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Displaying items by tag: Cape 31

The latest Cape 31 arrival at the Royal Irish Yacht Club is the first of the new ultra-modern sportsboats into Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The new addition to Dublin Bay brings the Irish fleet to five, with three boats already racing in Howth and one at Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour since May.

Named 'Blast' with white topsides and striking hull graphics, the underwater appendages are painted bright orange.

It's not the only RIYC Cape 31, however, as UK-based Niall Dowling is already on the international circuit with his blue-hulled Arabella.

As regular Afloat readers know, the inaugural Irish Cape 31 National Championships were won last month by Anthony O'Leary's Antix

O'Leary competed at last week's Calves Week in West Cork along with Dan O'Grady's Aja, and both showed their pace on the final day

Meanwhile, the Wright brothers' Howth-based Adrenaline was competing in Cowes Week on the Solent with the very strong and pro-sailed Cape 31 British fleet.

The new Cape 31 was designed by Wicklow based Mark Mills as a simple, clean, high-performance One Design, and it's been turning heads at some of the world's biggest sailing centres.

Irish interest in the South African-inspired racer originally from Howth and Cork Harbour and from some very experienced crews seeking a racing boat with 'no pretences towards cruising'. 

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Anthony O'Leary's Antix crew scored a first and a second in the final two races, which gave the RCYC ace the inaugural title on his home waters. 

Six pocket-rocket Cape 31s designed by Wicklow’s Mark Mills, contested the first Cape 31 Irish nationals at Cork Week with teams from Cork, Dublin, Hamble, UK, and the Isle of Man in action.
 
The 2022 Cape 31 Irish National Champion is Royal Cork’s Anthony O’Leary’s racing Antix after scoring a 1-2 on the final day. Antix winning crew: Anthony O’Leary, Peter O’Leary, Ben Field, Rebecca Coles, Peter Greenhalgh, Mark Hassett, and Tommy Murphy. A thrilling battle for runner-up came from two teams from Howth YC. Dave McGuire’s Valkyrie won the last race to take second by a single point from Dan O'Grady’s Aja.

Anthony O'Leary's Antix crewAnthony O'Leary's Antix crew Photo: Rick Tomlinson 

“In 1997 we won the first 1720 National Championships, so in 2022 to win the first Cape 31 Nationals has a special ring to it!” commented Anthony O’Leary. “There is a very high level of competition in the Cape 31s, and it was great fun as well. Every day we go out, we are learning so much. This has been a light airs week and we still have loads to crack in the medium and heavy airs. It is very exciting to be on this learning ladder, and we are having a ball, the boats are spectacular!”

Cape 31 Adrenaline leads at a wing markCape 31 Adrenaline leads at a wing mark Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Published in Cork Week
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Three windward leeward races were run for the Cape 31 Class competing for the Irish National Championship at Cork Week on Thursday.

Anthony O'Leary’s Antix from the Royal Cork YC still leads the championship after scoring a 1-2-4 today.

After three days of light and complex racing, a sea breeze kicked in on day four to spice up the action on the penultimate day.

Cape 31 Adrenaline leads at a wing markCape 31 Adrenaline leads at a wing mark Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Dan O'Grady’s Aja from Howth YC was back in fine form scoring a 4-1-1 to finish the day in second for the series, three points behind Antix. Dave Maguire’s Valkyrie from the Howth YC finished the day in third place. Antix, Aja and Valkyrie look set to decide the National Championship podium with Antix in the driving seat.

Racing at Cork Week concludes tomorrow on five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Published in Cork Week
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The Cape 31 Class was once again racing on the national championship windward leeward course on Wednesday (day three) off Cork Harbour's Roches Point.

Anthony O'Leary’s Antix from the Royal Cork YC scored a 1-3-1 to take the lead in the series being raced as part of Cork Week Regatta.

The third day of Cork Week incorporating the ICRA National Championships was blessed with sunshine and 8-10 knots of breeze from the north. 

Cape 31s Valkyrie, Adrenaline and KatabitcsCape 31s Valkyrie, Adrenaline and Katabitcs Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Tuesday leader, Dan O'Grady’s Aja from Howth Yacht Club scored a 4-2-2 and drops to second. Michael Wilson’s Shotgun scored a 5-1-4 to finish the day in third for the series.

