The Regatta

Admiral’s Regatta in South Africa is Hout Bay Yacht Club’s annual premier regatta. The regatta is the only regatta in the Western Cape sailing calendar open to offshore keelboats, smaller inshore keelboats senior dinghy classes and small multihulls, and it is one of the only offshore dinghy regattas in the annual Cape Town sailing calendar.

Admiral’s Regatta promises a weekend of fantastic sailing in the picturesque bay of Hout Bay and offshore with Noordhoek and Slangkop as a backdrop. Acclaimed South African Race Officer Doug Alison runs the racing for the ORC Offshore Fleet and Mary-Ann Sharwood for the Dinghy and Inshore Keelboat Fleet.

The Regatta is open to:

  • Keelboats offshore (ORC)
  • Cruising keelboats
  • Small Keelboats Inshore/Hunters – PHRF/One Design
  • Senior dinghy classes (single or double handed)
  • Senior small catamaran/multihull classes (single or double handed)

The regatta promised top-class sailing, catering, and entertainment.


And here are some great reasons to enter:

  • Entry fees are the cheapest of any regatta of this size!
  • Complimentary prego roll dinner on Saturday night for all competitors and snacks on Sunday at prizegiving
  • Free craft beers at the Bridge Deck to wash the prego rolls down after the John Coles Trophy race on Saturday
  • One of the only offshore dinghy events in Cape Town sailing calendar
  • Two days of the most picturesque racing in the bay and offshore in Hout Bay for keelboats, inshore keelboats, senior dinghies, and small catamarans
  • Acclaimed South African Race Officers Doug Alison and Mary-Ann Sharwood
  • Free mooring for keelboats in the HBYC Marina – enter early for the best berths!
  • Easy launching for dinghies at the revamped slip in the harbour in front of HBYC, and secure parking and 24-hour security for all dinghies and small catamarans
  • Legendary HBYC hospitality and catering


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 33rd 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 Defence” 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.