The Clipper Race is returning to Cape Town, bringing home two South African Skippers and multiple South African crew

03 November 2023

Image: The epic Table Mountain that overlooks Cape Town

After the action-packed stopover in Punta del Este, Uruguay, the fleet is now closing in on Cape Town, taking on the epic 3,555nm journey across the South Atlantic.

This edition is the eleventh time the Clipper Race will arrive in Cape Town, a very highly anticipated stopover that is popular among the crew The fleet is expected to arrive into Cape Town from 9 November, where the Race Crew will be able to relax and recharge after an epic ocean crossing and enjoy the world class facilities and hospitality at the V&A Waterfront Marina, as well as exploring everything Cape Town has to offer.

David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront said: “We look forward to welcoming the Clipper Race community of Race Crew, family, and friends back to the city of Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront. Both the port of Cape Town, and the Waterfront have a rich history of hosting ocean racing passing through the South Atlantic, which is considered a core challenge to any sailing competition. In Cape Town, Clipper Race Crew will be welcomed to world class infrastructure, from repair facilities to hospitality and many other critical services and logistics to support their event. Ours is a location like no other, attracting global attention to our beautiful city and creating opportunities for tourism. We are ready for you.”  

The Clipper 2023-24 Race sees 24 South African nationals participating with six experiencing the pride of sailing into their home country, and seven will be embarking on the next stage of the adventure from Cape Town to Fremantle in Australia, which will see them sail 4,750nm across the Roaring Forties.

South African Skippers and fellow Capetonians Dale Smyth, skipper of Qingdao and Ryan Gibson, Skipper of Dare To Lead, will also be sailing home, Ryan said:

“Since sailing out of Cape Town in 2008 to the Caribbean, my dream was to always sail back in from abroad so doing it during the Clipper Race, skippering a boat, will certainly be the highlight of my career, and something I’ll remember forever!”

Dale Smyth, who was a Race Skipper on the 2017-18 edition, and is currently at the helm of Qingdao has sailed into Cape Town multiple times. He added: "Heading home for me is always incredibly special, as there really is no city in the world quite so beautiful and welcoming.

“For our fleet, sailing into Table Bay is one of the most iconic landfalls across sailing history. As the backdrop of Table Mountain unfolds with its perfect tablecloth warning of a strong South Easterly in the bay and the incredible marine life becoming denser with each mile, it’s an arrival by sea they will never forget.

“For me personally, returning to Cape Town is always amazing, being welcomed back to family and a tightly knit sailing community that has encouraged me to develop my sailing and sailing career since I was a child. I look forward to sharing my city with all of our crew."

This will be the eleventh time the Clipper Race has visited Cape Town, and a stopover that is always on the top of everyone’s list to visit. During their time in Cape Town the crew, supporters and the public can look forward to a number of activities including free yacht tours and sustainability activities. A full itinerary of events can be found here

You can keep up to date with the fleet on the Race Viewer