Lance Adams' Cape 31 Katabatic Photo: Bob BatemanLance Adams' Cape 31 Katabatic Photo: Bob Bateman

Racing at Cork Week continues tomorrow with the penultimate day of racing for the regatta. Five race areas, in and outside Cork Harbour, will be organised by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Published in Cork Week
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The Cape 31 Class was racing on the national championship windward-leeward course off Roches Point today on the second day of Volvo Cork Week.

You could feel the tension as the high-performance fleet approached the line for the first race.

Several boats returned to restart after the X-Ray flagged announced that boats were over the line. Dave McGuire's Valkyrie took a penalty turn before the first top mark. Anthony O'Leary’s Antix from the Royal Cork YC held their nerve to win the first race of the day.

Dave McGuire's Cape 31 Valkyrie from HowthDave McGuire's Cape 31 Valkyrie from Howth Photo: Rick Tomlinson

In the second race, Dan O'Grady’s Aja was the winner to lead the Volvo Cork Week Series on countback from Antix. Michael Wilson’s Shotgun from the Isle Of Man YC is third for the series.

Cape 31Three Irish Cape 31s from left Valkyrie, Antix and Adrenaline Photo Rick Tomlinson

The O’Leary family has been part of the history of Cork Week for three generations, racing at every edition of Cork Week since 1978. Anthony O’Leary’s Antix is new to the Cape 31 Class but Anthony has tasted victory at Volvo Cork Week many times in the past.

Cape 31s (from left) Adrenaline, Antix and Shotgun Photo Rick TomlinsonCape 31s (from left) Adrenaline, Antix and Shotgun Photo Rick Tomlinson

“It is great to be racing back at Cork Week, which we haven’t had for quite a while; not racing in 2020 was a huge disappointment” commented Anthony O’Leary. “To have all of the competitors from Cork, Ireland and from overseas is just superb. To have six Cape 31s here is fantastic, and we would have had double that if we had the trailers. The standard is great in the Cape 31 Class and to have 44 1720s here is also just fantastic. You know, the 1720s were a small class when they appeared in 1996 and many of those 1720 sportsboat pioneers are now racing Cape 31. The drivers maybe a bit older, but we have young people on the crews! I am sure everyone is looking forwards to a glorious week of racing!”

Published in Cape 31
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Brand new to Volvo Cork Week is the Cape 31 Class racing for their inaugural Irish National Championships in Cork Harbour

Designed by Wicklow’s Mark Mills the pocket-rocket class started their life in Table Bay Cape Town, South Africa, expanded to The Solent, UK and now onto Ireland!

Four of the Cape 31s are from Ireland and two are Cape Crusaders from the UK.

The Cape 31s were on the picturesque Harbour Course today for a single race of over three hours.The Cape 31s were on the picturesque Harbour Course today for a single race of over three hours. Photo: Rick Tomlinson

Dave Maguire’s Howth Yacht Club team racing Valkyrie took first blood, winning the race by under two minutes from the Wright brothers from Howth YC racing Adrenaline.

Anthony O’Leary’s Antix from the Royal Cork was third.

Tomorrow the Cape 31 will be on their Irish Championship windward-leeward course.

Cape 31 Class after one race sailed

1st Valkyrie David McGuire IRL3129 Howth Yacht Club (1.0) 1.0 0.0
2nd Adrenaline Darren Wright IRL 31031 Howth Yacht Club (2.0) 2.0 0.0
3rd Antix Anthony O'Leary IRL 3128 Royal Cork Yacht Club (3.0) 3.0 0.0

Results here

Published in Cork Week
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If you've wondered what it's like in the wide open prairie-like spaces of the new Cape 31s' cockpits when things get hairy, "The Cork Boat in Cowes", aka the latest Antix with Anthony O'Leary doing the driving in the Solent, provides an answer here.

Not least of the points of interest is that designer Mark Mills' persistence in not going down the twin rudder route seems to be borne out by the tiller being more or less in the fore-and-aft position, though things may well have looked very different within the next few nano-seconds......

Anthony O'Leary and the Antix crew from Royal Cork are competing in a 13-boat Cape 31 fleet in Cowes at RORC's Vice Admiral's Cup Regatta where they took a third place in the second race of the day.

A stunning opening day delivered three fast-paced and testing races for every class. After a short wait for the wind to fill in, it quickly built to a solid west-southwesterly of 12-14 knots. The breeze then rose further, with gusts into the mid 20s, accompanied by plenty of excitement as downwind boat speeds topped 20 knots for some.

