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Royal Cork's Antix Crew are Champions of First Cape 31 Regatta in the USA

24th January 2023
Anthony O’Leary, sailing with two of his sons, Rob and Nin, came out on top of the international fleet in the Southernmost Regatta at Key West, Florida
Anthony O’Leary, sailing with two of his sons, Rob and Nin, came out on top of the international fleet in the Southernmost Regatta at Key West, Florida Credit: Amanda Plewes

Sunshine sailing in the picturesque blue waters of Key West is what the Cape 31 Class signed up for, and that is just what they got at the Southernmost Regatta.

A perfect week for the first-ever Cape 31 US Class event. Five days of action-packed close racing with four winners across the eight races. The 2023 Southernmost Regatta kicked off on Monday, 16th January, with teams travelling to compete worldwide.

As Afloat reported earlier, Antix, a team at many Key West regattas in various forms over the years, shipped their boat from the UK/Ireland at the end of 2022 for the regatta.

Cork Week 2022 Champions, Antix (left) was one of the first Cape 31 teams to enter the new event in Key West that aims to rekindle interest in keelboat racing on Florida's blue watersCork Week 2022 Champions, Antix (left) was one of the first teams to enter the new event in Key West that aims to rekindle interest in keelboat racing on Florida's blue waters

Sandy Askew decided to do the same after enjoying her first season with the Cape 31 in the UK before embarking on a Caribbean adventure doing Key West on the way.

The remaining three boats were chartered by teams. Dan Cheresh, Extreme 2, Richard Thompson, Black Seal and Joel Ronning, Catapult. These teams had a few windy training days before the regatta but did not have long to get up to speed to compete against each other.

Topping the Cape 31 class at Florida's 2023 Southernmost Regatta was Irish champion Antix (red hull), skippered by Anthony O'LearyTopping the Cape 31 class at Florida's 2023 Southernmost Regatta was Irish champion Antix (red hull), skippered by Anthony O'Leary

After dominating the first few days, Anthony O’Leary, the Cork Week Champion, held the top spot for the entire regatta. This was no easy feat as the three charter teams got to grips with the boat surprisingly quickly and found themselves in the chocolates (or rum) all week.

The Cape 31 Antix crew  O'Leary was Nick Butt, Cliodhna Connolly, Ben Field, sons Nicholas and Robert, Clive O Shea and Richie WatkinThe Cape 31 Antix crew  O'Leary was Nick Butt, Cliodhna Connolly, Ben Field, sons Nicholas and Robert, Clive O Shea and Richie Watkin

Onboard with O'Leary was Nick Butt, Cliodhna Connolly, Ben Field, sons Nicholas and Robert, Clive O Shea and Richie Watkin, whose role is described as 'Switch Flipper' for the week.

With just two points separating the top three teams going into the last day, it was anyone’s game - but a little bit of Irish luck was on Antix’s side as there wasn’t enough wind to race!

After dominating the start of the week, the Royal Cork Yacht Club crew came out on top of the international fleet in Key West!  

Cape 31 2023 Southernmost Regatta, USA Results 

1. Antix, IRL3128, Anthony O Leary - 1 -1 -1 -2 -2 -[5] -3 -5 ; 15
2. Extreme 2, IRL31031, Dan Cheresh - [5] -4 -3 -1 -3 -1 -1 -2 ; 15
3. BLACK SEAL, GBR314X, Richard Thompson - 2 -2 -2 -[5] -1 -4 -2 -3 ; 16
4. Catapult, USA 311X, Joel Ronning - 3 -3 -[4] -3 -4 -2 -4 -4 ; 23
5. Flying Jenny, USA61567, Sandra Askew - 4 -[5] -5 -4 -5 -3 -5 -1 ; 27

Published in Cape 31, Royal Cork YC
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At A Glance – Cape 31

LOA 9.56 m
Draft 2.45m
Beam 3.1 m
IRC Rating 1.15

Yacht Builder Mills Design
Model Cape 31
Performance Level Performance Racer

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