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 A BRIEF HISTORY OF MODEL YACHT RACING IN SOUTH AFRICA

 

In 1937 Charlie Cole joined the Durban Society of Model Engineers.  His interest was mainly in model yachts and he founded the Durban Model Yacht and Power Boat Club in 1937/1938.  Sailing took place at a lake at Mt. Edgecombe and later at Ubogintwini lagoon until the Outbreak of the Second World War Charlie was active in sailing until his death in 1989

 

In 1945 the Durban Pond at Blue Lagoon was officially opened.  The Club sailed "A",10R and Marblehead class vane steered boats. There was also a Power boat section.

DMYC  became the  official  S.A. representative of the International Model Yacht Racing Union (IMYRU)

 

Scale boating also took place at Emmarentia Lake in Johannesburg Under the auspices of the Johannesburg Model Marine club. There being one or  two sailing vessels.

 

The East Rand Model Boat club was founded in Springs by Bill Reynolds in 1968.  The club catered mainly for scale boats and power boats.  The first radio controlled Yacht was a "Starlet" 36inch plywood boat with a home made winch, launched in November 1969.

The Club waters were originally in Springs but later moved to Brakpan and then Boksburg and eventually to Southern Cross Sailing Club at Emmerentia in JHB.

 

Jimmy Smith founded Pretoria Model Boat Club some time later. Their home waters were in Silverton, Pretoria, and after moving to two or three different venue they moved to the lake at Centurion, Eventually changing their name to the Centurion Radio Yacht Club.  Sailing soon took over from scale modeling in both the East Rand and the Pretoria Clubs to become the most popular form of the sport.

 

In 1969 the S.A.Model Power Boating Association was the self-appointed controlling body for all model boating and was divided into power, scale and yachting divisions.

 

The East Rand Model Boat Club withdrew from the Model Power Boating Association in 1971 and together with the Pretoria Model Boat Club and the Durban Model Yacht and Powerboat Club,  through Keith Mackey, Keith Gerson and Jimmy Smith, formed the  Model Yacht Association of South Africa, together with its Provincial Associations. Natal and Transvaal were the initial Provincial Associations but were soon joined be Western Province and later Eastern Province and in about 1990 by the Free State.

The MYASA became  the official representative of the IMYRU in S.A.

The Radio controlled boats sailed in the Tranvaal at that time were not in line with international classes.   In Durban, vane controlled International M and 10r classes were sailed.  In 1971 the International Radio Controlled  "M" and 10R classes were introduced throughout S.A.

 

In 1978 South Africa donated the South Africa Cup to the then IMYRU to be sailed for at International Marblehead Class World Championships. This was returned to South Africa during sanctions. It was then donated back after sanctions but is now sailed for using IOM Class Yachts.

 

In 1988 the 36’Shipmate a South African one design class was introduced and in 1999 the International One Metre class was introduced.

 

In 1997 the name of the Association was changed to "South African Radio Sailing Association"  ('SARSA').      South African Sailing (SAS) was formed, taking over from SAYRA.   SARSA is affiliated to SAS through the Clubs.

 

 

In 2003  East Rand Model Boat Club and Centurion Radio Sailing Club combined to become the Northvaal Radio Sailing Club, sailing at Wemmerpan and Centurion. The Transvaal Model Yacht Association was disbanded and Northvaal Radio Sailing Club became the representative body of SARSA in Gauteng.

 

2003 also saw the formation of the Free State Radio Sailing Club in Bloemfontein.

 

In 2009 the Garden Route Radio Boat Club officially joined.