South African Airways Partners with the Royal Cape Yacht Club

by Sam Sutherland

South African Airways is the official airline partner for the Cape to Rio Yacht Race 2017.

The Race began in 1971 attracting huge international interest, particularly since it was the largest continent-to-continent race in the southern hemisphere. Best known as the Cape to Rio Race, the race has mainly headed for Rio, but at times to other South American venues including Uruguay, Punta Del Este, and more recently Salvador.

The iconic yacht race from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil began almost 45 years ago linking two of the world’s most beautiful seaports. This fascinating and tactical race encourages sailors, new and old, to attempt ocean crossings and draws on sailors’ seamanship and savvy weather skills to successfully compete the race. It provides a unique crossover between world class racing as well as cruising classes and is the longest transatlantic race in the world.

The 2017 edition is the 48th year of the event, running on average once every three years. The event has attracted leading crews from all over the world, including countries like South Africa, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, UK, USA, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand and many others. This year the Early Start is on Monday 26 December, with the Main Start, which is the official start of the race, taking place on Sunday 1 Jan 2017, from Cape Town.

The Royal Cape Yacht Club - over 100 years old - is the event owner and the host yacht club running the race management from Cape Town to the finish and the prize giving in Rio de Janeiro. It is South Africa’s largest and most prestigious yacht club with over 2 000 active members. The club boasts over 400 yachts, 100 of which are actively involved across the various club and regional racing calendars. The club runs a very active sailing academy.

The V&A Waterfront will host the Cape2Rio Race Village and Pavilion on Jetty 2, in the heart of the Waterfront while a visiting fleet from abroad will also be hosted in the V&A Waterfront marina, directly in front of the Cape2Rio Race Village.


In the spirit of adventure

At South African Airways, we understand the thrill is in the journey. This is also true for the Cape2Rio Yacht Race. Whether it be in the great blue skies or on the vast seas. As the official Cape2Rio airline partner, we plan to help competitors, family, friends, and fans to focus on enjoying this great experience. Supporters and followers can save on their trips when booking with SAA and choose to fly Africa’s best Airline.

Mariners’ Fares

One-way Mariners’ Fares are now available to book for Cape2Rio Competitors/Sailors (including Delivery Skippers) directly with the SAA CTO team in Cape Town. Friends, Families, and Supporters’ fares have also been made available through our website -


Focus on the journey while we take care of the destination!

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