“Talking Sailing” by Richard Crockett – issue 40

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issue – 40
22 March 2016

by Richard Crockett
Publisher & Editor of SAILING Magazine

Reader response is welcome – respond to: editor@sailing.co.za

Readers are encouraged to forward this to their sailing mates

With the Easter long-weekend upon us, and loads of sailing events to choose from right across the country from Inhaca Island to Saldanha Bay, my message is simply this: Sail hard; Sail Safely; Sail Fairly.

And to those Vasco da Gama Race entrants who are spending this weekend at sea, either racing the Inhaca to Richard’s Bay Race, or delivering their boats from Cape Town, Cape St Francis and Port Elizabeth, please keep an eye on the barometer and the weather reports – I find PredictWind to be especially accurate along our coast, so check it out at: www.predictwind.com or download their app onto your smartphone.

With so many people on leave and away sailing, I thought about writing a very short “Talking Sailing” this month, and even dedicating this issue to the Dabchick Class 60th which is this year, but with so much good info to talk about, you have a jam-packed issue to enjoy at your leisure during the holiday period.

In this issue we “Talk About”…
• Our Olympians
• Dabchick – 60th Anniversary
• Was my Face RED!
• Oceans of Plastic
• I Love the Enthusiasm of Youth
• How to Encourage Kids
• What A Novel Concept – Leaving the Rule Book At Home!
• Oracle Team USA Capsize
• It’s ALL in a Name!
• Those Modern Ropes
• Bloopers are Back!
• Team Sca in 100,000 Pieces!
• Seven Miles Deep, the Ocean is Noisy
• Rogue Waves
• Where Have all the Old Solings Gone?
• Historical Dates of Interest in March & April
• How True! This Simply Needs to Be Said!
• I Like This!
• Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
• A Lasting Gift – A Subscription to Sailing Magazine
• Sailor of the Month – Submit Your Nomination Now
• To Subscribe to “Talking Sailing”

Our Olympians
Stefano Marcia has been ‘down-under’ competing in events in Sydney and beyond, and undoubtedly concentrating fully on his Olympic campaign as little info is filtering through from him.

In the last issue I mentioned that Asenathi Jim and Roger Hudson were about to compete in the 470 Worlds in Argentina. Those who did not follow their progress on SAILING Gybeset (www.sailing.co.za/gybeset) may not know how well they performed, and how proud we as a nation should be, as they put in a stunning performance with really good results.

Their results were: 3; 16; 6; 11; 1; 22; 21; 28; 28; 8 – putting them 11th overall.

These need some analysis though. They were 3rd overall after day 2 and after day 3 they LED the fleet overall having won race 5. To win a race and lead a world championship are simply incredible, and the stuff that some people can only dream of. Yet Asenathi and Roger did just this.

Regrettably their regatta did not go well from there as the results show, and this second half slump that has been a semi-regular occurrence in their regattas, is something they will undoubtedly be working on.

There is a full interview with both Asenati and Roger in the April issue of SAILING Magazine (which will be on sale from Tuesday, and which has been posted to subscribers) as well as an interview with Alex Burger and Brevan Thompson who are two young members of their training squad who have been given the enviable task of being managers and coaches at various events. These opportunities don’t come often for our youngsters, and these two are revelling in the opportunity given and the experience they are gaining while rubbing shoulders with the best dinghy sailors in the world.

No-one should be surprised by this youth element as Roger is a very lateral and deep thinker who has earned the admiration of the sailing world internationally for his out-of-the-box thinking, and the way he has managed this campaign without the huge infrastructure many of the international teams have as they are ‘privateers’ – basically a self-funded campaign.

What I particularly like about this campaign is the fact that at every world championship this team has improved being 32nd in 2014; 21st in 2015 and 11th in 2016. Yet they are not completely satisfied and anything but complacent especially when Roger reveals that their goal for this event, as submitted to SASCOC, was to finish in the top 10.

When asked: “In your wildest dreams did you ever think you would win a world championship race and then lead the event overall at the halfway mark?” Roger’s immediate reply was a resounding YES!

As I said earlier, read the full interview in the April issue of SAILING Magazine.