Results are here

Published in Cape 31
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The Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 is an uncompromising day-racing machine, but when two of them made their debut appearance off Howth this (Sunday) afternoon, their sheer style blew away any negative thoughts that if you're seeking any off-watch zizzes in a comfortable pilot berth down below, then this isn't the boat for you.

For if it's speed and action and skill and strength of nerve with grown-up sail areas that you seek, then sign on the dotted line. The two boats up and running are David Maguire's Valkyrie and Dan O'Grady's blue
boat, name to be revealed in due course, and at least one more of this breakthrough design will be joining them for the Howth Wave Regatta in three weeks' time.

Dan O'Grady's very blue boat was the first Cape 31 to be unwrapped in Ireland. Photo: Judith Malcolm

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The camera does not lie, they say, but it depends on how you hold it and angle it, and which lens you use. If you see the Mark Mills-designed Cape 31 sailing, you'll reckon she's a reasonably beamy and sensible boat.

But the first to arrive in Ireland got here a day or two ago and - from one photo angle at any rate - she looks so skinny and so deep that for some harbours, draught requirement might be a problem. We'll see.

As for the Pinnochio nose, that's brought on by owners trying to tell their wives how little this stark day-sailing boat cost...

Published in Cape 31
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With at least four Mark Mills-designed Cape 31s making their Irish class debut at the Wave Regatta in Howth from June 3rd to 5th, we will see one very important wheel come full circle. For it was a 31ft Mark Mills design making her debut at Howth in 1996 that launched the tyro designer on a stellar career which today sees him established as an internationally-recognised and much-awarded race-winning innovator. But he still finds the best space to think and create in Ireland, as he has moved his productive design studio even deeper into the peaceful rural depths of the lush Wicklow countryside, where he and his team come forward with frontline designs of all sizes up to super-maxis, designs that win at the top level for racing and style in five continents.

Yet twenty-six years ago, it was quite something - a real leap in the dark - to be the first owner to appreciate this nascent talent. That personal distinction falls to Peter Beamish of Dun Laoghaire, who in 1995 placed the order for a completely new 31ft Mills-designed offshore racer to the then-dominant CHS rule. Peter Beamish was to show an exceptional talent for spotting potential, for in the 21st Century he has been one of the quietly effective supporters of Ronan O Siochru and his sailing school, the remarkably successful Irish Offshore Sailing in Dun Laoghaire. But back in late 1995, it was a Fingal-based boat-building partnership, Mizzen Marine, which he commissioned to build the new boat.

Aztec on her maiden sail at Howth, May 1996. Photo: WM NixonAztec on her maiden sail at Howth, May 1996. Photo: WM Nixon 

Cape 31 in full cry – raceboat design has moved on, but there’s no doubting the family link to Aztec. Photo Rick TomlinsonCape 31 in full cry – raceboat design has moved on, but there’s no doubting the family link to Aztec. Photo Rick Tomlinson

The two main movers in Mizzen Marine were David Harte – now of Fastnet Marine & Outdoor Centre in Schull – and Garrett Connolly, an Olympic crew in the Soling. They drew on the talents of Darragh Peelo and Robin Evans as coal-face workers in this intriguing project, with further input from the multi-talented Johnny Smullen, who subsequently became California-based and the personal boat-builder to America’s Cup legend Dennis Conner.

So in all, with ideas being bounced between designer, builders and owner, it was something of a magic circle that created the boat that was initially known as Aztec, and is now known as Raptor in Dun Laoghaire, where she’s owned and sailed by the FOFC, otherwise known as the Friends of Fintan Cairns.

As Aztec in May 1996, she was a star from the start, winning her first inshore race by a clear 3.5 minutes, and making her big time debut in the Lambay Race before going on to sweep Dublin Bay and the Solent. So with the Lambay Race continuing at the heart of the Wave Regatta (it’s on Saturday June 6th), the appearance of the Cape 31s (and let’s hope Raptor as well) will mark a very special stage in the Mark Mills design career.

