Hout Bay Yacht Club will be hosting their annual LTC Phoenix Admirals Regatta for the 26th year from 20 – 22 April.
This prestigious annual sailing event is one of the classic regattas in the Western Cape Yachting Calendar. Founded in 1991, the regatta’s name has a rather interesting history:
The Round Table organisation of Hout Bay decided to run a major fundraiser in 1986. The idea was 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” was 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.
Hout Bay resident and businessman, Peter Roeloffze, has committed to the role of regatta director for five years, and has brought on board a long-term sponsor who is passionate about developing sailing and the youth in Hout Bay. The sponsors sister company is based in Boksburg, Literally Tax Consulting and Phoenix Business Consulting, who also founded the Hout Bay Youth Sailing Development Trust.
Roeloffze says, “My long-term vision for the event is for it to grow. This year it will be incorporating Hout Bay Water Week – dinghy and Hobie cat sailing, paddling, power boating and other water sports. In future years, I would like Hout Bay to have a full Mardi grass style/carnival week in the same week as the regatta, bringing in lots of visitors and boosting Hout Bay as a destination, giving the local businesses a greater income opportunity.”
Many development and junior sailing teams and sailors will be competing in the event, sailors with and against top South African sailors.