Boat Races

18th July 2009, 17:26
I was on The Capetown Castle from mid Feb to mid July 1964.
In East London, I think, some lifeboats were always put down and a boat race held between the various departments.
Can anyone remember these races? They wern't BOT Sports, just done for fun, and the entertainment of the passengers I suppose.
Was it an event on all Union Castle passenger ships? Did anyone take part (I did)
The lifeboats were fitted with "Welling Gear" so no rowing was required, just strong arms. I also wonder if any record of winners and losers was kept of these races. :sweat:

Chris Isaac
20th July 2009, 09:05
Most of the mail ships did this in East London every trip.
Capt Swivel Eyed Lloyd always used this event to demonstrate how many people could be crammed into a lifeboat. If the boat said there was room for 144 then 144 were embarked.
Other mail ships held races between departments.

20th July 2009, 20:01
I can imagine having a race with 144 souls aboard. Pretty slow I should think.
I remember they were good fun though, and a good celebration afterwards.
I see that according to my DB H L Holland was the Master on the Capetown Castle when I was on her. Not that I recall meeting him, I was only Deck Boy for the firat two trips, then a JOS for my final trip.

nobby s
1st September 2009, 15:30
I well remember taking part in these races on at least 3 of the 'Lavender Ladies' in the very early 60's, including,Athlone,Stirling & Pendennis. As I remember all of these so called races took part in Durban as East London was not an overnight stay but Durban was a 4 day stop-over. Also this was in fact a lifeboat practise but as an added incentive the crew to the first boat back were given ten shillings each and the crew of the second a can of beer. I remember one time in particular as I was really on the sick and therefore did not need to attend with my hand being heavily bandaged. Alas the thought of a 10 shilling note or a can of beer was a strong reason to ignore the exemption note. However on being lowered into the water the rope got entangled in the lifeboats prop and the officer in charge ordered me over the side to release it (ignoring my pleas and showing him my bandaged hand). The next thing was the Chief Officer yelling through a loud hailer "Get that man out of the water! There are sharks in there!" We were then hoisted back on board without even taking part in the race. Sadly no prize !!!!!!!

2nd September 2009, 14:25
Not exactly a race, but I'm uploading a pic into the Gallery taken from the August 1965 edition of the B&C Review showing the Pendennis Castle lifeboat during a "drill" in East London.

john strange
29th May 2010, 06:16
Life boat drill in Durban on the Windsor. Down in the life boat, back up a bloody jacobs ladder. Worse still I was suffereing from a small hangover and got my leg caught between the fleming gear lever and the thwart, very painful.