Top sailor dies aged 63

Legendary South African yachtsman “Biltong” Bertie died at his home
in Gordon’s Bay on Monday at the age of 63.

Stanley John Reed had been suffering from cancer, SABC radio news

Reed was the first South African, and one of only a few yachtsmen in
the world, to complete three singlehanded circumnavigations of the

He will be especially remembered for his heroic rescue of
fellow-South African John Martin, whose yacht sank after hitting a
submerged iceberg in the Southern Ocean, during the 1990/91 BOC

He was awarded South Africa’s highest civilian award – at the time –
for bravery, the Wolraad Woltemade Decoration, for the outstanding
seamanship he displayed during Martin’s rescue in extreme conditions.

He also received a presidential citation and was listed in the Civic
Honours Book of the City of Cape Town.

Reed joined the South African Navy in 1961, and rose to the rank of
Warrant Officer during his 22-years in uniform.

It was there that he began his sailing career, which led to him
achieving world fame in the inaugural BOC Challenge singlehanded race
around the world in 1982/83, when he finished second accross the line
and first on handicap in the 14-year-old sloop “Voortrekker”,
considered obsolete.

He sailed some 170 000 nautical miles competitively – over 100 000

Reed married his wife Pat in 1968, had four children, and three