Asenathi and Roger have now left for Europe where they will compete in a regatta in Palma, followed by the European Championship and two other events before heading home for their final training preparations before heading to Rio and the Olympics.

Dabchick – 60th Anniversary
The response I have received to my request for information from former Dabbie sailors has been very interesting and encouraging. But there are lots more Dabbie sailors out there who have a story to tell, so again I request that you put pen to paper – WOW! That’s really old school and so 20th century – so rather fingers to the keyboard or keypad and send me (editor@sailing.co.za) your thoughts, as well as a few old pics.

So, here’s the official call to all Dabbie sailors, and the National and Provincial Champions and medal winners – wherever you are and whenever you sailed a Dabbie to make contact and share your experiences and photographs with “Talking SAILING” and SAILING Magazine readers. Send to: editor@sailing.co.za

I have received correspondence from round-the-world sailor and world record holder Nick Leggatt who has shared his memories of his Dabchick days. These are in the April issue of SAILING Magazine.

Colin Dibb who now lives in Australia has contributed, not just words but some old press cuttings as well.

Donald Alexander, now resident in the USA, also shared his thoughts, as has Dave Hibberd who represented this country in the Olympics (Laser) in 2000. Hibberd is resident in the USA and has just embarked on a two-year round the world sailing sabbatical with his wife and kids.

Arthur Roffe, now resident in Australia, also reminisced about the Dabbie and how he built his.

Locally Frans Loots has also contributed.

What their comments do show emphatically is what a wonderful boat the Dabbie is, and how much these guys learnt about sailing by being let loose on these humble boats.

We all owe Jack Koper, the Dabbie designer, a deep debt of gratitude.

Space does not permit the full text from the above contributors, but in one form or another they will be used in their entirety in the future either in SAILING Magazine or in a special Dabchick edition of “Talking Sailing”.

Frans Loots: As a kid, I recall our neighbour had a set, complete with details of how to make your own sails. I could not convince my non-sailing Dad to build me one. He believed there was no point in having a boat where your butt was dragging in the water. So like a real bunch of nerds we built an Optimist instead. I never forgave him for that.

Many years later my son agreed with me that his own Optimist was in fact a nerd’s boat. I was keen that we should build him the Dabchick which I never had. But he in turn said no, he does not like that ‘Boogy Board boat’ and would prefer that ‘Optimist with a spinnaker’, which was in fact a Mirror. So I never got to build a Dabchick! A seriously deprived childhood.

Colin Dibb: My fondest memories of this time were the school holidays sailing on Durban Bay. My Dad would drop us at the PYC everyday before he went to work and we were under strict instructions to be back on the slipway before 17h00, but we never were. We would explore all the interesting parts of the Island and regularly get into strife losing our boats to the rising tide.

Some of the most exciting times were when we would get caught over there when a westerly Buster came through and still had to sail home. We quickly learnt important seamanship lessons about how to team up and tow each other back under jib only, still planing the whole way.

Racing Dabchicks on the Bay was so much fun because they have such a good planing shape. In about 1968-70 I won one of the big PYC handicap trophies (Bar Anniversary Mug, Johnson Cup or BP Shield, can’t remember which, but hopefully engraved on one of them still) by apparently passing John Sully in his FD screaming down the channel in a massive buster (I didn’t notice them whilst trying to survive and only found out afterwards).

I personally believe I learnt more about how to sail fast during this period than any amount of coaching would have done.

Donald Alexander: I believe I learnt much of my sailing and basic seamanship back in those days. Not to mention self sufficiency.

David Hibberd: Wow on the Dabbie – 60 years!!!! That has to be one of the best boats I have ever sailed – super fun, exhilarating, and taught me so much. I loved that boat, especially in a breeze!!!

Arthur Roffe: I was in Standard 9 in Durban in 1959, and was wanting to build an RC model sailing boat. A guy at school said for a little more money, I could build a Dabchick and he supplied me a plan of Number 82 (though I realise now that it was probably a ‘Photostat – hence pirated).

