Monday 20th July 2015
16.07.2015 – Perfect start to the X-Yachts Gold Cup
The 16th X-Yachts Gold Cup got off to an amazing start yesterday at the Royal Danish Yacht Club in Copenhagen with perfect conditions setting the scene for some epic sailing. The 60 X-Yachts from 12 different nations, including the brand new Xp 55 St. Pavel from Russia, and the fifteen X-35s competing for the World Championship title, all enjoyed clear blue skies and a shifty westerly breeze.
It set the scene for some unpredictable racing across all classes from the X-35 to Sport, Family and the Over 50ft X-Yachts registered.
Sibling rivalry in the World Championship race
Even the professionals, racing to be crowned “the best in the World” struggled with yesterday’s winds. “The conditions were very tricky today going from seven knots to 17, so the trimmers were on their feet. But we knew it would be like this in Copenhagen. It’s also what makes it fun,” said the skipper Teemu Kokkonen of the Finnish front runner of the X-35 fleet, AUDI e-tron. The crew, which includes the Danish match race legend, Steen Mohr as tactician, enjoyed three steady races with two firsts and a third place, followed closely by their sister boat, Audi Ultra.
The owner of Audi Ultra, Samuli Leisti, struggled with the tricky conditions ending the 6th race with a 7th place: “You understand why so many good sailors originate from these waters,” the sailor from Helsinki noted, adding that they were still aiming for gold, setting the scene for some sibling rivalry on the waters today.
The wind is known to no man
A little further down the dock side, the Danish owner of the X-34 SatizfaXion, Ulrik Spork, who competes in the Sport Class A fleet with boats from 33 to 40 feet, admitted yesterday in a smiling manner that Danes had it no easier. “We have one Olympic sailor and one World Champion on board and have sailed in these westerly breezes all our lives – and we still have no local advantage. It’s just that unpredictable.” The Dane, who has sailed X-Yachts all his life, couldn’t compete with his country man, Kim Rasmussen of the X-99, Mille, who leads the Sport Class A after three races.
In Sport Class B with boats from 38 to 46 feet, the Swedish IMX-40, Gertrud, got a head start with three dots. “The IMX is still highly compatible despite being built in 2001. It’s good quality,” said the helmsman Magnus Hansson from the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club. “But who knows what will happen tomorrow,” he commented and looked up at the flags in the stern. “No one knows in these waters.”
A light day tomorrow
Shifty breezes may be the least of the fleet’s problems tomorrow, as the sun rises on the calm waters of Copenhagen for a day of light weather sailing. With southerly winds ranging from 1 to 3 m/s, the hope of the racing committee is for the sea breeze to kick in midday. Tomorrow’s races are set to commence at 11am, EST.
X-Yacht Gold Cup is hosted by X-Yachts and the Royal Danish Yachtclub, starting from Tuborg Harbour in Copenhagen from the 16th to the 18th of July.
17.07.2015 – Sun sets on another fantastic day
The sailors at the X-Yachts Gold Cup in Copenhagen enjoyed another day of stunning weather with a light breeze and sunshine, framing a second day of perfect racing.
Despite a light southerly breeze that died out mid day at today’s X-yachts Gold Cup in Copenhagen, the international sailing committee of representatives from Finland, Scotland and Spain, still managed to get through two races in the X-35 and sport classes A & B.
While the Finnish frontrunner of the X-35 fleet, AUDI e-tron, maintained their lead, the sister boat, Audi Ultra lost their second place to the Swedish, Nautiska Racing, who won one race and got a third place in the other.
A Skilled Sailor in all conditions
It is well known that light conditions reveal the best sailors, since even minor mistakes can have grave consequences. One wrong turn and you might find yourself placed at the back of the fleet. That however wasn’t the case for the leading boats of sport classes A and B. Here both the Danish X-99, Mille, in sport class A, and Swedish IMX-40, Gertrud, in class B, maintained their lead from yesterday, bearing evidence to the endurance of the classic X-boat design. Both boat designs are more than a decade old.
