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Cape to St Helena: The Governor's Cup is back!

by St Helena Tourism 11 Sep 14:00 BST 26 December 2018
Cape to St Helena: The Governor's Cup © St Helena Tourism

It's been 4 years, but the Governor's Cup is back! Twelve yachts have confirmed their attendance and the race, 'Cape to St Helena', kicks off on 26 December in association with the Royal Cape Yacht Club.

From its launch in 1996, the race itself took the shape of several categories: a racing class, a multihull class and a cruising class category. On average it has attracted around 16 yachts every biennial.

A poignant difference compared to races of the past, will be the absence of the Island's lifeline. The RMS St Helena who sailed the course with them carried friends and families of the crew. They would arrive on the same journey days before to eagerly welcome and congratulate their loved ones at the finish line. However, one tradition still stands: the chance to hold the official Governor's Cup high above the crowds.

Sailing North West the crews will set out from Table Bay on the 26th December, with the fastest yachts expected to arrive in James Bay around the 5th January 2019. They will cover some 1700 nautical miles on the South East Trade winds that sweep the Southern Atlantic – an ideal introduction to bluewater sailing.

In previous years St Helenians have joined crews of participating yachts and have trained briefly pre-race. We hope this tradition will continue although details are yet to be confirmed.

Race entries closes on the 30th November, with late entries accepted up to the 17th December.

For more information on how to enter and for race notice details contact Race Secretary, Royal Cape Yacht Club: . (Telephone + 2721-4211354).

While it may be wildly ambitious to aim to bring the New Year in on Island, the Saintly welcome that awaits will be worth every nautical mile.

St Helena Tourism and the St Helena Yacht Club will bring a full itinerary of highlights of the peak season and a taste of a unique culture that very many have yet to sample.

The Governor's Cup Yacht Race concept came about through a former Captain of the RMS St Helena, having watched a fleet set sail on the Cape to Rio course in early 1996. To read more about the race history visit

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