For the yachts travelling round the world, and heading from east to west to catch the Caribbean season, one of the biggest hurdles is choosing a safe route to get across the Atlantic. Sailing alone, and with the worries of poor weather, boat damage or danger from pirate and other intruders, means many yacht owners prefer to sail in company, especially for long passages.
The organisers of the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race from False Bay Yacht Club, South Africa to St Helena, agree that many of the yachts that take part in this historic race use the event as a means to get across the Atlantic with the safety net of other boats near them for much of the crossing. Typically yachts travelling from Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, Thailand and even Australia have linked into this race as part of the route towards the Americas and the Caribbean.
The Governor’s Cup Yacht Race takes place every two years and is a 1,700 nautical mile one-way handicap sail. This year the race departs from Simon’s Town, South Africa on 27th December 2014 with competitors arriving in to St Helena 8 – 14 days later, where they receive a warm welcome from the islanders. Yacht owners and crew then get the chance to rest, recuperate and re-stock prior to sailing onwards to Ascension Island, straight through to South America or on to the Caribbean. With hurricane season officially ending on 30 November, January is the perfect time of year to be sailing to this part of the world.
The Governor’s Cup chase across the South Atlantic has attracted a range of yachts from IRC ocean racers, to downwind multihull and monohull cruisers with entrants ranging from experienced crews to cruising boats manned by small families.
St Helena is one of the last places in the world which is currently only accessible by private yacht or on one of the last operating Royal Mail Ships, the RMS St Helena. Crews who decide not to sail onwards from St Helena can enjoy a relaxing cruise back to Cape Town onboard the RMS.
2014 sees the last time the race will take place in its current format with the opening of a new airport on St Helena due in February 2016 and the subsequent decommission of the RMS St Helena – so don’t miss the boat and make sure you enter today for this once in a lifetime race, and use it as a crossing point for the Atlantic!
To find out more and to download an entry form for the 2014 Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, visit the ‘Taking Part’ section of governorscup2014.com. To connect with previous race entrants and those already signed up for this year, visit the Governor’s Cup Facebook page facebook.com/Governorscuprace or @Governors_Cup.