History of the class in South Africa

Chile 1985

Team RSA Chile 1985. From left to right: Malcolm Hall, Clive Walker, Andrew Ward, Christiaan Orton, Ian Statham, Shaun Carkeek.

In 1985 the team (Ian Statham, Shaun Carkeek, Clive Walker, Christiaan Orton, Malcolm Hall, Andrew Ward) went to the South Americans in Algorobbo, Chile. Chile had had an earthquake a week earlier, so a lot of he surroundings were in ruins, but fortunately the yacht club and the accommodation was OK. This was the first year that we had the ‘under-13’ scheme: apart from the top 5 from the Nationals, we took the first sailor who at the nationals was under 13 (provided it was organizationally possible) with us as well. The under 13 was Andrew Ward.

At the opening ceremony, the National Anthems of the competing countries were played by a band. But the band did not have the music for the South African one (still “Die Stem” in those days), so we were asked to sing it. To say that I was not traveling with the Drakensberg Boys Choir is a severe understatement: it sounded so bad that a dog started to cry! The waves out at sea were humongous, at times I could not see the Optimists sailing from my rubber duck and then a few moments later you could see the entire fleet from high above. Malcolm was our best skipper with a very credible 6th.

Report and photographs by Hans Thijsse