Monthly Archives: April 2016

Cowes Week 2016

Saturday 6th – Saturday 13th August

  • Eight days of challenging round-the-cans racing in the Central Solent
  • Test your tactics, strategy, navigation and … endurance
  • XOD start time around 12:30 hrs every day
  • Starting from the RYS Line planned for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and the second Saturday
  • Starting from the Bramble Line an option for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

    For the Notice of Regatta and all information, go to:

    Enter online before midnight on Tuesday 31st May for the Early Bird reduced entry fee



Monday 11th – Friday 15th July 2016

Join the XODs already entered for:

  • the warm up race for the Royal London YC Trinity Cup on Monday afternoon 11th July, starting from the R London YC shoreline
  • the Classics Week series of 8 races from Tuesday 12th to Friday 15th
    racing from a Committee Boat with start lines in the Central Solent
  • a variety of windward/leeward laid mark courses, some combined with round-the-cans fixed mark courses
  • tea and cakes after racing and a full evening social programme

For the Notice of Race and all racing and social information, go to:

Enter online by Friday 17th June to avoid the late entry charge

23rd / 24th April

What a laugh, Wednesday was such fun sailing with 2 charming guys.  I promised I wouldn’t tell so thats all I’m saying!  Ice cold seawater on your face with winds up to 25 knots gave the 7 boats (we’re getting bigger) a fabulous sunset sail.  Lots of us for dinner, where are the rest of you, time to come out to play?

Saturday: I’ve now learnt to count down at the same time the timer is counting up!  Started 7 races on Transit!  There was a pleasant 15-20 knots in the morning with 50 in the lead, followed by 186 and 80.
During the countdown in the afternoon,we heard X188 aground and sent Dolphin off to help.  Princess Jalina decided to park just beyond the pin end of the start line.  It was touch and go whether Dolphin could get her off in time before the start.  With just over 40 seconds to go Dolphin managed to swing her off and round so she flew off straight onto the start line.  Now how cool is that!  There was lots of kissing the mud and I’m told snakes and ladders, not sure which was the snake and which the ladder but X50 made it back first and rang to make sure we’d seen him.  We had all right, he was 7 minutes ahead of X26 the nearest boat.  Then very soon after came X186.

This weekend 2 races on Saturday, 2 on Sunday and 2 on Monday.  No back2backs.  All for the Felix Bowl.  Who needs a crew and who needs a helm.  Let me know.

Crews, if you want to come out on Wednesday, either let me know or just turn up. We have 2 guests already so our new wet gear will come in handy!

See you on the water

XOD Crew Forum


What a glorious evening!  7 X’s were greeted by 15-24 knots from the ENE and clear blue sky.

The Race Team (there were 3 of us until James literally “jumped ship” on to X50) tried to set a decent first leg with the (short) start line South of Park and a beat to Itchenor.  With 5 minutes to the start you couldn’t cross the line on starboard but after a quick re-set and a helpful wind shift the committee boat end was favoured and Renee and I witnessed a very competitive start.  X186 so nearly achieved perfection but Alistair was a little too perfect and had to show-off his excellent boat handling for a swift re-start.  X80 and X50 got the best starts, side by side travelling at full speed with the rest of the fleet being slightly more conservative (sensible).

Once we had sorted ourselves out, picked up the anchor and the pin, taken a few photos (sorry John, I think I was pressing the wrong button on your camera) we followed the fleet towards Itchenor.

Picture to follow…

From our vantage point the beat looked interesting and competitive although it took a little longer than expected.  Our tidal calculations were a little off and the in-coming tide didn’t seem to have much effect during the whole race.  X50 led X80 at Itchenor with the whole fleet rounding in under 50 seconds.  On the broad reach to Wear X50 and X80 went straight up the main channel while X152 led the rest of the fleet to the Cobnor side and initially looked like they gained.  X152 “delayed” their spinnaker hoist which allowed X186 to catch them.  At Wear most boats gybed for the rather long leg to East Head (sorry, Astra would have been a better choice) but X152 held on to the West side of the Channel.