I built it from scrap wood in my Dad’s garage and bought the marine ply and the machined mast (which I had to glue up and hand shape myself – what a mission). Those days the recommended glue was Cascamite (powder mixed with water). I knew nothing about boat building and broke a number of BRASS screws before realizing I had to drill pilot holes first! The Meranti for the bow was hard and fractious and a pain to machine – no electric drills or power tools then. Today’s Meranti is so much easier to work.

The plan said the sail had to be made by me from Cotton, BUT my Mom refused and I had to buy Terylene sails from Fast Sails. Eventually I got it finished and put it on Durban Bay. I fell off and she rammed a bollard, all the Cascamite joints opened and the whole outfit nearly sank. Back home for a refit!

Two Possible Dabchick Projects
There are two projects I would like to get up-and-running, one being a long-shot, the other being completely feasible.

With time still available, I would like to see Clubs, individuals, schools and scouting groups and more to consider building a new Dabchick in time for the 60th Anniversary celebrations at the Youth Nationals in December. Time is of the essence, although I do have an expert in wooden boat building who is willing to take on the project of building one boat, documenting the process and having it published as he goes along. Plus, he may also be able to produce pre-cut kits which would make the build process just that much easier.

In the old days so many Dabbie sailors watched and assisted as their fathers, school teachers and others created a boat which gave them so many hours of enjoyment – and a lifetime of memories as a sailor!

As a new generation, let’s do this for the kids of today.

This is an attempt to create new interest in the Dabbie, and to get new people on the water. Remember, when the Dabbie was first launched and being sailed, the Optimist dinghy had not become the force it is today – in this country anyway.

If there are people interested, please contact me personally at: editor@sailing.co.za

I can already hear some saying that fibreglass boats are better than wooden ones. The above project is being considered to simply get ‘bums on boats’ – and NOT to produce the winner of the 2016 Dabchick nationals, so this debate is not relevant.

The second project is to source as many old Dabchicks and equipment as possible, for people to renovate with their kids or anyone interested. There have to be many old Dabbies lying around gathering dust that are crying out to be refurbished and put back on the water.

If anyone has such a boat, let me know (editor@sailing.co.za) and I will pass the information on to ensure the boat is put in good hands.

Was my Face RED!
As I was finalising the last issue of “Talking Sailing” I received info on ‘Hugo Boss’ being spotted in Patagonia, having been abandoned nearly ten years earlier.

I mentioned that she may have drifted around the BOTTOM of South America and UP the West coast of South America. I said this in haste and without thinking logically about the ocean currents which are very powerful. After publishing this additional information was received suggesting she went more than half way around the world with the ocean’s currents before coming to rest.

My error was picked up by two alert readers.

From Patrick D Morant of the CSIR in Stellenbosch: I read the item on the Hugo Boss discovery with interest. I don’t think that the hull travelled westwards around the Horn to Chile. Think of all the square-riggers that battled to get through to the Pacific against the westerlies and currents. Certainly the hull would have never made it through the Magellan Straits. I think the hull went ‘downhill’ i.e. eastwards across the southern Indian Ocean and the South Pacific somehow missing Tasmania and New Zealand before ending up in Chile.

Malcolm Osborne. Hugo Boss – I think the hull actually drifted eastward, across the Indian and Pacific oceans to arrive on South America. The prevailing wind down south is from the West.

Oceans of Plastic
The oceans are the most magnificent, diverse and abundant ecosystem on the planet, and every day they are facing attack in the form of plastic, toxic chemicals and waste which is extremely damaging to marine life, plants and habitats.

Every year we dump over eight million tons of plastic into the ocean. Not only does this plastic get mistaken for food by wildlife, it also manages to find its way back to coastlines and beaches causing damage and destruction on its journey. Plastic takes, on average, 400 years to degrade, and even then it only breaks down into smaller pieces, which may not be visible to the human eye.

Toxic chemicals are also being deliberately dumped into the ocean by industrial sources at an alarming rate. Additionally, surface run-off from rain and flooding carries chemicals such as fertilizers, petrochemicals and animal waste with them into oceans.

Small, free-floating plastics have the ability to absorb these toxic chemicals, as do the plankton which form a key part of marine food chains. Plankton is eaten by small marine creatures, which are then eaten by larger fish, which inevitably end up on our plates.

