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Iconic Cape to St Helena Yacht Race returns - Entries now open

by St Helena 28 Mar 07:34 PDT 26 December 2024
Cape to St Helena Yacht Race © St Helena Yacht Club

Just nine months remain until the starting gun fires for the iconic Cape to St Helena Yacht Race.

Competitors have until 1 November to enter the challenging 1,700 nautical mile (3,060km) journey across the South Atlantic, with the race set to start on 26 December. This event offers a unique challenge and the allure of reaching one of the world's most remote inhabited islands.

The Cape to St Helena Yacht Race, originally known as the Governor's Cup, has a rich history dating back to 1996. Inspired by the Cape to Rio fleet in 1996, former RMS St Helena Captain David Roberts envisioned a race to the remote British Overseas Territory. His vision blossomed into the first Governor's Cup race later that same year.

The first race in 1996 attracted 13 entries, with the second edition in 1998 securing a record 22 entries. While the 2020 race was postponed due to the pandemic, the successful 2022 event heightened anticipation for the upcoming race.

Today, the race is a captivating blend of fierce competition and camaraderie. The 2022 race saw yachts battling intense weather, enduring heavy rains, high winds, and turbulent seas. Despite the challenges, the shared experience forged bonds between racers.

David Garrard, Vice-Commodore of the Royal Cape Yacht Club, says: "We're excited to being part of this incredible event. And with just nine months to go, we are working closely with St Helena Tourism to stage this iconic yacht race. We look forward to a good fleet and sharing this tremendous event with the world."

Beyond the excitement of the race, St Helena invites visitors to discover its fascinating past and enjoy its natural wonders. Explore historical sites, from Napoleon's exile residence at Longwood House to the island's legacy as a British Overseas Territory. Hike to the top of Diana's Peak for panoramic views, discover the island's unique plants and birds, and engage in exciting marine and adventure activities. A full programme of events during the week of the race finish will offer additional ways to experience the island's charm.

"This race is a great opportunity for St Helena. We're proud to be a part of this long-standing tradition, and it's a wonderful way to put St Helena in the spotlight," says Matt Joshua, Head of Tourism for St Helena.

For travellers keen on exploring an unusual bucket-list destination far from the crowds, St Helena awaits. Airlink offers a weekly flight service from Johannesburg (JNB) to St Helena Island (HLE), with a seasonal flight from Cape Town added between December and March 2025. Flight tickets are available on flyairlink.com and through all IATA-registered travel agents.

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