“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Grand Old Lady Ready for Action

by Richard Crockett

Who remember when the SA Navy bought three Centurion yachts from a French yard? Their names all began with ‘Southern’, being ‘Southern Isle’, ‘Southern Floe’ and ‘Southern Maid’.

These were fine yachts in their day with all three competing in the 1976 Cape to Rio Race. And they went on to compete in many other events around the country.

I do wonder what has happened to them, and whether the SA Navy still has them, and if so, are they still in a seaworthy condition?

It was good to see that in 1992 ‘Southern Floe’ was refurbished for the Cape to Rio Race.

The introduction in the newspaper cutting at the time read: “Two years of work came to fruition as the Defence Force yacht ‘Southern Floe’ went into the water off Durban’s Salisbury Island after an extensive refit and overhaul in time for the 1993 Rothmans Cape to Rio Race.

This grand old lady of the sea, a Centurion class sloop now over 20 years old, will be skippered by Durban’s Chief Petty Officer Robbie Bowman of the SA Navy.

READ THE FULL REPORT HERE:  1992 10 12 – S&A – 226 – OCR

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