On This Day – 22 December. A Newspaper History of Sailing

by Richard Crockett

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

Today the written word plays a minor role in our history with the power of pictures taking pride of place. So be sure to follow the link to see all the pics.

1970. “’Full Speed ·Ahead’ At Race HQ”. The naval base adjoining the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town, SAS Unitie, has become fully operational as Rio race headquarters, and from this base the race committee is now feverishly preparing for the 3 600-mile international competition.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1970 12 22 834

1996. “Row After Gale Havoc”. Storms of controversy among competitors and the committee matched the fury of the weather that left yachts crippled and broken, in the windiest Rothman’s Week in years.
Seventy-four km/h south-easterly winds screaming over Table Bay yesterday caused carnage in the Rothman’s Week sailing fleet, as yachts broached, booms broke, sails shredded and a row broke out among the competitors.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 12 22 888

1996. “Lasers Light Up the Action”. The Laser class is lights ahead of the opposition at the moment.
Becoming an Olympic sport has definitely contributed towards an upsurge in interest in this class of sailing. There is also a ready source of boats on the market and this has helped local sailors.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1996 12 22 889

1999. “Brave Bruce to Set Sail From Sydney”. The memories are fading, but the nightmare of the hellish storm that exploded on the 1998 Sydney-Hobart yacht race – killing six sailors – still haunts those who will again do duty in this year’s race.
To read the full report, Click on the following LINK:  1999 12 22 170

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 8500 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.

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