Would X152’s split from the fleet prove to be tactical genius?  Would X80 and X50 match-race each other off the course?  Would X186 continue their charge through the fleet?  Would the fleet be questioning the competence of the Race Officer for setting such a long and boring leg on a Wednesday evening?  The truth is the crew of Dolphin have no answers to these questions and many more.  By this time I realised that we (always spread the blame) had set an “overly-ambitious” course and needed to make amends.  We later found out that:

1. Sailing extra distance trying to dodge a weak tide is slow

2. There isn’t a lot of water around East Head at low tide

3. Tacking through a small fleet of running XODs is slow

4. John is a gentleman and didn’t try and sit on X50’s wind – or was Roger too far ahead?
At East Head X50 tacked immediately thinking they could lay Park in one.  I know Roger points high but ……  So they sailed straight towards the oncoming fleet and the dirty air. X80 took a short hitch on Port towards the mud which was just enough to give them clear air and the lead.  On Dolphin we breathed a sigh of relief when the wind flicked to the North meaning the whole fleet had to put in a couple of tacks.  From Park a change of course took the fleet to Peacock and then a proper beat to the Club Line.  X80 help off X50 by 45 seconds, X152 snuck passed X101 and apparently X39 briefly kissed the mud.  The leaders finished in 62 minutes and the whole fleet following within 5 minutes.  Our Rear Commodore Sailing then proceeded to demonstrate the latest RYA man-overboard rescue techniques using his mooring buoy as the casualty.  The finishing order was X80, X50, X186, X152, X101, X39 & X184 but who’s counting.

Thanks to John and James everyone was ferried ashore very quickly where 20 of us enjoyed the warming fire and the most wonderful Ottolenghi Chicken and Eton Mess.  On our table we played “how many ingredients can you taste in the chicken” and Alistair ate most of my Eton Mess when I wasn’t paying attention.

Next week, more of the same with more boats and a little more water.

David (X51, PRO for the evening)

Susie’s notes…

What a wonderful evening sailing was on Wednesday, unfortunately most of you weren’t able to enjoy the beautiful harbour with 10-12 knots of wind and silent apart from 4 X boats, with the setting sun shimmering over the rippling water and flocks of birds squawking overhead, because you didn’t come and join us!  It was a lovely end to a warm sunny day and just gorgeous.  Anne Marie cooked us a delicious fish meal to end an idyllic sail.  – Lets have more than 4 boats this Wednesday!  Let me know if you’re looking for crew or you want to give us a try.

Very different on Saturday, Mike Wigmore set us a good course altering it along the way as the winds changed.  11 boats out in the morning with X50 first and X55 second and X80 third.  I enjoyed very competitive racing all day on X186 with Alastair, (Barry’s mast is a bit bent)! and in the afternoon X80 won, X186 in second place with X50 third.  All in all a great days racing.

The complete opposite on Sunday, we drifted down the harbour, around the harbour and back up the harbour, until we managed to get a tow home.  At least it was sunny.


Madame X leads Thora


All day there had been no wind.  Nothing.  Then at 5pm a beautiful 10 knot sea breeze  filled in, just in time for the 2nd of this years evening races…

4 boats made it to the start line, a relatively short course was set between Wear & Peacock  (several times) with the finish back at the club.

X184 lead the fleet over the start with an ebbing tide pushing the fleet on their way.  X160 lead to Peacock followed by X152.  Both then chose to ‘gybe set’ out into the tide?

(Video to follow!)

X186 chose the southern side of the channel, out of the tide & was subsequently able to lead both X160 & X152 into the leeward mark.

The 3 lap course was shortened slightly & at the club finish it was:  X186, X160, X152 & X184…


X 186 reaching to the finish

Ann-Marie & the team produced a wonderful fish supper for us once ashore.

Weekend racing 9th/10th April

This week the old spinnaker decided to get caught up in the spreaders, Colin Mckinnon had the perfect leaning out receptacle to hang on to.  He held onto that spinnaker throughout the rest of the race!  Phoenix won in the morning and Lass in the afternoon.

Wow, Sunday was force 6-7 didn’t know whether to lol or cry but Rick was the man – hauling me up ignobly out of the bottom of the boat!  Very exciting,- I think.  Very close racing.  Chris Blevins sailed both races 2 up, most impressive!

XOD fleet are about to own 3 sets of wet weather gear for our new sailors wanting to have a go in an X, so all of you new lovely people on my crew list, you’re running out of excuses!

Looking good for Wednesday, lighter winds.  Meet at 5-5.15pm.  Supper afterwards.

Weekend sailing- 2 races Saturday and a back2back on Sunday.  Please let me know if you want to crew or need a crew in plenty of time.

PS:  Spring General Meeting on Saturday at 5.30

XOD Crew Forum