Over time, exposure to these kinds of toxic chemicals can cause serious diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even Parkinson’s disease.

We have so much to thank our oceans for. Not only do they provide routes from one continent to another, researchers and scientists have found that certain marine plants have the ability to help reduce pain and inflammation in humans as well as help in the fight against certain cancers.

In addition, the oceans provide over 70 percent of the oxygen that we breathe and over 97 percent of the world’s water supply. Without the oceans, mankind would not exist.

There is still time to make a change. Learning about the oceans and how vital this system is to our survival will help bring about the changes needed to protect them. Plastic use can be reduced, and this could include using reusable water bottles and reusable shopping bags. This will save money, and in the long term help to protect our oceans.

The above was written by Andrew Dilevics and first appeared in The Maritime Executive. Readers are encouraged to follow this link to see some excellent graphics and more as to how plastic is destroying our oceans: http://maritime-executive.com/blog/oceans-of-plastic

I Love the Enthusiasm of Youth
I always make a point in all the material I receive of reading about the promotion of kids in sailing. Below is what I believe we want our kids to experience. Those rewards and memories are far greater than race and regatta results alone while the experiences, the friendships and memories will stand them in much better stead later in life.

Scuttlebutt News recently had the following under the heading ‘Heck of A Ride’:
My daughter has done lots of big boat sailing over the years, and even took control of our sportboat with teens only on Friday nights during her last several high school years. Her exposure is relatively broad, but now as a college senior, she summed up the many past threads about losing millennial sailors in one heart-wrenching sentence: “My best sailing days in life end in three months”.

I started to suggest that future sailing could still be good, but she quickly interjected “Dad, it’s about the competition, the travel and van rides, so many races good and bad, the camaraderie, the many friends, and my team. It will never be better than the last four years.”

How to Encourage Kids
Having spent fourteen years working with a junior program, I would offer the opinion that if you want to be successful, you need to encourage the kids to accept responsibility for themselves and not rely on the Nanny State for everything. You need to have faith in what you preach, and that means faith in the kids.

An example would be kid-organized Man Overboard drills, (that would be Person-in-the Water [PIW] drills for some of you “adults”). After sailing, the kids and their parents place dinner orders and have to wait while the galley cooks their meals. With some time on their hands, the kids often start a pick up soccer game. If by bad luck, the ball gets loose and falls into the lake, they self-organize a rescue party.

Somebody watches the ball, others look for ways to get within reach, others run to the shed to get the big net used to pick trash out of the water. Typically, within two minutes they have recovered the ball and go back to their soccer game. To them, it is no big deal. To a wise person, they have just demonstrated co-operation, teamwork, critical thinking, and sportsmanship. If they need a little bit of mentoring, fine. But for the most part, just sit back and watch. Junior Fleet is for KIDS! It is not for adults, or nannies!

If you require proof of concept, I would offer the observation that kids treated this way have done great things as they have gotten older. One girl (now a wife & mother) is a part of the reigning J/24 North American Champion team; she does bow. One boy became the first local Sea Scout to attain the rank of Quartermaster in 26 years and got to sail on the USCG’s sail training ship, Eagle, as a teenager.
Our biggest problem with keeping teenagers in the program has been losing them to adult racing programs. How do you keep them down in Club 420s when they get to sail on J/111s, J/105s and J/70s? From Scuttlebutt News.

What A Novel Concept – Leaving the Rule Book At Home!
The O’pen Bic is a singlehander designed for young sailors. Launched in 2006, it is recognised by World Sailing (formerly ISAF). The ideal weight for a sailor of this boat is 30kg – 65kg although it can accommodate up to 90kg making it suitable for children and young teens, the same people who would sail Optimist dinghies and are looking for a more exciting boat!

The Class world champs are being sailed soon, with a 100-boat fleet expected, and where FUN is important.

In the NOR for the event is the following extract:
The purpose of this event is to run a fun event for youth sailors in a more loosely competitive style in dynamic junior boats. Results are not nearly as important as everyone having a good time sailing. It is our goal that the sailors improve their skills, make new friends, and have a ton of fun.

