Round 1 Cape 31 Race Circuit - Poole Regatta
Round 1 of the 31 Race Circuit began this weekend with 11 boats heading to Poole Regatta. It kicked off with a North Sails training day on the Friday afternoon after the teams had delivered their boats along the coast.
North Sails experts Ben Saxton led the day with Ruaridh Wright and designer Matias Sabate running racing and David Howlett, British Sailing Team coach providing expert coaching. Practice starts, practice racing and helpful tips from the coaches was the vibe of the afternoon before heading in to ready the Cape 31’s for racing and heading to the competitors drinks reception.
The eleven strong Cape 31 fleet completed 4 windward leeward races on Saturday in light conditions. The breeze built slightly during the day with the final race seeing 7-9 knots.
Race 1 took place in quite light winds - the Race Committee did well to start on time. A clear divide in strategy saw half the Cape 31 fleet take port and the other starboard tack, the fleet came back together closely at the top mark, with both groups converging perfectly for the run back down the course. A significant drop in the already light wind resulted in a shortened race and a pause to wait for things to pick up.
A steady sea breeze soon kicked in and despite a significant shift from east to west challenging the race officers and a lumpy swell, this made for great racing as the breeze built and shifted during each of the three remaining races.
Shotgunn took the first two wins of the season winning the pin and sailing off into clean breeze. With Harlequin and Fanatic also taking race wins it was great to see a mix of boats at the top. Third to eighth were separated by only four points - testament to how close the racing was in the four races we had. Had there been another day of racing it would have been very easy for the table to be split.
Unfortunately the fleet had no racing on Sunday due to light winds and a building tide. Monday was abandoned due to a tragic accident involving one of the sailors at Poole Regatta. Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of the sailor involved.
Michael Wilson and Vince Hayter's 'Shotgunn' lived up to its name bagging two firsts and a third to seal victory for the regatta, whilst a consistently creditable performance from the Bartholomew's 'Tokoloshe' placed the team second.
Congratulations to Shotgunn on winning Round 1 of the Cape 31 Race Circuit and their second regatta on the water - great to see new teams at the top of the table. Second place was taken by Tokoloshe who sailed a very consisted 4,4,3,2 closely followed by Harlequin sailed by Bertie Bickett for this weekend. First to third all new boats that have been delivered in the last few months.
Less than three weeks to go until Round 2 at the RORC Vice Admiral’s Cup. With five new boats arriving this week (four into Ireland) the class will have 14+ boats on the startline for round 2.
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