Report back by Dave Hudson - Cape31 Class Chairman
What better time to hold the inaugural Cape 31 Class Regatta than during the height of the Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town stopover? The seven Cape 31's were moored in the Volvo 65’s berths in front of the Table Bay Hotel for the weekend. The Volvo fleet has now left town, but in their wake is the excitement of our new One-Design class.
The regatta really showcased what this fast-growing fleet of Mark Mills-designed sportboats is all about. Racing took place off Granger Bay in light SW winds and created a stunning, colourful treat for spectators.
After eight closely contested races over two days, Nitro’s Mike Hayton summed it up:
“Great one design racing with just seven boats on the water! This is the start of a new era in South African sailing”.
And that it surely is, thanks to Irvine Laidlaw’s vision and generosity, and to the owners who’ve run with the ball and are making Irvine’s vision a reality.
While every boat in this regatta spent time at the top end of the fleet, it was Tina Plattner / Tony Norris’s pace-setting TNT that edged out Mike Hayton / David Rae’s Team Nitro to take the overall honours. The newly launched SCUD, Greg Davis and Luke Scott’s colourful boat, rounded off the podium places.
Listening to the excitement of owners and sailors on Saturday evening, during a wine pairing by Waterford Wines, and a preview of Sail + Leisure Magazine, the message was clear - this is a class that’s going to attract the very best young sailors in SA!