The Governor’s Cup Yacht Race is a 1,700 mile yacht race from Simon’s Town, South Africa, to James Bay on St. Helena Island every 2 years.

Conceived by former Captain of the RMS St. Helena, Captain David Roberts, who was inspired by seeing the Cape to Rio fleet sail through Duncan Dock to Table Bay from the Royal Cape Yacht Club.He formed an idea how the race might work, which he discussed with the then Governor of St. Helena, David Smallman. As a sailor himself Governor Smallman was enthusiastic and suggested that, given that there was an Admiral’s Cup yacht race, then perhaps we might call the Cape to St. Helena race “The Governor’s Cup Race”.

Togther with members of the Royal Cape Yacht Club and with funding from the Governor’s Discretionary Fund, a trophy was purchased with the then South African Government Minister for Sport, Steve Tshwete starting the first race from Table Bay in 1996.  Happening every 2 years, the race has flourished, and since 2002 has been organised by False Bay Yacht Club in Simonstown and the St Helena Yacht Club.

Over the years there have been a number of saints taking part in the race.  For more information about the first 10 years of the race, read more here.

For more about the race, please visit or