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Cape Records Association News
7th August 1999

Website Extended to Include Victor Smith

vicsmith2.jpg (20064 bytes)South Africa has its own Alex Henshaw in the guise of Victor Smith - a pioneer aviator from George in the Southern Cape, who attempted to break the Cape Town-England record in 1932, and the following year made an attempt on the England-Cape Town record. That he failed in these attempts was sheer bad luck, and the riveting account of these flights as chronicled in his book Open Cockpit Over Africa is very well worth reading.

The first illustration shows Victor sitting on the wheel of Dick Bentley's Desoutter monoplane shortly after his arrival in Britain after his attempt on the Cape-Britain record in 1932.

While attempting the northbound record in 1932, Victor encountered a violent West African tropical storm which damaged his fuel system, causing it to leak. As a result, he was forced to land in the Sahara, where he had the unprecedented honour (and luck) to be befriended by a Touareg tribe, with whom he lived for five days until he was able to refuel and continue with his flight.

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This illustration shows amulets which were placed around Victor's neck to indicate that he had been accepted into the protection of the Touareg tribe under Muslim law.

Victor Smith has been invited to participate in the Cape Records Anniversary being celebrated in November in Cape Town, and has graciously agreed to attend. He and Alex Henshaw hold one another in very high esteem, and the bringing together of two aviation pioneers of this stature will be an event in itself.

More information about Victor Smith is available in a new addition to the Website, and can be accessed by clicking here.

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The last illustration depicts Victor Smith on his arrival at Wingfield aerodrome after his England to Cape Town record attempt in 1933, flying a Comper Swift.

Other news:- We are still hoping for assistance from one of the major airlines operating between Britain and South Africa with regard to bringing Alex Henshaw out to the November Cape Records anniversary celebrations. Watch this space for updates...

As always, you can send e-mail to our official Association e-mail address: c/o me, Lee Hall: leehall@iafrica.com

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