Bollocks to boring modern yachts with their auto-pilots and comfy cabins. For a proper ocean adventure vessel you need to go back a few centuries.

Take a dugout canoe made from a mango tree, add a bamboo mast, a sail and a couple of outriggers and you have an Ngalawa - the ultimate sailing machine.

Line up against a fleet of like-minded souls and point it towards the Indian Ocean racecourse of spice islands, deserted beaches and sand banks off the coast of Tanzania. Whilst gunning for glory, you can celebrate the fact that you're helping do your bit to save the world too.

Welcome to the newly renamed Kraken Cup, the world's greatest sailing race.


28th December - Teams arrive at training base

29th - 31st December - Pre-race training

31st December - Party

1st January - Launch

8th January - Finish

PRICE: £5,800 per team of three sailors

2020 open now

“The sun at 12 without wind. My lips split open by the herpes. The sore thighs. The sand cracking noise in every bite I ate.”

- Paulo Falco, The Kraken Cup January 2017

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You'll race for approximately 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. 

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, peppercorns and fake moustaches, 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, the 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.

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Ngalawa Stats

  • Speed:  5 - 10 knots

  • Hull: 5-6 metres

  • Draft: 0.7 metres

  • Beam: 0.5 metre (hull)

  • Beam: 5-6 metres (outriggers)

  • Sail: Lateen/ Settee

  • Sail area: 30 - 40 m2

  • Steering: Tiller

Note: Each boat is hand-made so don't be surprised if yours has slightly different measurements

“A crazy, horrific, beautiful, adventure”

- Matt Sornson, Ngalawa Cup Jan 17

“So proud of my Team. We came as regular people, now they are sailors and warriors.”  

- Al Nieve, Dos Bollitos Un Quesito, June 2017



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We are The Adventurists and this is our first foray into ocean adventuring. We searched the world for a suitable aquatic arena until we found the islands off the coast of Tanzania. Yes it has piercing turquoise water, blue skies and white sandy beaches along with reliable trade winds to propel you along the racecourse. But conditions change fast here and parts of this racecourse are properly remote. Now we've done three editions of the race we can reliably advise you not to take this one lightly. The incredible beauty of the islands, beaches and villages and the big-smile friendliness of the local people can easily distract you from the fucking massive adventure lurking here. Don't be fooled. 

After a test run in late 2014 by Race Chief Dylan the Pioneers' Edition took place in July 2015. It was nothing short of glorious mayhem - big waves, epic sea-scapes, boat breakdowns, a couple of tantrums and a massive adventure had by all. The inaugural race was won by the Czech team Lemurs Sail Delorean. It confirmed all our predictions that this was indeed an adventure for those with the very biggest of balls or ladyballs. You can read the Pioneers' Race Report here to find out what went down. 

In 2016 there were two editions in January and July . The big news in 2017 was that we added some rocket fuel to the racing element of the adventure. Extra compulsory race checkpoints will ensure you camp out on the best beaches with big fires and shitloads of rum with other teams. Most importantly, the head to head battles for leader board positions will now rage all the way to the finish line as the fleet will be closer together. You'll spend more time with teams in sight on the water but still have plenty of navigational decisions to make. To find out what's going on first sign up to the newsletter below...

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