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17 Cape 31s for Round Five at the Royal Thames Yacht Club Invitational

22nd September 2022
Royal Cork Yacht Club's red hulled Antix skippered by Anthony O'Leary starts a race in the Cape 31, RTYC Round 5 off Cowes
Royal Cork Yacht Club's red hulled Antix skippered by Anthony O'Leary starts a race in the Cape 31, RTYC Round 5 off Cowes Credit: Ian Roman

Seventeen Cape 31’s were on the start line at the Royal Thames Invitational at the weekend, which marked Round Five of the 31 Race Circuit. Following a big week of 'orienteering' at Cowes Week, the Cape fleet had eight windward-leeward races in puffy and very shifty Northerly.

The conditions made for tight finishes and huge gains and losses to be made on the race course. In eight races, there were five different race winners making for close battles on the leader board. Amongst the race winners were new team Motions, taking a convincing win after coming last in the race before.

With the usual suspects from the Solent, four Irish teams, Flying Jenny from the USA and the fleet's newest, the Netherlands, there was quite an international feel to the fleet.

As Afloat reported earlier, nine out of seventeen teams made it onto the podium in races over the weekend. Lots of whoops and cheers could be heard throughout the fleet on finish lines as new teams pulled it together to earn a top spot - a great feeling for all involved.

The 17 Capes that made the Royal Thames Invitational are expected to be boosted by four more for the National Championship at the Royal Yacht Squadron from 30th September, making it the largest number of these boats that have been on a race course at onceThe 17 Capes that made the Royal Thames Invitational are expected to be boosted by four more for the National Championship at the Royal Yacht Squadron from 30th September, making it the largest number of these boats that have been on a race course at once Photo: Ian Roman

In the top spots over the three days were Arabella, Tokoloshe, Katabatic and Squirt. Niall Dowling’s team on Arabella were leading after Day 1 with a 1,1,2, with Mike Bartholomew’s Tokoloshe in second place with 1,2,2 and Lance Adam’s Katabatic in third. Tokoloshe took the lead after day two, with Squirt moving into second place just two points behind the leaders. In the end, it all came down to the last two races on Sunday. After not winning a race in the first two days, Russell Peters and team pulled it out of the bag with two bullets on Sunday.

Conditions were excellent - there was great racing, lots of place changing at the Cape 31 RTYC InvitationalConditions were excellent - there was great racing, lots of place changing at the Cape 31 RTYC Invitational Photo: Ian Roman

Ian Walker, tactician on Tokoloshe said, “Sailing the Cape was fantastic, and the conditions were excellent. Great racing, lots of place changing. The Tokoloshe crew were awesome - I don’t think I’ve ever sailed on such a quiet calm boat; they made it all the more fun. The good thing about the racing this weekend was that no one was going to get everything right. If you fell back, you always felt that there was an opportunity.”

Cape 31

The fleet attracted some new but well-known faces this weekend, including Olympic gold medalist Giles Scott on Arabella, Irish and GB Olympian Saskia Tidey from Dun Laoghaire on Fanatic, America’s Cup veteran Jes Gram Hansen on Motions, double Olympic Silver medalist and Volvo Ocean Race Winner Ian Walker on Tokoloshe, Grant “Fuzz” Spanake Olympic, TP52, Americas Cup and Round the World Sailor and Coach on Flying Jenny.

Russell Peters (left) and crew are the Cape 31 team to beat after overall victory at the RTYC InvitationalRussell Peters (left) and crew are the Cape 31 team to beat after overall victory at the RTYC Invitational Photo: Ian Roman

Off the water, the teams enjoyed beers and pizza on Friday night at the Sugar Store in Shepards Marina. On Saturday, they gathered at the Island Sailing Club for the regatta party with food, AIX Rosé and music into the wee hours.

21 teams are expected for the Cape 31 National Championship at the Royal Yacht Squadron from 30th September to 2nd October. The largest number of these boats that have been on a race course at once. 

Race Results

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Published in Cape 31
Afloat.ie Team

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At A Glance – Cape 31

LOA 9.56 m
Draft 2.45m
Beam 3.1 m
IRC Rating 1.15

Yacht Builder Mills Design
Model Cape 31
Performance Level Performance Racer

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