History of the Admiral’s Regatta

This prestigious ‘traditional’ annual sailing event is one of the classic regattas in the Western Cape Yachting Calendar. Founded in 1991 and now in its 26th year, the Admiral’s Regatta hails from the days of sporting isolation and with just a little jibe at another well-known international regatta. One might be censured for speaking of tradition, which generally looks back on centuries but one cannot ignore the makings of this piece of Cape Town’s history.


The Story behind a Republic, an Admiral and a Sword.

When the Round Table organization of Hout Bay decided on a major fundraiser in 1986 – with the idea to proclaim Hout Bay a “Republic” – the idea was daring and promised multiple media exposure, thus the “Republic of Hout Bay” was unilaterally declared and a “President” elected. Minister portfolios were up for sale as the main source for the fund raiser and a well-known businessman in Hout Bay, with his ownership of a genuine minesweeper purchased from the navy, became the “Minister of Defense” and thus he instantly became known as the “Admiral”.

In 1991 the “Admiral” agreed to sponsor a regatta to be sailed over a long weekend in the waters of the South Atlantic off Hout Bay. This was the birth of the Admiral’s Regatta, which has been sailed ever since during March or April. A replica has since replaced the floating trophy (a genuine Admiral’s Sword) but the spirit lives on at this event and amongst the Cape Town yacht clubs.


The attraction of Admiral’s Regatta

Hout Bay provides not only unique sailing conditions, but also the most picturesque sailing in the Cape. Hout Bay Yacht Club is renowned for its hospitality at this annual event and always, and the Admiral’s Regatta always attracts boats from Royal Cape Yacht Club, False Bay Yacht Club and Gordon’s Bay Yacht Club.

This year, with the growth of the ORC (Offshore Racing Congress) fleet, a racing measurement system, the entry promises to be a record one. Acclaimed South African Race Officer, Doug Alison, will be running the sailing, and this will also be a big attraction to the competitive boats in the Cape.