This event will be a combination of “conventional” style race formats with unorthodox “Un-Regatta” style courses and events. Don’t expect conventional round the buoys racing or upwind starts for all races. Capsizes, freestyle, speed and fun will be required.

If you are a hard-core racer with rule book in hand, this event may not be for you. If you want to have fun, challenge your limits, and pioneer a new chapter in Youth Sailing, we invite you to come join the fun.

Is there anyone locally in South Africa with enough courage to include the above in the NOR for their event? If so, please stand up and be counted as you will be making sailing history in this country.

Oracle Team USA Capsize
In early March ORACLE TEAM USA became the first America’s Cup team to capsize during training in Bermuda. Fortunately, there were no injuries and minimal damage to the AC45S training boat the team was sailing.

The teams press release on this was a good ‘save’ and PR at it’s best as it gave one the impression that all was well and that capsizes may just be part of the deal! Read on:

Following a crew rotation, helmsman Tom Slingsby had only been on the boat a few minutes before the mishap occurred. Despite this being a best-case scenario capsize with no injuries, it was still a traumatic experience.

“The boys had been sailing for a while, probably about 18-20 knots of breeze,” said helmsman Tom Slingsby. “We’d just done the crew swap, I’d just jumped on the boat. We went into a bear-away, all good, we went through a full foiling gybe. But as I was crossing, I saw we were getting too much heel on the boat…

“When you capsize, it’s all on the skipper. The first thing I thought when I got washed off the boat was to get back on the boat because I need to be running the show for the recovery and to make sure everyone is safe.”

In this case, the full crew was quickly accounted for, the boat was righted in less than five minutes, and was able to sail back to base under its own power.

It’s ALL in a Name!
Australians resent how Oracle Team AUS continually has its name misspelled…

ED. The bulk of the crew are Australian and NOT American.

Those Modern Ropes
Modern ropes are all well and good in that they are stronger, lighter and generally more versatile than those of yesteryear. But they do come with issues that Marlow Ropes has identified, and attempted to resolve with innovative product coatings.

The youngsters of today probably don’t even know that in the old days there were WIRE halyards and sheets. I remember Dave Cox and others splicing wire to rope for his main halyard, and ensuring that the wire came on to the winch! But that was in the dark ages, and times have changed for the better.

This is what Marlow Ropes have come up with, having launched three new coatings to complement our existing coating range.

Thermocoat: A revolutionary new coating that is used as a thermochromic indicator to any rope, but particularly uHMwPE ropes which can experience irreversible damage and potential strength loss when exposed to temperatures as low as 80°C (time dependant). ThermoCoat is specially formulated to offer a permanent colour change when the temperature of the rope reaches 80°C. The indicator will then continue to intensify in colour as the temperature increases.

pH-I: Another unique coating in the rope industry, which offers a distinct and permanent colour change marker that will change from yellow to red when exposed to strong acids. Even a 20 second exposure to some acids can weaken a rope by 25%, compromising safety. Longer exposure will increase this strength loss. pH-I Static (Permanent Halochromic Indicator) offers a clearly defined permanent colour change, indicating when a rope has been compromised by strong acid chemicals and should be retired.

EnduraCoat: Specially formulated rope coating, which offers a significant improvement in abrasion resistance. Tests have shown that EnduraCoat can increase abrasion resistance by a factor of 350% when compared to standard PU coatings. EnduraCoat is ideally used in high abrasion areas such as load bearing eyes and chafe sleeves.  www.marlowropes.com

Bloopers are Back!
No, bloopers are NOT those funny videos one sees on DSTV these days. A Blooper is fact a downwind sail used extensively in the ‘70s and were flown when going downwind in addition to the spinnaker! The crew really had their work cut out for them then.

They may see some form of a resurgence as the 2016 edition of the Offshore Racing Rule (ORR) rating system has now made bloopers legal for boats built during the era of bloopers.

The ORR is a rating system for offshore cruising/racing boats. www.offshoreraceracingrule.org

Team SCA in 100,000 Pieces!
A model boat of Team SCA, made entirely of 100,000 LEGO pieces, will now be exhibited in the Volvo Ocean Race museum.

