Updated: Oct 25
Last weekend the Cape 31 Class descended upon the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes for the much-anticipated Inaugural Cape 31 European Championship, marking the grand finale of the 31 Race Circuit Season.
Twenty-two teams, representing various nations, converged to vie for the title of the first-ever European Champion. However, Mother Nature had other plans, as the first day of racing was washed out by 30-40 knot winds. Fortunately, the Royal Yacht Squadron played the perfect host, offering a delightful drinks reception in their newly refurbished pavilion, keeping the fleet entertained.
Despite the initial setback, the forecast for the following days looked promising. The organizers had to squeeze a total of eight races into a single weekend. Race director Peter Saxton and his team did an exceptional job, delivering top-notch racing across the two days.
After the first day's four races, the competition was intense, with no one enjoying a 'comfortable' lead. The club hosted an end of season dinner with the all important Ireland vs New Zealand match thrown in for our Irish and Kiwi fans before the teams were early to bed for the final day of racing.
Sunday brought lighter conditions but again, four great close races were completed before the time limit. Seven different teams clinched victories over the two days, showcasing the fleet's depth. Race winners included Julian Metherell's Bullit, Barry Samson's Short Echo, Lance Adam's Katabatic, Russell Peter's Fanatic, Tony Dickin's Jubilee, Michael Wilson's Shotgunn, and Sandy Askew's Flying Jenny.
In the end, it was Russell Peters, the 2021 and 2022 Season Champion aboard Fanatic, who secured the European Championship by a razor-thin margin of just one point. This remarkable achievement came after a season away from the class, making his victory all the more remarkable.
Second and Third we Flying Jenny and Shotgunn respectively. Anthony O'Leary's Antix was the Corinthian European winner. Our top New Owner was Nick Phillips on Chaotic.
Thank you to the Royal Yacht Squadron, Race Committee and Cape 31 Class Partners for making the event run so smoothly. Our prize winners went home with some amazing B&G, Harken and Spinlock goodies.
The 2024 Europeans will take place in Sanremo, Italy on the 7th to the 10th November.