“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. Head Over Keels

by Richard Crockett

Some people may feel as if they know Bruce Dalling quite well having followed him and ‘Voortrekker’ during the Singlehanded Transatlantic Race in 1968.

Today is an opportunity to take you back to the days before he became famous, and to show why he had the experience and ability to become “our man” in guiding ‘Voortrekker’ singlehanded 56 years ago.

Way back in 1966 an article in the Sunday Tribune, under the headline “A Head Over Keels Yacht” stated that he had become only the third man in the history of sailing to survive a pitchpole – when a yacht overturns end over end off the Zululand coast.

This happened to his 25-foot Virtue class sloop, ‘Carina’ on a long singlehanded passage from Hong Kong to Durban via the Seychelles, a 16 000nm passage.

It was on this passage that he learnt the philosophy of life. “The longest period I spent out there was 46 days. During a time like that, a man has a lot of time to think. The nights are very cold and long, and the stars very bright. One has a chance to equate oneself with the world. Memories come back to one far more vividly than ever before. I used to sit below sometimes for forty to fifty hours and never get tired or bored” he said.

This long singlehanded passage undoubtedly made him the man for ‘Voortrekker”.

READ HEAD OVER KEELS YACHT HERE:  1966 07 31 – Sunday Tribune – Bruce Dalling Archives – 002292_Redacted – S&A – OCR

READ LONE VOYAGER LEARNS PHILOSOPHY HERE:  1966 07 30 – Daily News – Bruce Dalling Archives – 002293_Redacted – S&A – OCR

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