Cape Town is known for being a tourist hotspot, with many activities to get the whole family going there’s no reason for you not to participate or be a spectator in at least one of the options. The same can be said for sporting and outdoor events in Cape Town. If you’re the sporty or adventurous type, there are a slew of events taking place throughout the year for you and your family to enjoy.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour (Previously the Cape Argus)
An event that has seen its 41st race completed this year and is known as the world’s largest timed cycle race, The Cape Town Cycle Tour is an annual cycle race which takes place in March and sees over 35 000 cyclists taking part in the main race of 109 km. The race commences at Hertzog Boulevard in the city centre and concludes at Greenpoint stadium after a full tour of the Cape Peninsula.
Since its inception in 1977, the Cape Town Cycle Tour has seen additional races added to the schedule to ensure people of varying ages are also able to compete. This has resulted in many locals backing the event and creating a fun and festive atmosphere throughout the duration of the tour. The following races are now taking place in conjunction with the main event:
- Lifecycle Week
- MTB Challenge
- Junior races
The Two Oceans Marathon
Known as being one of the world’s most picturesque marathons, the inaugural race took place in 1970 which had a mere 26 runners partake in. Since then it has grown significantly in scale and now attracts up to 26 000 runners annually. Over the last few years, the event has taken place over the Easter Weekend, a time when families gather and enjoy a long weekend together.
The Two Oceans Marathon has a variety of run’s to choose from which makes it possible for beginners to get their feet wet and to meet the ever-growing running community, as well as offering a challenging full marathon for the fit and fast:
- 56km Ultra Marathon
- 21km Half Marathon
- 24km and 12km Trail Run
- 5.6km International friendship run
- A variety of fun runs
The Cape Town 7s Rugby Tournament
The Sevens Rugby tournament is a variation of the standard 15 man game of rugby. With only seven players on each team, the style of rugby is wide open and action-packed. Taking place in December every year, this tournament has gained a substantial amount of traction, not only because of the game but because of the beautiful weather and summer activities the Cape has to offer.
People from all over the world travel to Cape Town to watch some of their favourite local and international teams take part. Due to the nature of the game and size of the teams, each game is completed within 14 minutes and the tournament spans two days.
Besides all the excitement watching the different teams play their hearts out, many fans spend time coordinating costumes with friends and family to wear at the tournament in order to win the prize for best-dressed fan. The atmosphere is fun and festive and infects the city, filling the restaurants and bars at night and making for the perfect reason to visit Cape Town and experience all it has to offer.
The Absa Cape Epic
This annual mountain bike stage race was first launched in 2004. Now running over the months of March and April, each professional mountain biker must complete over 700 km of riding over a duration of eight days. This event brings 600 teams from around the world to compete in this prestigious event and is globally recognised not only for its grueling course (that changes every year) but also the stunning natural landscapes it passes through.
The route of the race always starts and finishes within the Western Cape allowing riders to fully experience some of the best mountain biking routes on offer. At the checkpoint at every stop, there’s a dedicated area for friends and family to wait and cheer you on as you cross the finish line. This allows spectators the opportunity to mingle and enjoy some live entertainment while supporting the cyclists on their epic adventure.
The Red Bull King of the Air Kite Surfing Competition
The Red Bull King of the Air Kite Surfing competition is an annual competition taking place at the end of January at Kite Beach in Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. The top 9 contestants from the previous years’ competition go head-to-head with another 9 contestants where they’ll ride the waves within a two week window period. With the wind speed reaching 30 knots, this adrenalin filled event is bound to keep all spectators entertained.
Sit back and enjoy the display of flying Kite Surfers from one of the many restaurants and bars along this beautiful stretch of beach, with Table Mountain in all its glory as your backdrop. Another perfect reason to visit the Cape.
The Sun Met Horse Race (Previously the J&B Met)
“A day at the races” is a phrase known and spoken of for decades. The Sun Met includes 13 action-packed races and takes place at the end of January. Spectators are given a new theme each year and punters dress to the nines with the theme in mind. With many competitions running for best dressed, you’re bound to see incredibly unique outfits.
As part of the entertainment for the day, this event is open to the public to purchase tickets and join in the festivities for the duration of the event as well as afterward. You also have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the after party which is not to be missed thanks to its incredible lineup of performances. If you’re looking to go dancing and celebrate your winnings at the Met, don’t skip the party!
Corona Open In Jeffreys Bay
The Jeffreys Bay Winterfest usually runs for the first two weeks of July when the surf is at its best. When most of the seaside towns and homeowners lock up for the cold winter weather, residents of Jeffreys Bay open their doors to welcome tourists. With a host of activities on the agenda such as live music, fishing, trail running and the kite festival, there’s something to do for everyone.
Surfers from around the world make their way down for this event. This year, the World Surf League Women’s Tour also runs at the Corona Open. This year’s round of the Corona Open is also the 6th surfing event in the Men’s surfing championship tour in 2018, making it a big event on any surf enthusiast’s calendar.
The Volvo Open Ocean Race
Named after its current owners, the Volvo Ocean Race is a yacht race around the world. Alicante is considered to be the home of the Volvo Ocean Race and this year, competitors will make their way through 11 different destinations. The route they will travel is Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Auckland, Italjai, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg and ends in The Hague.
The event takes place every three years and teams travel on an estimated 72 000 km of some of the world’s most dangerous seas. For the most par,t the route remains the same but there have been instances where its altered to include additional stops. As no fresh food is taking on board, all team members live off frozen or dried foods.
Due to the nature of the event, there are many celebrations when competitors reach each stop on the race. There’s always a positive vibe and atmosphere in the V&A Waterfront during this time, you’ll feel like you’re involved in the race!
The sporting industry knows no boundaries and it is for this very reason, there are some big events which take place outside of Cape Town. Here are two of the big events for you to keep an eye on:
This 89 km ultramarathon was first established in 1921. The route commences between Durban and Pietermaritzburg and has developed the title as the world’s largest and oldest running race. Taking place between May and June, 20 000 runners being allowed to enter, you’ll see them travel from more than 60 countries to part take in this event.
If you’re considering competing in this race, you’ll need to ensure you’ve completed a recognised marathon of 42.2km in under five hours. You’ll also need to ensure you get to five cut-off points at predetermined times to compete in the race.
The FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon
The Dusi Canoe Marathon covers an estimated 120 km between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, taking participants through some of the most picturesque areas of South Africa. Since its inception in 1951, it’s become the largest canoeing event in Africa and attracts around 2000 paddlers on an annual basis. The race is held around the middle of February to capitalise on the last of the summer weather and rain. The race is made up of three stages which are 42 km, 46 km and 36 km in length.
With a host of sporting events running throughout the year, there’s bound to be one to satisfy the adventurer in you. Whether visiting as a spectator or a participant, any time of the year is a good time to visit Cape Town and its surrounding areas when there’s so much on offer. Be sure to consider some of these sporting events when booking your holiday to ensure you get some action packed activity in.