The Cape 31 fleet is sailing! To think that in just 18 months we have a fleet of eight C31’s on the water with a few more on order! Wow!
The C31 owners have really embraced the concept of the class, which is meant to be fun, and a little tongue in cheek. The eight boats boast colorful sails and hulls and many have elaborate names, from fun names like Scud to the chemical formula for the color Turquoise, to elegant names like Vivaldi and Nemesis. These beauties have brought back an excitement to one design sailing in SA!
To create excitement amongst the local sailing community and to give international sailors a chance to sail on these fast and pacy boats during a Cape Town summer, a series of invitational regattas have been held in Cape Town, South Africa since December 2017.
Summer sailing in Cape Town is a must! Consistent winds and warm, sunny days, and there’s loads to see and do when you are not sailing.
The first C31 regatta took place at the V&A Waterfront as the Volvo Ocean Race Invitational in December 2017.
The regatta was on the VOR stopover calendar as part of the Ocean Festival. The first- ever regatta for this fleet was held on the waters of Granger Bay in light SW conditions. The colourful boats drew lots of attention from spectators and international sailors alike. A new boat, Philip Baum’s Nemesis was launched to add to the 6 boats already in the fleet.
For the second Cape 31 Invitational held in late January this year, conditions were perfect with a SW wind and flat waters for the windward/leeward courses and a medium distance race which made for tight racing. Two international teams chartered boats to take on the locals but it was local boat TNT Racing who took the top spot in all the races! A building breeze made for some great tactics and manouvres.
The third Cape 31 Invitational saw three visiting teams from the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the Royal Thames Yacht Club and Royal Perth Yacht Club joining the Royal Cape Yacht Club and GBYC teams on the race course. Race Officer, Stuart Childerley set short and long courses in the mix of light SW and strong SE winds, which offered the teams a chance to test their skills in all conditions. Cape 31 designer, Mark Mills gave a talk on how the design came about and he was able to watch the young fleet sailing for the first time. Hull number 8, Bjorn Geiger’s MB raced for the first time against the full fleet adding another colourful boat to the Cape 31 family. Peter Morton’s Girls on Film team sailing as Girls on Tour’ from RORC won the event followed by Joshua Flack from RTYC on Scud. The local team on Philip Baum’s Nemesis, took third place.
‘These boats are fantastic fun and we would like to see them sailing in the Solent’ said Peter Morton
Who says you can’t take a Cape 31 offshore? Between the Cape 31 Invitational regattas, the annual Mykonos Offshore regatta was held in early February. A close on 80 mile dash up the West Coast and a Bay race gave the visiting Italian team on the Cape 31 Flame a baptism of fire. Traditionally this race is a downwind dash with a SE wind on the stern, but this year the wind was on the nose, which didn’t deter the Cape 31’s.
Turquoise took first place in the Cape 31 Fleet and used the testing conditions to prepare for the Cape 31 Invitational regatta held the following weekend. The Bay race on the Saturday allowed for a great dice between the visitors on Flame and local sailor, Lance Burgers’ Turquoise.
The Cape 31’s can reach impressive speeds. TNT Racing tracked these numbers one Wednesday night while out racing in Table Bay in a steady South East wind.