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Class Ethos

The Cape 31 One-Design Class has been created as a strict one-design class where the true test when racing is between sailors and not boats. The fundamental objective of the class rules is to ensure that this concept is maintained, while preserving the Cape 31’s ease of handling, reasonable cost of ownership, safety and suitability as a true all-round racing boat.

The aim of Cape 31 UK Class is to run fun, competitive and affordable racing in a professional and fair way, with a friendly vibe on and off the water. All crews will be encouraged to mix and join in with regatta social events. 

The Cape 31 is a proven IRC performer in the UK and all new UK Boats will adhere to the UK Class Rules that have been optimised for IRC. We want to build off this IRC success with the initial goal of Cape 31's racing within current established IRC fleets and the long-term goal of Class Racing using the same IRC setup. This creates a true all-round Class that can easily switch from IRC Racing to Class Racing. All Hulls, Rigs and Appendages shall not be modified, while there will be size limitations on the sails. Sails can be built by any company in any material, as long as they are IHC measured and comply with any current IRC Rules and the UK Class limitations. An 'owner driver' rule will be enforced for all UK boats as well a 3 pro sailor limit.


Cape 31 UK Class will be ensuring that the ethos and rules are abided by, keeping the racing fair and preventing it from becoming an arms race.


Class Association

To ensure the longevity of the class and keep the ethos going we have a Class Association which all of our Owners are members of. The Class is responsible for Class Admin, Rules compliance, Maintenance, Measuring, Communications, Event and Series Organisation.  


The Class Association also provides for the Executive Committee. The Ex-Com consists of three owner members, one member from Mills Design, one member from the builder Cape Performance Sailing, one member from Cape 31 UK and one at-large owner member.


The Ex-Com shall be responsible for interpreting and enforcing the rules and managing the affairs and assets of the class, this may include organising class event schedules.

To join the Class Association -

UK Class Rules

The UK Class Rules will differ slightly from the South African rules, however the idea is that the boats can easily revert back and comply with SA rules to compete in their Cape Town Invitational Regatta. 

Our class 'rules guy' Mike Richards is in charge of rules compliance, maintenance and measuring.

The main difference is that the UK Fleet will Sail with IRC optimised sails and have no compromise on sail materials. There are a few other minor upgrades that will be allowed and these are highlighted in the UK Class Rules. Another substantial change is that the UK fleet allows 3 World Sailing Category 3 sailors to race, while the weight limit will be 595 kgs for Class & nominated IRC events.

Cape 31 UK Class Rules Summary (Full class rules can be found in the link above)

Crew/Helmsman Rules:

  • The Cape 31 UK Class is an ‘Owner Driver’ Class. Provisions are made to accommodate for: part owners, the charter of boats and to provide an owner not wishing to helm the opportunity to crew instead of helm their boat. 

  • Each boat shall have no more than three World Sailing Category 3 sailors onboard. 

Safety Equipment:

  • Boats shall fully comply with World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations (OSR) Category 4.


  • Hull and appendages shapes and profiles may not be altered. No fairing is permitted.

  • Rigs and bowsprits may not be modified. 

  • Antifoul is not mandatory and below the water line can be finished in a suitable product approved by Cape 31 UK.


Cape 31 UK Sail Wardrobe:

  • 1 Squaretop Mainsail (same main must be used for entire regatta)

  • 2 Jibs (max sizing outlined in class rules, no minimum sizing) can choose amount of jibs to sail with for a regatta however minimum of OSR Heavy weather Jib must be onboard at all times. 

  • 1 OSR Heavy Weather Jib (max sizing outlined in class rules)

  • 3 Gennakers of max area 116.04m2 (max carried onboard, boats must rate with 3 however can race with less onboard)

  • Sails and battens can be made from any material. 

  • Cape 31 UK Sails will have maximum areas that will aim to give them an IRC Rating between 1.133 & 1.137 (IRC 2020 and subject to IRC rule updates). Sails are to be IRC measured by a certified sail loft, while full sail measurement limitations are listed under class rules


Class Racing/IRC Racing:

  • Boats will comply fully with Cape 31 UK Class Rules in 'Class only Events' as well as nominated IRC Events where results will be extracted to make up the Cape 31 UK Class Series.

  • If results are extracted from an IRC event as part of the Cape 31 UK Class series, only the elapsed times will be used ie. boats are scored by Cape 31 UK as though they are level rated.

The Cape 31 UK Team


Cape 31 UK Class Management

As a collective we have been lucky enough to race on Tokoloshe 3 throughout 2020 and believe a Cape 31 fleet is exactly what the UK is missing: a fun, affordable, high performance One-Design and IRC competitive yacht. We are so enthusiastic about it that we have taken it upon ourselves to build the class. We have created a website, relevant social media streams, found potential owners, arranged test sails, coordinated with the Cape Town boat builders, written the UK Class Rules and selected events to count towards a 2021 Cape 31 UK Class Series. These events include various established IRC Events, as well as two Cape 31 UK standalone events, including a Nationals at the Royal Yacht Squadron.


We are passionate about creating a great racing scene on our doorstep and from our experiences being involved in running other successful classes in the UK,  we feel it is most beneficial to have an unbiased, professional and enthusiastic Class Team that ensures the ethos of the class is preserved, the rules are enforced and the racing is fair, fun and affordable.


Owners thoughts and opinions are of course at the fore of any Cape 31 UK discussions and very much welcomed, while we simplify the decision making process by having a small team that makes the ultimate decisions, with the best intentions for the class going forwards. 

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David Bartholomew  

Class Manager


Phone: +447780860134


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Suzy Peters   

Class Secretary 

Phone: +447590503817


Dave Swete

Class Captain

Phone: +447470686717


Tor Tomlinson


Phone: +447540449714