Neighbourhood News Update: Clipper Round the World Yacht Race confirms its eleventh return to Cape Town on the upcoming race edition.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race confirms its eleventh return to Cape Town on the upcoming race edition.

One of the toughest endurance challenges on the planet, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will be visiting the iconic V&A Waterfront in the city of Cape Town for the eleventh time as part of the global race route. The fleet is expected to arrive in the South African city from 6 November 2023.

Image: Clipper Race fleet in Cape Town 2019-20

The Clipper Race sees adventurers from all walks of life take on the exceptional challenge of racing across the world’s oceans on board a 70ft yacht. With 350 plus occupations across the participants, doctors race alongside teachers and tattoo artists, and can sign up for individual legs, or the full 40,000nm circumnavigation.

On this race edition eleven South African crew members will be joining the adventure of a lifetime. Two of the Race Skippers and five Race Crew will get to experience sailing into their country, and five crew members will depart Cape Town to sail across the Roaring Forties to Western Australia.

Many of the Race Crew taking part in this epic adventure have no prior sailing experience. They take on an intensive compulsory four-stage training programme before going on to tackle some of the most challenging conditions that Mother Nature can serve up, from freezing temperatures and 40- foot waves to the blistering heat and flat calms of the tropics.

The eleven-strong fleet of ocean racing yachts will set off from Portsmouth on September 3 and when the Race Crew arrive into the South African port some 50 days later, they will have completed more than 10,000nm.

The arrival into port will mark the end of Leg 2: The South Atlantic Leg. Teams will have a few days to rest, recuperate and explore Cape Town before they set sail on Leg 3: The Roaring Forties Leg to Western Australia. David Green, CEO of V&A Waterfront said: “We’re very pleased and look forward to welcoming the Clipper Race community back to the city and the Waterfront, bringing as it does attention to the potential for growing the city’s ocean economy, be that through tourism, education, hospitality and the many other critical services and logistics of hosting this event. Our extraordinary location places the oceans at the heart of the V&A Waterfront’s vision and sharing this resource with the world is key to our purpose.”

Clipper Ventures Deputy Race Director, Dale Smyth, a South African National, had the pleasure of sailing into Cape Town as Race Skipper in the 2017-18 edition. He said: “It’s fantastic that the fleet will once again be visiting my home country of South Africa and taking a stopover at this bustling port in Cape Town. The teams will have faced some grueling days of sailing prior to their arrival – having crossed the unpredictable South Atlantic – but berthing at the V&A Waterfront will be the perfect opportunity to unwind and enjoy the breathtaking scenery the city has to offer.”

Nestled just beneath Table Mountain and bordered by sea to both sides, Clipper Race crew can expect plenty of activities in the vibrant city of Cape Town during the stopover. With the V&A Waterfont being located close to the historic centre, it makes it perfect base to visit the many beaches, mountains, and forests nearby: top things to do include hiking Table Mountain, driving along the coastal roads or simply taking in the buzz of city life at the many galleries and cafes.

Getting to experience the pride of sailing into their home country this year are South African Skippers Greg Hunt and Ryan Gibson.

Image: Skippers Ryan and Gibson and Greg Hunter

Capetonian Skipper Ryan Gibson said “Sailing into South Africa on the route will be amazing! I sailed out in 2008 and I’ve basically been working on boats ever since. I’ve come home for regular visits, but I’ve never sailed in so to arrive in the city with the Clipper Race as a Skipper will be one of the highlights of my career.”

Race Skipper Greg Hunt added: “Sailing home to South Africa with my crew will be an honour and I can’t wait to show them our beautiful country. I’m also really looking forward to racing from South Africa to Australia- I’m sure we’ll fly along! I think it’s going to be some of the best sailing, downwind for days on end.”

Eleven South African crew are participating in the Clipper 2023-24 Race. Five of these adventurers will experience sailing into their home country at the completion of Leg 2 and five Race Crew will depart Cape Town marking the start of Leg 3.

South African Race Crew competing on the upcoming edition:

  • Andre Faure, 51, Somerstown West, Commodities Trainer, Leg 3
  • Donavan Hendricks, 46, Johannesburg, Managing Director, Leg 2
  • Nathali Immelman, 40, South African living in UK, Mental Health Practioner, Leg 2
  • Retief Jordaan, 38, Langebaan, Construction Manager, Legs 1, 2 & 3
  • Frances Kruger, 56, Cape Town, Environmental Lawyer, Legs 3, 4 & 5
  • Pieter Malherbe, 53, Malmesbury, Business Owner, Leg 2
  • Shaun Rudiger, 58, South African living in Saudi Arabia, Leg 3 & 5
  • Carl Schultz, 39, Pretoria, Television Producer, Leg 6
  • Leandre Terblanche, 34, Randburg, Director, Leg 4
  • Hermanus Van Niekerke, 42, Mossel Bay, Director, Leg 6
  • Marco Xinisteris, 43, Bedfordview, Food Processing, Leg 2 & 3

The Clipper Race fleet is expected to arrive at V&A Waterfront from 6 November 2022 and will depart on 16 November.