The inaugural Cape 31 National Championship was held this weekend at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. There were 8 boats out on the water, the conditions were light and shifty which made for some close racing and scattered results. In the end the team that have been shining all season, Squirt, owned and helmed by RYS member, Russell Peters, who came out on top by just one point over William Edwards’ Sardonyxx.
Day one of the Cape 31 Nationals began with two windward leewards, very light winds and strong spring tides just east of the Bramble Bank. Squirt came out with an early lead, winning the first race by a significant margin. The rest of the day was very shifty and made for some tricky conditions. Sardonyxx had a great start in the second race and led the whole way round the first lap, Gallivanter, however, made a great call, spotted a shift and sailed round the fleet on the second beat, held on to their lead and won the race. Race three of the day was a longer round the cans race finishing in front of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. Sardonyx took the win and won the day ahead of Katabatic with Squirt and Nifty fighting for third place.
The first day was rounded off by a great evening at the Royal Yacht Squadron. The weather was perfect for a few drinks on the lawn before a two course dinner with all the Cape 31 crews as well as the P40 crews. A great excuse to get the team shirts out, beautifully branded by Purple Patch Hamble.
Day two brought even lighter winds. The race committee did a great job squeezing in two windward leeward races. With the top four boats being so close in points it was all to play for. Gallivanter won their second race of the weekend in the first race which was shortened due to the dying breeze. Luckily for Squirt, the breeze picked up and the Race Committee managed to squeeze in one final race which they won to take the regatta! After a great weekend and the team’s best performance, William Edwards and his team on Sardonyxx took second, with Roger Bowden’s Nifty coming third after finishing with two seconds.
Russell Peters, Squirt, commented, “It’s been a great year and to finish it off with a win at the HYS Cape 31 Nationals is fantastic. We had a bit of luck, it was a very very tricky weekend but winning the last race was what we needed to do and we did it so we’re absolutely thrilled.”
Consistency was key this weekend, with four different boats with race wins it could have been anyone’s weekend. Congratulations to Russell Peters, who sails with his two daughters Suzy and Emily Peters, on their Nationals win.
The Cape’s will be back out in a few weeks, with new boats being delivered there will be more on the start line at the Royal Southern September Regatta before they go into their autumn series.