Warwick Owen of Due North Rum Club fame, managed to come across an old Super 8 film clip of ‘Stroppy’ and sent the editor of Sailing Magazine, Richard Crockett a CD. It came from Bruce Baldwin who had the forethought to save it from his grandfather’s archive.
Stroppy is a Sprog dinghy designed by Port Elizabeth‘s great benefactor and architect Herbert McWilliams
The footage is obviously old, but interesting all the same.
Also shown in the ‘film’ are two canon being fired by the Bridge Officer. These two canon are now housed in the display cabinet at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club (ABYC).
Stroppy is stored in the Bayworld Museum – not on display but viewable if one asks.
As a Naval Architect Herbert McWilliams designed the Sprog Dinghy and launched the first one, Stripy (later renamed Stroppy), in March 1946 at the first post-war inter-club regatta. Interest in this Herbert McWilliams designed dinghy was immediate and the Sprog soon became the largest dinghy class in South Africa. Sprog Dinghies are to be found in the United Kingdom, Philippines, Australia and Honolulu. Up until 2006 the Sprog was the one design dinghy sailed at all South African Universities championships. Other yachting designs that McWilliams had a hand in were the Winger, Extra, Utra, Echo, Bill-ho and Kitcraft. The Extra is still sailed today and some classic wooden examples of this speedy craft are to be seen.