The model was donated by SCA, the Swedish global hygiene company, which sponsored skipper Sam Davies’s crew in the nine-month marathon race.

It was displayed at each of the 11 ports that hosted the 12th edition before being transported to its new permanent home in the Alicante-based Volvo Ocean Race museum.

“The boat is in the best place possible. After a long journey around the world, it has returned home,” said Anders Gaasedal, one of the men who constructed it.

The Dane, who works for LEGO, embarked in 2013 on the challenge of making the Volvo Ocean 65 replica together with his Swedish friend Johan Sahlström, an engineer for Volvo Trucks. They achieved their target after 1,200 hours of work.

“At the start of the regatta, we dreamed of bringing the boat back to Alicante. This has been an adventure for us and for Team SCA. It’s marvellous that the boat is being exhibited in the museum. The more people who can enjoy it the better,” added Sahlström.

What started as a diverting challenge for two friends, developed into a complete engineering and logistic project, replicating in miniature the dimensions of the boat (2.32 metres in length, 3.03 metres mast height, 0.56 metres width of the hull). It has a functioning, scaled-down keel (+/- 40 degrees with five degrees of tilt from its axis).

“Everything works, the pieces are not stuck together. The most difficult thing was making everything curve using pieces that are basically rectangular. This is the most beautiful model that I have ever made,” said Sahlström.

“Our boat from the distance looks like a real model, you can´t see it´s made of LEGO bricks, and then, when you come closer, it´s a great surprise. Everything has curves, it´s been built in 3D, the bricks have been put together from the top, the side and the bottom, and all is shiny. Children always build from the bottom to the top.”

Seven Miles Deep, the Ocean is Noisy
For what may be the first time, NOAA and partner scientists have listened to the deepest part of the world’s ocean and instead of finding a sea of silence, discovered a cacophony of sounds both natural and caused by humans.

For three weeks, a titanium-encased hydrophone recorded ambient noise from the ocean floor at a depth of more than 36,000 feet, or seven miles, in the Challenger Deep trough in the Mariana Trench near Micronesia.

Researchers from NOAA, Oregon State University and the U.S. Coast Guard were surprised by how much they heard. “You would think that the deepest part of the ocean would be one of the quietest places on Earth,” said Robert Dziak, a NOAA research oceanographer and chief project scientist. “Yet there is almost constant noise. The ambient sound field is dominated by the sound of earthquakes, both near and far, as well as distinct moans of baleen whales and the clamor of a category 4 typhoon that just happened to pass overhead.”

The hydrophone also picked up sound from ship propellers. Challenger Deep is close to Guam, a regional hub for container shipping with China and the Philippines.

Getting these first recordings wasn’t easy in an underwater trough deep enough to hold Mount Everest.

“The pressure at that depth is incredible,” said Haru Matsumoto, an Oregon State ocean engineer who worked with NOAA engineer Chris Meinig to adapt the hydrophone. “We had to drop the hydrophone mooring down through the water column at no more than five metres per second to be sure the hydrophone, which is made of ceramic, would survive the rapid pressure change.”

While atmospheric pressure in the average home or office is 14.7 pounds per square inch (PSI), it is more than 16,000 PSI at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Rogue Waves
Sailing history is rife with tales of monster-sized rogue waves — huge, towering walls of water that seemingly rise up from nothing to dwarf, then deluge, vessel and crew. Rogue waves can measure eight times higher than the surrounding seas and can strike in otherwise calm waters, with virtually no warning.

Now a prediction tool developed by MIT engineers may give sailors a 2-3 minute warning of an incoming rogue wave, providing them with enough time to shut down essential operations on a ship or offshore platform.

The tool, in the form of an algorithm, sifts through data from surrounding waves to spot clusters of waves that may develop into a rogue wave. Depending on a wave group’s length and height, the algorithm computes a probability that the group will turn into a rogue wave within the next few minutes.

“It’s precise in the sense that it’s telling us very accurately the location and the time that this rare event will happen,” said Themis Sapsis, the American Bureau of Shipping Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. “We have a range of possibilities, and we can say that this will be a dangerous wave, and you’d better do something. That’s really all you need.”

