Qualified skipper and sailing junkie Sébastien Rohner shares his top four reasons why Langebaan Lagoon is the hidden gem that’s become one of his favourite sailing spots in the world – and will soon be yours too!
ONE: It’s surrounded by multiple pleasure ports
While savouring the views of its white sandy beaches from the deck, you’re likely to come across many ports inviting you to drop anchor for a quick stop or stay overnight. Make Mykonos your home base for a real Greek island experience right on African shores. Saldanha is a visually rich area. The deepest port and largest on the South African coastline, it boasts a bustling fishing harbour and artificial breakwater that protects the iron ore harbour from the sea. When in open waters, keep an eye out for Dassen Island. This nature reserve sits just 10km west of Yzerfontein and is home to more than 6000 African penguins, the Angulate tortoise, feral cats and mischievous ‘dassie’ rock rabbit.
TWO: It’s the only South African tidal water recognised by the RYA
Located approximately 120km north of Cape Town, Langebaan Lagoon provides the only exam waters accredited by the Royal Yachting Association in South Africa. It’s flat tidal waters on the south side are perfectly suited for beginners and intermediate sailors who want to practice new tricks and turns. Brush up your skills with a short course at the RYA accredited Atlantic Yachting school for training in all levels, from beginner to yachtmaster.
Thrill-seekers won’t need to go far for an adrenaline rush either. Sail out of Saldanha Bay (the northern end of the Lagoon) to enter the roaring South Atlantic for high swells that will have your heart racing in no time!
THREE: Windsurfers and kitesurfers are loving it too
The best part about Langebaan’s waters is the changes to the wind throughout the year. Summer brings strong south-easterly gusts that can blow up to 35 knots for sheer windsurfing pleasure. In winter, things get more intense when westerly north winds result in rainy weather and loads of swell.
Surfing with a Hobie Cat into the west coast national park area near Kraalbaai will allow you to give that extra push without fear. Capsizing is a breeze in these shallow waters where you can stand up easily and quickly get back on track. There are Hobie Cats available to rent in Langebaan, too, so you can enjoy a stress-free transition from windsurfing to sailing and back again at your leisure.
FOUR: Sail. Swim. Relax.
Langebaan Lagoon provides the perfect location for a ‘rent a house and relax’ type getaway. Its tidal waters are warmer than the surrounding seas and its coastline is strewn with myriad beach houses, resorts, fresh seafood restaurants and wildlife just waiting to be discovered. All that’s missing is you and your boat!
Photography by Sébastien Rohner
Words by Shalagh-Ann Fredericks