Every two years, sailors can take part in the Governor’s Cup Race, a downwind 1,700 nautical mile race from False Bay Yacht Club near the historic Simon’s Town, round Cape Point, and across the South Atlantic Ocean to the finish line off Jamestown, St Helena.
The race starts on 22nd December 2012, with the leading yachts anticipated to cross the finish line around 31st December 2012. The majority of the participating sailors and their yachts are booked onto the RMS St Helena’s departure from the island on 11th January 2013, arriving back in Cape Town on 16th January; to enjoy a relaxing cruise home on board with many of the other race crew, and plenty of post-race parties!
As well as the thrill of the race itself, there’s plenty to see and do on St Helena. Discovered in 1502, the island’s remote and dramatic location means it has over 400 endemic species not found anywhere else in the world.
The island is rich in naval history; it was first sighted by Vasco de Gama in 1497, but not landed on until 21 May 1502 by Portuguese navigator Joao de Nova. It is famous as the island where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled in 1815 until his death in 1821.
Today, the island’s history adds to its beauty as a sub-tropical island with a unique bio-diversity. Only 10.5 miles long and 6.5 miles wide, its landscape ranges from vegetation to sub-tropical desert, and is home to many natural wonders unique to the island, from its rugged coastline to the famous 600 foot high Jacob’s ladder offering panoramic views.
Described as ‘further from anywhere else in the world’ (by author Julia Blackburn), St Helena is about to change, with work starting on an airport, the biggest infrastructure project the island has yet seen. Due to open in 2015.
The Governor’s Cup Race is organised by False Bay Yacht Club, and more details on how to enter can be found at www.governorscup.co.za; or by visiting the Governor’s Cup Facebook page www.facebook.com/Governorscup2012