Where Have all the Old Solings Gone?
The first Soling, NOR 1, was built and designed in Norway by Jan Linge in 1965, and it’s still sailing some 51 years later.

Dr Hamish Campbell of Durban was the doyen of the class and it was he who really put the class on the map locally. A dynamic man and passionate sailor, he even went as far as writing to the Minister of Sport asking for assistance in setting up the class and facilitating the importation of boats!

SAS records reflect that 19 or 20 were sailing in South Africa from 1968 until 1975. Recently much work has been done to try and trace and revive these classic vessels in order to preserve this unique heritage. We have traced boats to overgrown boat yards and farm warehouses where they have lain for decades in various states of disarray. Some may hopefully be able to be restored by passionate sailors.

SA 1 – 9 were built by Tyler in the UK and were imported by Dr Hamish Campbell. SA 2 & SA 7 remain untraced and SA 13 is believed to have been sent overseas. In January 1969 SA 8 was invoiced by Tyler boats for R2787.36 and was delivered later that year. The price was a tidy sum in those days.

SA 10 – SA 15 were made by Prodorite in the Transvaal in the early ‘70s and uncertainty exists over the identity of SA 11 & SA 12 of which one appears missing and the other at Theewaters.

Two boats each were imported from Norway and UK of which two are at Midmar. We have traced 13 of the original 20 boats, with seven boats at Midmar, four in the Cape and one each in Vaal Marina and in Bloemfontein.

Stories about the Soling abound. According to Nick Hastie of Seaport Supplies in Durban, one boat was fitted with a cabin and another had an outboard motor well cut into the hull. Apparently SA 12 was abandoned at RCYC in 1980, and another at Harare Yacht Club. Another, possibly SA 16, was destroyed in a motor accident.

So the big question is where are the missing boats?

It is hoped to gather sufficient restored boats to hold a Soling Nationals which will be a first if ever held, for many decades in SA.

An enthusiastic group of Soling sailors are seeking old photos, previous owners’ details and the whereabouts of the last remaining boats as it is intended to create a complete digital record of this piece of South African sailing history.

Anyone with any information, past or present, on any of these boats or having any information of any boats current location, please contact Robin McIntosh – robinm@herefordgroup.co.za

Historical Dates of Interest in March & April
11 March 1968. Otis Redding was posthumously awarded a Gold Record for his song ‘Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay’

27 March 1899. The first wireless radio transmission across the English Channel was made, between Wimereux, near Boulogne, France, and the South Foreland Lighthouse, near Dover, England.

5 April 1654. A treaty between England and the Netherlands codified the custom whereby two ships dip colours in recognition of sovereignty.

Friday 11 April is apparently cheese fondue day!

17 April 1790. Benjamin Franklin, who is thought to have been the first person to experiment with the use of oil to calm rough seas, died.

24 April 1916. The lifeboat ‘James Caird’ departed Elephant Island off Antarctica for South Georgia Island in a desperate attempt to save the crew of Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-16 expedition to Antarctica.

25 April 1859. Construction began on the Suez Canal.

How True! This Simply Needs to Be Said!
The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world. Carl Sagan

I Like This!
“I’ve learned that one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.” Andy Rooney

Some Selected Responses to “Talking Sailing”
● Missing catamaran. A photo (taken by an NSRI diver) was published on the internet of the builders plaque on the upturned hull, identifying it as being built by Robertson & Caine. Thus I think it was 99% identified. It was another tragedy that it was lost again.

● Your reference to the 400 years since the first rounding of Cape Horn refers. There is an interesting book called ‘Rounding The Horn’ by Dallas Murphy which chronicles the attempts while the author actually sails on a similar voyage with Skip Novak.

● Yes I agree with the comments on ‘The Scourge of Social Media!’ On that Saturday the wind never got to more than 14 knots. The lack of wind was frustrating!! The other thing about whatsapp is we see excuses for not sailing and less of “I am going sailing” or” can’t wait to go sailing”. There is no doubt that if you ramp up the promotion of sailing be it a Saturday or event, the numbers come. So social media does work – you just have to target your market and control it like you are doing.

● Thanks for all that you do for SA Sailing and for sharing the news.

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Sailors of the Month – 2016
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