The AZAB Yacht Race History

The AZAB is a 2,400-mile ocean regatta which starts in Falmouth and goes to the port of Ponta Delgada, on the Azores Island of São Miguel.

Competitors have time on the island for some R&R before racing back to Falmouth.

Falmouth has long been a venue for international and national championship events and hosting them has been an important part of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club activities since the 1950s. The AZAB has been organised by RCYC every fourth year since the first race in 1975.


The race destination, Ponta Delgada, is the capital of São Miguel, one of nine Azores Archipelago Islands in the Eastern Atlantic, approximately 750 nautical miles off the coast of Portugal and some 1220 miles from Falmouth.

“Most yachts participating in the race usually take between 7 and 10 days to reach the Azores, allowing a week or so to relax and prepare for the return passage.”

The town of Ponta Delgada has many excellent restaurants and a wide range of shops and markets within walking distance, so competitors should have no difficulty in restocking for the return leg.

Since their discovery by the Portuguese in the early 15th Century, the Azores islands have been a popular stop with seafarers. Columbus visited one of Ponta Delgada’s neighbouring islands on his way back to Spain from the New World in 1493. In centuries past the islands were also a staging post for richly laden treasure ships, which made them a magnet for pirates and privateers of all nations.


Useful Information

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Keep up to date with the AZAB 2023 on social media with the hashtag #AZAB2023