Governor's Cup Yacht Race

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Zig Zag
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Running with Scissors

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The Governor's Cup is an exciting 1700-mile summer ocean race from Cape Town to James Bay on St Helena Island. Entrants typically range from fast racing boats with experienced crews to cruising boats manned by small families, some of which may afterwards sail on from the island to other destinations. All are able to enjoy the usually prevailing downwind conditions followed by an activity-filled stay on St Helena Island across the festive season culminating in a comfortable return early in the New Year to South Africa for crews, supporters and yachts aboard the 7000-ton mixed cargo/passenger ship, the RMS St Helena.

Originally introduced with support of the then Governor of St Helena, David Smallman, the master of the RMS St Helena and others, this race first took place in 1996. Held every two years and organized and managed by the False Bay Yacht Club, the main event is preceded by a 'Bay-to-Bay' feeder race that brings both the racing and supporting fleets together in the international V&A Marina at the Cape Town Waterfront. Here all complete their final preparations while enjoying the fabulous facilities of this world-famous location. Starting one week later, the Governor's Cup race pits the fleet of competing boats above 30 feet in length against each other in an 8 to14 day handicap chase across the South Atlantic to St Helena Island.

What makes participation in this race so special is that the crews can then relax and enjoy a sub-tropical holiday, joined by supporters and family who can connect with the contestants via a comfortable and economical sea cruise to and from the island on board the RMS St Helena; a never to be forgotten experience with something in it for everyone.