Aztec makes her debut – she may have been the first of the line, but she was a thoroughbred from the startAztec makes her debut – she may have been the first of the line, but she was a thoroughbred from the start

History in the making. And Aztec fulfilled all her promised, winning her first race - a short inshore – by 3.5 minutes. Photo: W M. NixonHistory in the making. And Aztec fulfilled all her promised, winning her first race - a short inshore – by 3.5 minutes. Photo: W M. Nixon

And it will show how our concepts about boat purposes have moved on too. Aztec aspired to be a proper offshore racer, with overnight capabilities. But the Cape 31s make no such promises -they’re pure day-sailing sportsboats, and indeed at the moment they’re even exploring the possibilities of a foiling version. Yet the fact that they reflect Aztec’s overall length rings a bell, and there’s no doubting a distant but distinct family relationship in their appearance.

With the post-pandemic rising profile of the Wright Group-sponsored Wave Regatta becoming evident, June 2022 is confirming predictions of being an exceptionally busy month for the offshore brigade. But there’s much more to Wave than Cruiser-Racer competition, and while as already reported in Afloat.ie there has been a remarkable uptake in entries for Classes 0 and 1, with three race areas available. And a user-friendly pick’n’choose programme means there’s every option available from the opportunity to enjoy three days of intense competition to the more traditional choice of simply doing the Lambay Race, which was first sailed in 1904, and continues as a special way of celebrating the existence of a very handsome and unspoilt island only 22 kilometres from Dublin city centre.

Lambay – the perfect unspoilt island, yet it is only 22 kilometres frOm the heart of Dublin city.Lambay – the perfect unspoilt island, yet it is only 22 kilometres frOm the heart of Dublin city.

Howth’s long tradition of One-Design keelboat racing will be much in evidence, for in addition to the locally-rooted Howth 17s of 1898-vintage and the Puppeteer 22s dating from 1978, the Squibs are undergoing one of their number surges in anticipation of the big championship in Kinsale at the end of June, while at the other end of the scale, the Sigma 33s are indicating growing strength, with the Howth-based Insider (Stephen Mullaney and Ian Martin) the current Irish champion.

Post-finish celebration aboard the Irish Champion Sigma 33 Insider after another race win. Photo: Conor LindsayPost-finish celebration aboard the Irish Champion Sigma 33 Insider after another race win. Photo: Conor Lindsay

The peninsular harbour also has a small but potent J/109 flotllla sailing from its marina, including Irish class champion Storm (Pat Kelly, Rush SC) , and they will be on their mettle, as J/109 star Mojito from Pwllheli (Vicky Cox & Peter Dunlop) is already into the mix, and now the class have made Wave a designated event for their Eastern Championship.

The Howth-based J/109s Outrajeous (Richard Colwell) and Storm (Pat Kelly) racing off the Fingal coast. The J/109s have designated the Wave Regatta as their Eastern Championship.The Howth-based J/109s Outrajeous (Richard Colwell) and Storm (Pat Kelly) racing off the Fingal coast. The J/109s have designated the Wave Regatta as their Eastern Championship.

HYC’s own club-owned fleet of J/80s made their impressive 2022 debut with the Irish Universities Keelboat Championship in the last weekend of March (when the weather was much more spring-like than it has been since), and that successful series of 18 sunlit races has inspired college crews to put down their names for charter of J/80s for more of the same.

The HYC fiotilla of J/80s making the best of bright March sunshine during the recent Irish Universities Keelboat Championship. Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThe HYC fiotilla of J/80s making the best of bright March sunshine during the recent Irish Universities Keelboat Championship. Photo: Annraoi Blaney

With normal club racing on the East Coast in full swing before the end of April (DBSC Opening is today week), there’s no doubt that it will take time for the full buzz to manifest itself again, but in Howth there’s an impressive harbour/community effort underway to ensure that Wave is an effective launching pad for the national and international programme, with Howth Harbour Master Captain Harry McLoughlin pulling out all the stops to optimise the port’s potential, while the Michael J Wright Group are joined as sponsors by Fingal County Council, Euro Car Parks, WD 40, Cassidy Travel and CKS Finance.

As for the weather, that’s in the lap of the Gods. But for anyone immersed in the culture and lore of Irish sailing, the prospect of the ancient Howth 17s racing round Lambay as they have done for 118 years in tandem with the presence of the very modern reminders of Mark Mills’ first boat in the same place is profoundly moving.

The Howth 17s Aura and Pauline racing round Lambay - as they have been doing for 118 years. Photo: John DeanThe Howth 17s Aura and Pauline racing round Lambay - as they have been doing for 118 years. Photo: John Dean

Published in W M Nixon
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