Ngalawa Cup Race Info


The racecourse is off the coast of Tanzania between the Zanzibar Archipelago and the stunning Lindi region to the south. You'll take on some of the best sailing in the Indian Ocean. 

January 2019 Dates

28th December - Teams arrive at training base

29th - 31st December - Pre-race training

31st December - Party

1st January - Launch

8th January - Finish


Even if you're a hardened sailor with decades of experience chances are you probably haven't sailed these little beauties. We thought so. That's why there are three days of pre-race training to get you up to speed and train you on the race systems. Every member of the team has to attend all three days. In addition this year we are offering you a bonus training day that is optional for those who like a little head start.

Bonus day - practical sail training with a training skipper.

Your tutors in the ways of racing a mango plank and a hanky are the people who know these boats best: veterans of the Ngalawa Cup, the Race Crew and Race Inventor Dylan.

Part 1 (day 1 and 2) - Coastal training, theory sessions on satellite tracking; race systems; navigation; checkpoints and a few other bits and bobs.

Part 2 (day 3) - Gear and provision stowage followed by a test-run sail to the START line on Tumbatu Island.

At the end of the training we'll assess your sailing ability before letting you start the race. 

Note - All training is in English only, so if you don't speak English then get in touch with us directly to chat about options (via a friend maybe).

The Race

You'll race for eight days. The racecourse opens at 06:30 and closes at 17:30 with time penalties for being late to shore. Sailing is not allowed after dark but trust us, you’ll be ready for a rum by the fire by dusk. 

The racecourse is made up of a series of compulsory checkpoints and a couple of sections for free-sailing where you will have to choose your own overnight spot. You'll be roughing it on uninhabited islets, camping on islands with inquisitive locals or staying in an actual bed in a fishing village. Bring a hammock. 

The islands are lush and green, surrounded by pristine white sand beaches and teeming coral reefs. You'll see a bunch of exotic beasts: barracuda, dolphins and manta rays to name a few. Inland there are monkeys and more exotic birds and butterflies than anyone needs. 

Zanzibar has plenty of beach bars and party spots, but for the most part its attraction is down to having plenty of places that feel remote and wild. Its main exports include Freddie Mercury and spices. If you were looking for a place to stock up on nutmeg, cloves and peppercorns, Zanzibar is your place. 

Kilwa is often overlooked by the standard tourist. You are no ordinary tourist though so you'll appreciate the lack of backpackers, friendly welcome, stunning views and excellent sailing. It's much quieter than Zanzibar, in a good way, but you can still find budget guest houses or camping right through to luxury hill-side chalets. If you have a day spare then it’ll be well spent exploring the UNESCO ruins of palaces and trading courts on the islands of Kisiwani and Songa Mnara.

Getting there and away

The nearest international airport is at Dar es Salaam, from there you can catch an internal flight, bus or taxi to or from Kilwa and a flight or ferry to / from Zanzibar.