2023-24 Clipper Race confirms its 11th return to Cape Town

Clipper Round the World yacht fleet in South Africa

The Clipper 2023-24 Round the World Yacht Race is visiting the 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.

The Clipper Round the World Yacht 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.   

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race begins in Portsmouth

The 11-strong fleet of ocean racing yachts will set off from Portsmouth on 3 September 2023, and when the race crew arrive at the South African port some 50 days later, they will have completed more than 10,000nm.    

This is only the second time that Portsmouth has featured on the Clipper Race route (the last time was in 2000), and the upcoming event will see the first on-the-water, public participation race start event since 2017 in Liverpool.

The 2019-20 edition resumed in 2022 after an almost two-year delay caused by the pandemic

Clipper returns to Cape Town

The arrival into port at Cape Town will mark the end of Leg 2: The South Atlantic Leg. Clipper 2023-24 Race 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.    

There are 11 South African crew members joining this edition of the race. Two of the Clipper yacht race skippers and five race crew will get to experience sailing into their home 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 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, from freezing temperatures and 40-foot waves to the blistering heat and flat calms of the tropics.   

“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,” says David Green, CEO of V&A Waterfront. “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, raced into Cape Town as Race Skipper in the 2017-18 edition. “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,” he says. “The teams will have faced some gruelling 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.”    

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

Ryan Gibson and Greg Hunt

Capetonian skipper Gibson says: “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 adds: “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.” 

The Clipper Race fleet is expected to arrive at V&A Waterfront on 6 November 2023 and will depart on 16 November.   

Comments are closed.

This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

Skip to content