Last chance to enter the Governor’s Cup Yacht race before it changes forever


St Helena is a volcanic island in the south Atlantic, 1,800 miles from South America and 1,200 miles from South Africa. The island has over 500 years of rich history, with its most famous inhabitant being Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled to the island in 1815 and remained there until his death in 1821. Much of the island’s history, from military forts to underwater shipwrecks, ancient churches and historic buildings, remain intact for visiting yachtsmen to explore.

It is also the destination for the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race a rather special sailing race from False Bay Yacht Club near the historic Simon’s Town, South Africa to Jamestown, the Island capital


This exhilarating 1,700 nautical mile downwind race to one of the most extraordinary places on earth starts on 27th December 2014. But this is the very last time it will ever take place in its current format, and that makes it a once in a lifetime race!

Every two years since 1996, intrepid sailors looking for a one-of-a-kind racing experience, have taken part in the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, which after an 8 – 14 day handicap chase across the South Atlantic, culminates in an activity-filled stay on St Helena – an island currently only accessible by private yacht or on one of the last operating Royal Mail Ships, the RMS St Helena. Following their stay on St Helena, supporters, family and crews enjoy a relaxing cruise back to Cape Town onboard the RMS St Helena offering an abundance of fun-filled activities and post race parties.

With the opening of a new airport on St Helena due in February 2016 and the subsequent decommission of the passenger carrying cargo ship there will, in future be no way of repatriating the yachts by ship. That means if the race continues it will have feature an uphill return journey against the wind!

Entrants typically range from fast racing boats with experienced crews to cruising boats manned by small families, offering an experience for everyone.

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 and seas teemed with tropical fish to night skies offering unrivalled views of the stars and the famous 600 foot high Jacob’s Ladder offering panoramic views. No visit to St Helena is complete without a visit to see the world’s oldest land animal, Jonathan, a rare Seychelles Giant tortoise estimated to be over 175 years old.

To find out more and to download an entry form for the 2014 Governor’s Cup Yacht Race, visit the ‘Taking Part’ section of To connect with previous race entrants and those already signed up for this year visit the Governor’s Cup Facebook page or or on twitter @Governors_Cup.

The closing date for entries to the race is 31st October 2014.