Second St Helena Open Oceans Grant available

Saints or those connected to St Helena island can now apply for the second Open Oceans funded place

Andrew Cowen
by Andrew Cowen ·

Fully funded Ocean adventure awaits

As the first recipient of the St Helena Open Oceans Fund is now out on the open ocean with Wavysail for the voyage to Cape Town, applications for the next grant are being invited.

The grant enables a Saint, or somebody closely connected to the island, to take part in Wavysail’s next trip from Jamestown to Cape Town, departing 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 the St Helena Open Oceans Grant, enabled via partnership between Wavysail and St Helena Government (SHG), encourages inclusive yachting specifically for St Helena’s community.

Meet Josh, the first St Helena Open Oceans Grant Recipient

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.

Last week, Josh spent time with the crew of the Wavysail vessel Aurora, joining Skipper Dave Immelman and First Mate Heather Deary as well as the rest of the crew, getting ready for the voyage of a lifetime.

Now, applications are open to join Wavysail’s April 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. This is a major ocean trip, so some previous sailing experience would certainly be helpful, but there are no minimum requirements in terms of previous sailing experience. 

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

Under the St Helena Open Oceans Funded place the recipient will bear no cost for their time on the yacht. The fund also covers staying for up to three nights in accommodation in Cape Town which Wavysail will book for you. 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 other hotels, meals, and expenses off the boat.

Who can apply to the St Helena Open Oceans Grant?

You can nominate yourself, or somebody else who you feel would benefit from the experience. Nominations are open until 28 February 2024 (so, be quick!), and Wavysail will inform the successful recipient before 10 March 2024.

To apply for the St Helena Open Oceans Fund, click HERE

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 18 years old or over 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.”

Where to find out more about Wavysail Open Oceans?

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