African yachtsman John Martin yesterday became the first sailor to confirm his entry for the round the world Globe Challenge.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1990 11 21 394 8

1997. “Silk Cut Races to 24-hour Record Despite Storm”. British yacht ‘Silk Cut’, skippered by Lawrie Smith, has set a new world record for distance travelled in 24 hours by a monohull sailing boat, covering 448,9 nautical miles while competing in the Whitbread Round-the-World race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1997 11 21 272

2001. “Vrou wil talle betrek by seilvaartskool”. ‘n Jong vrou van Mitchells Plain is vasbeslote om te bewys dat seiljagvaart nie net vir ryk mans met wit broeke en ‘n jenewer-en-tonikum in die hand is nie.
(TRANSLATION: “Woman Wants to Get Many Involved in Sailing School”. A young woman of Mitchell’s Plain is determined to prove that yachting is not just for rich men with white trousers and a gin-and-tonic in hand).
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  2001 11 21 345_Redacted

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

What is “On this Day” About?
I am 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 before ditching them 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.

This is my personal crusade, and instead of simply archiving and keeping the contents away from prying eyes, I will share my spoils in the hope that you will enjoy reminiscing as much as I have, and continue to do as I wade through the labourious process of scanning each and every cutting in my archives.

As each scanned cutting will be searchable, I will be able to create presentation packs personally tailored to a persons exact requirements – ie. Rathmines 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) who want a record of his/her sailing career for the family archives.

I have already done this by scanning in excess of 4000 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.

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

The possibilities are endless – so watch this space.