Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Five Irish Boats Competing at Cape 31 UK National Championships

7th June 2023
A Cape 31 race start during round one of the UK circuit
A Cape 31 race start during round one of the UK circuit Credit: Paul Wyeth

The UK Cape 31 National Championship at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club is set to begin on Friday, featuring the largest fleet to date. 

The Royal Lymington team is hosting the class for the first time, and with 26 teams on the starting line, the event promises three days of exhilarating racing.

The entry list includes the 25 teams that participated in the RORC Vice Admirals Cup in May, along with a new boat from Germany, La Pericolosa.

The five Irish boats competing are: 

  • Niall Dowling's Arabella from the Royal Irish with a mix of amateur and three pro crew: Victoria Akhurst, Poppy Daniel, Tom Dawson (Pro), Anthony Haines (Pro), Randal Jackson, Sam Pearson and Mark Lees (Pro).
  • Dan O'Grady's Aja from Howth with an all-amateur crew of Jon O'Dowd, Ross McDonald, Dylan Gannon, Rory O'Sullivan, Robbie English and Paddy Good.
  • Anthony O'Leary's Antix, the Irish champion with an amateur crew and one pro, Steven Milne, plus Cliodhna Connolly, Ben Field, Tommy Murphy, David Kelly and Derek Moynan.
  • Darren Wright's Adrenaline sailing with two pros in his Howth crew:  Michael Wright, Shane Hughes (Pro), Ewan O'Keeffe, Darren Wright, Sam O’Byrne, Chris Draper (Pro), and Dave Bailey.
  • David Maguire's all amateur line up on Valkyrie is: David Doherty, Gary Cullen, Johnny Durcan, Colin Kavanagh, Graham Curran, and Simon Rattigan

The upcoming weekend poses a real challenge for the Cape 31 teams and the Race Management, as mixed weather conditions are expected, and there's the option of racing in two race areas, the Solent and Christchurch Bay.

26 Cape 31 teams will be on the starting line at the UK Nationals at Royal Lymington26 Cape 31 teams will be on the starting line at the UK Nationals at Royal Lymington Photo: James Tomlinson

The National Championship dinner will be hosted at the Royal Lymington, featuring live music and a magician for entertainment. Additionally, live music will be performed at the club on Saturday from 2030. The prize-giving ceremony will conclude the weekend, followed by a Royal Lymington Carvery.

Heading into the event, the favourites are Round 1 winners Michael Wilson's Shotgunn as well as runners-up Nick Phillips' Chaotic, and third James Howells' Gelert. Gelert being the team to watch after an impressive performance in Round 1, winning three out of six races.

The trophy, generously donated by HYS, is awarded to the top high-performance class in the Solent for the year. Previous winners include Johnny Cooper’s FANATIC and Russell Peter's Squirt. The trophy also bears the names of other renowned sailors, such as Niklas Zenstrom's Ran. In addition to the trophy, prizes will be given to the top travelling boat. Seven teams are competing for this prize, including four Irish, one Dutch, one German, and one American team. Finally, there will be a prize for the top Corinthian team, with six teams eligible for this award. Eight teams are eligible for the top Corinthian team, making it another exciting aspect to watch out for!

Racing will commence at 1100 on Friday, June 9th, following a North Sails training day on Thursday to help the teams prepare and get up to speed.

Race Info, Entrants and Results will be available here

Published in Cape 31 Team

About The Author Team

Email The Author is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open. is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating