“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. A ‘Sensational’ 1980 Agulhas Race

by Richard Crockett

Ocean racing is not just about long passages, relentless upwind work and gale force wind, but about ingenuity and the ability to effect repairs effectively at sea with the materials one has aboard.

Well this is how Neil Bailey’s ‘Sensation’ won the Agulhas Race. They broke their forestay shortly after the start and headed downwind to assess the situation and effect repairs. Lesser crew would have baled out there and then and gone home to drown their sorrows in the pub. But, led by Irishman Harold Cudmore, they were back in the race with all hands ordered to be on deck until they had passed their arch rival, Dieter Mielke’s ‘Nutcracker’. Not only did they pass ‘Nutcracker’, but they went on to win on handicap and be second boat home across the line.

The two accounts shared here from Yachtsman RSA magazine and SA Yachting magazine, are good reading and show how relentlessly one has to sail in distance races to win.

Fascinating also are the “Bridge Sheets” which in those day were hand-written sheets of paper all stuck together in a spreadsheet. Well, after all it was long before the modern-day computer! And, thanks to modern day technology I have been able to stitch the pages together.

I have unashamedly added various additional files that I have found in my archives, so have a look at them all – and enjoy the race.

READ THE YACHTSMAN RSA REPORT HERE:  1981 02 – YACHTSMAN RSA – pgs 16 & 17 – OCR

READ THE SA YACHTING REPORT HERE:  Pages from 1981 02 – SA Yachting – OCR

SEE THE MARK-ROUNDING SPREADSHEETS HERE:  1980 Castle Agulhas Race Result Sheets – Class 1 & 2 – OCR

SEE THE ENTRY LIST HERE:  1980 agulhas race – ENTRY LIST – 001478 – OCR

SEE THE RESULTS HERE:  Pages from results – 001499