Mills Design are pleased to have been asked by the Cape2Rio Race organisers to produce a Virtual Raceboat for the Sailonline.org Cape2Rio Race. An offshore classic, the Cape to Rio race has a proud tradition of fast sailing around the dominant South Atlantic High Pressure System that guards the direct route between the city of Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa and the carnival city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, South America. The first running of the race took place in 1971 and since then there have been 16 editions of the race, not all going to Rio. Amazing ocean greyhounds like Pen Duick III & VI, Ondine, Stormy, Morning Glory, Zephyrus, Kwa Hari, Rambler 88, Icap Leopard, Maserati and many more have vied for line honours. The current monohull record stands at 10d 11h 29m 57s held by Maserati a VO70, the multihull record sits at 7d 20h 29m 02s held by Ultim Love Water.
Our 74’ Cape2Rio2023 design is an exciting development of the state of the art in offshore design shaped to reflect the unique event profile of the legendary Cape to Rio Race. This light chined design is drawn to perform most strongly on the long predominantly downwind racetrack, where unusually for most ocean classics running plays a significant role.
A younger larger cousin of our standout Cape 31 One Design, they share some DNA, especially in the combination of light displacement, deep draft, and narrow waterline beam for low drag when upright. Increased IMOCA-derived bow volume reflects the predominantly off wind bias and ensures a bow-up running trim like her smaller sibling, while control is assured with twin rudders. The light weight and low wetted surface in VMG downwind mode promise the fastest elapsed time, while the deep draft and added stability from the hull shape when heeled, allow the crew number to be reduced to the minimum, as well as the associated weight of gear, food, and stores.
Above deck the sizeable sail plan is designed to allow the small crew to continuously get the most from the boat using powered winches, with an almost exclusively furling downwind inventory to reduce the amount of time required on the low windage foredeck. This drive towards small crews effectively sailing very powerful yachts offshore opens up the possibility of elapsed time records falling dramatically in races like the Cape2Rio 2023.
Sailonline.org is a non-profit, non-commercial sail-racing navigation simulation run entirely by volunteers. All races are free and each SOLer (a Sailonline racer) gets exactly the same boat. The challenge is navigating through the weather. Sailonline.org uses almost real-time weather downloaded from NOAA and the boat physics are considered to be the most life-like of any online simulation. Our virtual C2R2021 Race will open for pre-race practice on Monday, 28 December, to give everyone plenty of time to familiarise themselves with the performance characteristics of the new C2R74 design.
We welcome existing members of Sailonline.org and anyone interested in racing online to join up on the website www.sailonline.org between now and the start of C2R2021, where there are always races available for you to hone your skills, in particular, two Cape Town based virtual events, racing the C2R74 for the first time, a Round Robben Island (Sprint championship race) starting at 1600utc on 28 November and Cape Town to Port Elizabeth (SYC championship race) starting at 1600utc on 7 December.