Regarding the Bongers 39 and Outburst.
Bobby Bongers' dad Pop Bongers designed the boat but no doubt Bobby had a lot of input. I have read that the hull shape of the Flying Dutcman Olympic dinghy
also influenced the design.
The boat was conceived for the Bongers family
to enter the first Cape To Rio Race
in 1971. The emphasis was on a good downwind boat.
Brothers Bobby and Eric (a former Olimpic Finn sailor, 6th in Melbourne 1956) built three boats in cold moulded wood.
Outburts was tiller steered despite an aft cabin
and transom hung rudder
Two of these sailed in the 71 Rio Race:
Outburst, Bobby Bongers. 7th on handicap, 3rd in class three.
Port Rex, Bunny Curran
In the 1973 Rio Race:
Outburst, now owned by Bill O'Rielly.
Seven Seas, W Smith.
After the 1973 Rio Race, Outburst was part of the 1973 South African Admirals'Cup team but Outburst did not do well. I recall
she did fair in the '73 Fastnet Race. I do not think the boat was well suited to the IOR rule
seeing that it was conceived as a downwind flier.
Bill O 'Rielly kept Outburst for a very long time and the boat was well maintained. Last I saw her, (1980) she was painted bottle green.
Port Rex, Bunny Curran's boat saw a busy life. He cruised the boat to Europe
after the '71 Race and returned to South Africa single
handed (about 7 000 n/miles). Port Rex then had a string of owners and raced Cape Town
to Punta Del Este Uruguay in 1979 as Foschiny Girl crewed by a female team. The boat was looking a bit sad by then. Last I heard she was lying on one of South Africa's inland dams in a bad state.
Another Bongers 39 was built in cold moulded wood in Durban by Mike Boettcher. It was stretched to about 12 meters and the rudder
was moved forward, no longer transom hung. The cockpit
was also moved aft. It was called Hexe and sailed the 1982 South Atlantic Race, Cape Town
to Punta Del Este. It finished halfway down the fleet and continued on to the US after the race.
In the early 1980's a Cape Town company took a mould off one of the boats and moulded a few in glass. The cabin
superstructure was changed at the same time. As far as I know, very few were built in glass. (one only?)
Both Bobby and Eric have passed away.
Bobby's older son Charles Bongers is off course a legend in the world of sailing having built a reputation as a Round the World racer
of note in the early Whitbread RTW races. You should be able to track him down somewhere in the world.
That's about it.
1971, 1973, 1979 and 1982 Rio Race and South Atlantic Race Brochures.
Yachting in Southern Africa
Are you based in South Africa
Have fun with your bit of South African sailing history