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Tokoloshe on top! Round 2 Cape 31 Race Circuit - RORC Vice Admiral's Cup

by Tor Tomlinson 25 May 2022 17:09 BST 20-22 May 2022

Round Two of the 31 Race Circuit blew it out of the water. This was the second time the class has been at the Royal Ocean Racing Club Vice Admiral's Cup and after being the smallest class last year, the Cape 31 Class was the largest in the Regatta. Two new teams joined us on the start line, Anthony O'Leary's Antix and James Howells' Gelert.

The class had 3 days of racing, 3 windward leeward races a day, 13 teams and some very close fought battles. We couldn't have asked for better conditions. Big tides, windy day on Friday with mixed conditions on Saturday and Sunday. Gear changes, sail changes, rig changes, lots of tactical decisions and very competitive teams made for a challenging but rewarding weekend on the water. The Bartholomew's Tokoloshe came out on top in the end but it was by no means an easy win.

Friday began with a short postponement before a solid west-south westerly of 12-14 knots. The breeze rose further up into the 20s for the latter two races which made for some awesome Cape 31 conditions that we haven't seen for a while. "Once the breeze built to 15-23 knots there was quite a bit of carnage, but good speeds and lots of fun, downwind in the second race we were doing 20-22 knots a lot of the time!" said Dave Bartholomew of Tokoloshe 4. Tokoloshe started the regatta off with a strong 1,2,1. Following closely behind was Tony Dickin's Jubilee who were enjoying their first windy day in their new boat. Tony Dickin said, "This is great fun high performance sailing, with big speeds and lots of challenges. It's nip and tuck all the time - make one mistake and you're three places back!"

Big tides and moderate wind was the theme for Day 2 of racing. Team's came out of the blocks raring to go after a windy day on Day 1. This led to close starts, tight mark roundings, losses and gains being made all over the course in every little puff. Places were shuffled on every mark rounding and on occasion half a dozen boats arrived at the leeward gate simultaneously.

Lance Adam's Katabatic took the bullet in the first race of the day with Squirt and Jubilee taking the other two races. The final race remained super-close right to the finish, the majority of the fleet crossed the line within a minute. Going into day three Tokoloshe were still on top after discarding a disappointing 9th in the final race of the day. Russell Peter's Squirt climbed up to second and Tony Dickin's Jubilee dropped down to third despite winning one of the races by almost 2 minutes.

Sunday brought a change in wind direction to an east-south easterly. With points tight at the top and in the middle of the fleet it went down to the wire for the Round 2 win and for points on the overall Race Circuit Scoreboard. A win for Russell Peters' Squirt in the first race of the day left him as a strong contender against Michael Bartholomew's Tokoloshe 4 for the overall title.

With only 3 points separating them and a fleet of 13 boats. Squirt took the go hard or go home option by match racing Tokoloshe in the final start. After a general recall there was one more chance to get them. However, Squirt had a disappointing third race, finishing eighth, while two consistent third places for Tokoloshe 4 were enough for her to take an overall win with a six point margin. Tony Dickin's Jubilee took third overall, a further three points adrift. For many of the teams this was a high scoring regatta, yet there were many closely-fought individual battles throughout the fleet, including three pairs of boats that finished the regatta tied on points.

Jiraffe were the top amateur team of the weekend placing 7th out of 13 teams. Owner of Jiraffe Simon Perry said, "It was a great weekend - we were very pleased to find a bit more speed - this fleet is extremely competitive and any mistakes are punished greatly. We felt we were much more in the mix than we had been in Round One and are very happy about that. Looking forward to the next one."

Tokoloshe now top the 31 Race Circuit Leaderboard with Shotgunn and Jubilee close behind. Round Three of the 31 Race Circuit will be held as the Royal Southern June Regatta as part of the Jubilee celebrations. The weekend after that the Capes will be joining in the IRC fleet at the IRC National Championship. Dates and results at www.cape31uk.com.

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