“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Good Hope Knock-down

by Richard Crockett

Staying with the them of news from 30 years ago, today I am sharing the story of a lone singlehander battling to survive a Cape storm, and the stark horror she shares of being knocked down. It’s not the severity of the storm which specifically caught my eye, but rather the sobering list of “Lessons Learned”.

This paragraph gives an indication of the severity of that storm: “The storm increased its fury. I lay in my bunk and listened to the VHF radio to take my mind off the tumult above decks. I was not alone in the maelstrom. A boat called ‘Lady Candice’ was unable to get into Dassen Island anchorage and was running on to Saldanha Bay. ‘Dignity’ had torn a mainsail and was lying under bare poles not too far away. ‘Sinderella’ was being pushed onto rocks somewhere. The intensity of the storm had caught everyone by surprise. Now ‘Lady Candice’ had been pooped, reported the skipper, sounding shocked. The mooring lines of four ships had parted in Cape Town harbour. The sea wall in Kalk Bay had been breached and four fishing boats had sunk. Maximum windspeed reports were between 75 and 105 knots. I did not know it then, but my friends on the yacht ‘Destiny II’ were being taken onto a Russian ship after their ballast moved in a capsize, injuring two of them. ‘Cooee’ kept her rhythm. She was doing alright.”

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE:  Pages from 1994 06 – SA Yachting – OCR

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