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In 1852 and 1853, a group of daring captains raced their clipper ships from New York to San Francisco. Cape Horn captures the most challenging part of tha t race: the approach and rounding of the cape.

The players, like the captains of a century and a half ago, will need their wits in their struggle against the constantly changing winds in the vicinity of the cape. By placing the small wind cards on the board, the players determine how the winds blow in the area.

Players must choose when to place cards to aid themselves and when to hinder others. The winner will be the player who best manages the wind while rounding the treacherous Cape Horn.


  • 1 board
  • 90 wind cards
  • 9 nautical station chips
  • 15 station tokens
  • 5 clipper ships
  • 5 log books
  • 5 sail point markers
  • 1 rule booklet

Object of the Game

The race around Cape Horn is divided into three zones. In each zone, there are three nautical stations which players can sail through to acquire a station token.

The winner of the race is the first player to achieve one of the following two victory conditions:

  • acquire 2 different colored station tokens in 2 different zones and cross the finish line or
  • acquire a different colored station token in each of the three zones.


  • Before the first game, carefully remove the prepunched pieces from their frames.

  • Place the board on the table.

  • Place the nine nautical station chips on the spaces on the board designated for them.

  • Place the 15 station tokens, sorted by color, beside the board.

  • Place the small wind cards face down on the table and shuffle them. Collect them into two face down stacks and place them on the title on the board.

  • Decide who will be the starting player using any method you like.

  • Each player selects a color and takes the clipper ship and sail point marker of that color and a log book. Each player puts his sail point marker on the "3" space on his log book.

  • Each player draws three wind cards from the stacks as their starting hands. The players look at their cards, but keep them hidden from the other players.

  • The players place their clipper ships on their starting places. The starting player puts his ship on the space marked "1". The other players following clockwise order putting their ships in the spaces marked "2", "3" and so on.

Game Play

The starting player puts his ship on the space marked "1". The other playe rs fo l l ow in clockwise order putting their ships in the spaces marked "2", "3" and so on.

Playing the game The starting player begins and the other pla yers follow in clockwise order. Each player, in turn, takes the following actions in the order shown:

1. The player adds one sail point to his log book by moving his sail point marker one space to the right. If the marker is already on the "8", it is not moved as a player may not have more than eight sail points.

2. The player may place as many wind cards on the board as he wants, including none. The number is limited, of course, to the cards in his hand. The cards are placed using the following rules:

  • Each wind card, must be placed adjacent to a wind card already on the board. This may be horizontally, vertically or diagonally. The five starting spaces are pre-printed wind cards.

  • Normally, wind cards may only be placed on spaces not already containing wind cards (including the pre-printed ones). A player may place a wind card on top of another one if:

    • the player places only this one wind card this turn,

    • the player does not cover a wind card he could reach with his ship on this turn (this includes movements allowed by "ignore" special movement - see below), and

    • the player does not cover a wind card on which a ship (even his own) is resting.

  • Wind cards must face a specific orientation based on where they are placed.

    In the first area (yellow), the lower edge (darker blue) of the wind card must be placed toward the north, in the second area (blue), the lower edge must be to the east and in the third area (red), the lower edge must be to the south.

    Note: although the zones and areas are similar, they are not exactly the same.

    Specifically, the yellow nautical station for zone I is in the second area (blue) as are all the nautical stations for zone II.

    All of the nautical stations for zone III lie in the third area (red).

  • When a wind card is placed on a space with a nautical station chip, the wind card is placed under the chip.

3. The player moves his ship in the direction and for the distance indicated on the wind card where it rests. If several directions and distances are shown on the card, the player may choose among them.

Although the spaces a ship passes over need not have wind cards on them, the space where the ship ends its movement must have a wind card. Ships must move the full distance indicated.

A ship may not be moved onto a wind card already occupied b y another ship unless the space also has a nautical station chip.

Also, ships may not be moved off the board. If the only options offered by a wind card would move the ship off the board, the player must choose the "ignore" special movement to move the ship.

Three Special Movement Rules

  • No move: a player may choose not to move his ship and receive a sail point instead (up to the maximum of 8 sail points).

    A player may do this even if he has 8 sail points and would receive none.

  • Ignore: a player may pay 3 sail points to ignore the directions printed on the wind card. In this case, the player may move his ship to any of the 8 neighboring spaces.

    Of course, the space chosen must have a wind card on it and no other ship (unless it is a nautical station).

  • Move twice: a player may pay 5 sail points to move his ship twice on a turn. He moves his ship first to a wind card and, paying 5 sail points, moves it again to another.

    Each move must follow the normal movement rules.

4. The player draws one wind card from one of the stacks and adds it to his hand. The player may buy additional wind cards for 1 sail point each.

However, a player may never have more than six wind cards and may not discard them. The player's turn is over; play continues with the next player clockwise around the table.

Example of ship movement: The player places the wind card with the "3" on an empty space adjacent to an already placed wind card.

The player then moves his ship two spaces diagonally to this newly placed wind card, choosing the diagonally right direction from among the five options on the card.

Stopping on a Nautical Station

The board has nine nautical stations, three in each of the three zones. The three stations in each zone have different colors (yellow, red and green).

When a ship stops on a nautical station, the player may take a station token of the color of this station and place it on the space on his log book corresponding to the zone where the ship stopped.

The top space is for zone I, the middle space for zone II, and the bottom space for zone III. The player must take a different colored token from each zone and may take only one token from each zone.

A ship must end its movement on the nautical station to collect a token; passing over it is not sufficient. As always, the space must have a wind card on it under the chip designating the space as a nautical station. Nautical station spaces may contain more than one ship.

For example: Anna collects a red token from zone I and a green token from zone II. If she chooses to take a token from zone III, it must be a blue one.

End of the Game

The game ends when either:

  • a ship that has collected two station tokens crosses the finish line or
  • a ship collects three-station tokens.

The player who managed the winning condition is the winner.


There is a strong temptation for players whose starting tiles allow them to mo ve 2 or 3 spaces forward to bypass the first nautical station, pick up tokens from the next two nautical stations, and race for the finish line.

When a player does this, he sets himself up as the perceived leader. The other players will place wind tiles in his path pointing backwards to slow or stop his progress.

There is also a temptation to follow another player who is playing "good" tiles and making good progress in the race. This, of course, puts you at least one turn behind that player, making it difficult to win the race.

However, this can be a successful strategy if the following player plans to use the move twice special movement to pass the leading player near the end of the race.

Players should carefully manage their sail points. Careful planning includes shepherding your sail points to be able to use them for the " ignore" and "move twice" special movements when they will best advance your strategy.

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