Peters & May Case Study: Cape31UK class race fleet grows in the UK and Ireland

A winning transportation service for race yachts entering a new market

The new Cape31 UK Class was introduced into the UK in 2019 and Ireland in 2022. Round 1 of the 2022 Cape31 Race Circuit commenced at the biennial Poole Regatta at the end of April. With most of the boats being based in the Solent and the fleet getting bigger by the day it’s shaping up to be a great year of racing. Shipping partner to Cape31 UK Class, Peters & May has worked closely with the UK distributors to help bring Cape31 Class yachts from South Africa into the UK and Ireland.

Tor Tomlinson, Class Communications Manager said, “It’s been awesome to see all the new boats arriving over the last few months and getting ready for the 31 Race Circuit. We expect to have over 20 boats at the 2022 Cape 31 National Championship later in the year. We’re grateful to Peters & May for their ongoing support and look forward to working with them to get the fleet to the Caribbean for the 2022/23 winter season.”

Cape31UK class raceImage credit: James Tomlinson

Last year, Peters & May shipped 14 of the Cape31 Class yachts to the UK and Ireland, and following the uptake surrounding this exciting new class, Peters & May will be delivering an additional four yachts to Ireland this spring.

Anthony Spillebeen, Racing Division Business Consultant explained how the Cape31 Class reached the UK: “The Cape31 Class was inspirationally started by Lord Irvine Laidlaw, who commissioned the build of these boats to a Mark Mills design with the idea to kick-start class racing in Cape Town. A series of invitational events whereby sailors from around the world were invited to sail on the boats in South Africa during the summer to early autumn seasons.

“The boats were very well received and have subsequently been brought into the country by Mike and Dave Bartholomew who have actively raced in the Solent for many years. Together with Dave Swete they have created an amazing demand for this quick and exciting 31-foot flyer. It is great to see the excitement around the class growing here and the boats have filled a really significant place for racing in the Solent, a place originally dominated by the popular Fast40+ Class.”

Dave Bartholomew & Dave SweteDave Bartholomew & Dave Swete.
Image credit: Mark Mills

With experience in the shipping and loading of any type of race yacht, the Peters & May race division has created a tailor-made shipping solution to enable Cape31 entrants to ship their yacht to any destination in the world, while keeping costs to a minimum. The team uses a specially designed supporting cradle to keep the yacht and its components, including keel, fin and bulb, rudder and mast that splits into two pieces, safely together for transportation inside a 40-foot container.

Cape31UK class raceImage credit: James Tomlinson

Working together with Pronto Clearing, its key local agent in Cape Town, Peters & May is able to ensure efficient handling at the port of loading. During discharge, the experienced agent provides assistance with the handling, delivery and customs clearance formalities to either the local or the Peters & May office to ensure a smooth running from start to completion of the shipment, so the race yacht can easily be unloaded and ready for entrants in advance of the race season.

Peters & May has worked with major yachting series and events for over forty years, shipping boats and their equipment across the globe to support competitors.

Cape31 Class schedule:
Round 1: Poole Regatta - Saturday 30th April – Monday 2nd May 2022
Round 2: RORC Vice Admirals Cup - Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd May 2022
Round 3: RSrnYC June Regatta - Saturday 4th - Sunday 5th June 2022
Round 4: Cowes Week - Saturday 30th July - Friday 5th August 2022
Round 5 : Royal Thames Invitational Regatta 16th-18th September 2022
Round 6: Cape 31 National Championship 30th September- 2nd October 2022

Title image credit: James Tomlinson