Applications For Second ‘St Helena Open Oceans Fund’ Are Now Open

Today, as the first recipient of the St Helena Open Oceans Fund is out on the open ocean sailing to Cape Town, applications for the next recipient of the grant are being invited.

The fund provides grants to enable a Saint, or somebody closely connected to the island, to take part in a Wavysail trip from Jamestown to Cape Town. The next funded place, for which application are currently being invited, will be departing the island in April.

St Helena is deeply connected to its ocean, and to its ocean-based heritage, including sailing. Wavysail has been frequenting St Helena for a number of years, and alongside St Helena Government (SHG), announced the launch of the St Helena Open Oceans Fund last year. This grant, enabled by a partnership between Wavysail and SHG, encourages inclusive yachting specifically for St Helena’s community through the places on a voyage between St Helena and Cape Town.

Josh Herne was nominated for the first award by two people on the island who knew of his passion for the ocean. They highlighted his work for the St Helena Sea Rescue Service, and his desire to undertake blue-water ocean sailing, but the challenges of doing this from the island. Josh’s application was selected from a number of submissions and he was awarded a place on the first voyage to be funded under the St Helena Open Oceans Fund.

Last week, Josh spent time with the crew of the Wavysail vessel Aurora, including Skipper Dave Immelman and First Mate Heather Deary, getting ready for the voyage of a lifetime, before setting sail. Applications are now open to join Wavysail’s next sailing expedition. This is scheduled to depart Jamestown on 13 April 2024. In the days before departure, the grant recipient will get to meet the skipper and other crew members and prepare for the trip ahead. The recipient will then sail with Wavysail, as a regular member of the crew, under the care of Skipper Dave (Wavy) Immelman and the first mate, both highly experienced sailors.

Whilst this is a major ocean trip so some previous sailing experience would be helpful, there are no minimum requirements in terms of previous sailing experience. Wavysail will provide all the training and support necessary for you to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity. They will also advise of all kit to pack and provide all of the safety equipment needed.

The voyage will route west, deep into the South Atlantic, before turning south towards Tristan da Cunha and then finally looping back towards Cape Town, where you will arrive by 25 May 2024. A truly epic voyage.

A few weeks at sea with Wavysail normally costs several thousand pounds, but under the St Helena Open Oceans Fund – which makes this experience significantly more accessible for the community – the recipient will bear no cost for their time on the yacht. The fund also includes the option to stay for up to three nights in accommodation Wavysail will book for you in Cape Town. As with any Wavysail experience, the recipient must cover and arrange their own transport to and from the arrival and departure points, as well as any hotels, meals and expenses off the boat. For instance if you reside on the island, you will need to cover the cost of your flight back to St Helena from South Africa.

You can nominate yourself, or somebody else who you feel would benefit from the experience. Nominations are open until 1 March 2024 (so, be quick!), and Wavysail will inform the successful recipient before 10 March 2024.

To apply for the St Helena Open Oceans Fund visit

The grant is open to persons currently living on the island, as well as those who are part of St Helena’s diaspora. You must be at least 18 years old by the time of departure. You will be asked to note the applicant’s relationship to St Helena within the application form.

On the announcement of the partnership Andrew Cowen, co-founder of Wavysail, commented:

“We have been regular visitors to St Helena Island since we started Wavysail Ocean Sailing Adventures in 2019, and our yacht Aurora will be a familiar sight to many islanders. We have always loved the island, and already work closely with many local businesses as well as the St Helena Government. Therefore, this partnership is very special to us too – it is our way of giving something back to the community that has made us so welcome.”

More information about the Open Oceans Fund, including the full terms and conditions, can be found online at Alternatively you can contact Wavysail directly by email through

#StHelena #SpeakeroftheHouseofCommons

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470