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Welcome to Radio Sailing in South Africa website - Enjoy the fun world of Radio Sailing



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.





1975       The first S.A. National Radio control yacht championships were held at "Nema Lake" near  Midrand  and  thereafter rotated annually between the Provinces. Keith Mackey donated a magnificent trophy  for an annual interprovincial event The first of which was held in Durban in December of 1975 and has been held annually since.

Roy Reynolds and Bill van Zyl were chosen to represent South Africa at the first International Radio Controlled R10r and Marblehead event held in Gosport, England.


1978     The World R10r and RM and combined S.A. Nationals were hosted by the Durban Model Yacht Club.


1979     The Nation Championships were held in Cape Town for their first time.


A South African team consisting of Keith Gerson, Brian Rich, Mike De Lange and Garth Thompson went to England to compete in the European Radio Control Marblehead and R10r class Championships and  "A" class International and British vane championships, for which they were all awarded Springbok Colours.

Brian Rich died in 1982 after a short illness.

1980    World RM R10r championships in Ottawa, Canada.

1981     Radio yachting event held in Durban as part of S.A.Games

1982     The RM and R10r world Championships took place in Dunkirk, France. S.A.

1982     Geoff. Mundy and Peter Marklew  represented South Africa at the RM and R10r world Championships in the USA.

1985    Both Bill Reynolds and Keith Mackey, founder members of the Association, passed away.  This was a huge             loss to Radio Sailing.

1986   RM worlds Held at Fleetwood in the U.K.  S.A. was not represented as we were banned from international            sailing  at that time

1987    R10r world Championships held in Gothenberg, Sweden

            The Bill Reynolds R10r Interprovincial trophy race was introduced to be sailed annually rotating between             provinces and consisting of two skippers from each  province.

1988    RM and R10r world Championships held in  Berlin

1990     RM World Championships held at Fleetwood.  S.A Banned from all International yachting

1991   The National Championships were held in Bethlehem at Loch Athlone for the first time

1992     RM world Championships  held in New York

             Peter Simons(27) Goeff  Mundy(61) Eric Stone(63) Gerry Norris(64)

1993   The National Championships were held in Port Elizabeth for the first time

1993    R10r World Championships held in Australia. SA represented by John McKerchar

1994   One Metre World Championships held in Australia

            RM World Championships held at ZeekoeVlei, Cape Town

1996     RM World Championships held in Melbourne,  Australia

1997   One Metre World Championships held in Wellington, New Zealand

1998   RM World Championships held in Paris, France. BarryLoubser was first to receive SAS colours.

1999    R10r  World Championships held in Singapore. SA represented again by John Mckerchar

1999    IOM world Championships held in  Malta

2000    RM World Championships held in Spain. Des Fairbank and Mickey Schierhout get SAS colours.

2002   IOM European Championships. SA represented by Peter Simons, Norrie Taylor and Sheldon McGlone

2004   RCL UK Open Nationals.  Won by Des Fairbank

2005   IOM World Championships in Brisbane. SA Represented by DesFairbank and Simon Clarke

2007    IOM World Championships in France. SA represented by DesFairbank and Simon Clarke

2009   IOM World Championships in Barbados. SA represented by Simon Clarke


Presidents of the Association have been:


            1975 to 1984                           Keith Gerson

            1984 to 1994                           Geoff. Mundy

            1994 to 1998                           Des. Fairbank

            1998 to 2000                           Roy Reynolds

            2000 to 2002                           Paul Schnider

            2002 to 2005                           Des. Fairbank

            2005 to 2006                           Andrew Doyle

            2006 to 2010                           Des Fairbank