But the newest boats also proved their worth today with the impressive Xp 50, NorXL, from Norway maintaining its lead in the 50+ fleet. The other three Xp 50s from Germany, Russia and Denmark, and one Xp 55 from Russia, only enjoyed one race in today’s sunny conditions, but that left room for swimming in between racing, showing off the impressive boats’ sterns from where crew members jumped into the Copenhagen waters.
18.07.2015 – An X-traordinary Regatta draws to an end
12 nations. 60 boats. Sun, wind and flat waters. Those were the ingredients of four perfect days of racing at the 16th X-Yachts Gold Cup in Copenhagen from the 15-18 July.
The dockside at the Royal Danish Yachtclub in Tuborg Harbour came alive with sailors, spectators and children for four days of unforgettable X-factor as the 16th edition of the X-Yachts Gold Cup took on Copenhagen.
The Fins crowned X-35 World Champions
Clear blue skies, shifty winds from the west and flat waters kicked off the regatta on Wednesday where the X-35 World Championship got off to an exciting start with the two Finnish sister boats, Audi e-tron and Audi Ultra, claiming the first and second spot. That ultimately became the final score, despite some close racing with the Swedish boat, Nautiska, who claimed the third place as the regatta concluded on Saturday.
“We had a great first race that secured us the title, with one race to spare – so it was a perfect day with good, steady conditions,” said the skipper of Audi e-tron, Teemu Kekkonen, as he was putting on dry clothes after a celebrational dip in the Copenhagen waters. The Danish tactician of the winning boat, Sten Mohr, who has claimed his share of world championship titles through the years, was content with the team’s – and the racing committee’s performance. “I was quite happy the committee decided to postpone the first race to allow for the westerly winds to kick in. It made my job as a tactician easier, in terms of protecting our spot,” said the Danish sailor. Together with the crew of Audi e-tron and Audi Ultra, the Dane has an evening of celebration ahead. “We will celebrate the proper Finnish way,” laughs Kekkonen, followed by Mohr: “Which means we never ‘finish’!”
But not only the sailors racing for the world championship had a golden regatta. The sport classes A and B enjoyed eight races on the northern course in similarly challenging conditions with shifty winds ranging from one to ten m/s, but with consistent sunshine.
“What more can you ask for than conditions like these as a competitive sailor,” notes the owner and founder of X-Yachts, Niels Jeppesen following Saturday’s final racing. “We couldn’t have wished for a better scene to crown the best X-Yachts sailors in the world,” said Jeppesen, who has no doubt that the X-Yachts Gold Cup is here to stay.
In Sport Class A the Danish X-99, Mille, dominated the fleet, securing gold with four wins in eight races. In Sport Class B, Swedish Gertrud, sailed by Martin Persson claimed gold in the IMX-40 that he called, “one of the best designed X-Yachts ever built.”
Xtra family time
In the family classes some of the newer X-Yachts shun on the water including the brand new Xp 55, St. Pavel, from Russia, and the Xp 38, Xpresso, from Sweden raced by the entire family Jenemark, including 10-year-old, Felix. “It’s been a fun race. We had some decent starts but it was hard to keep up with the big boats,” says the young sailor, who sailed one Gold Cup previously, when he was three. His bigger sister, Nina, is just as strategic about the racing: “I want to win. Of course I do,” laughs the 13-year-old, who finished on an overall third place in the family class B fleet. Like many of the other X-Yachts, the Swedish boat will commence their family holidays, heading on from the Gold Cup to the waters of Øresund.
A golden family affair
The overall winner of the X-Yachts Gold Cup is chosen through a draw of the winners of each class. The chance each class winner has of winning is determined by the size of their class. The Georg Jensen Gold Cup wave bowl was something to behold and the tension was high as the draw was made on stage at the Gala prize giving dinner. In no time, it was announced that the winners of the Family Class would be crowed the overall Gold Cup winners, an IMX 40 crew from Australia, on their X-Yacht “Xplorer”, skippered by some twins called Steven and John Hatch.
Having grown up down in the southern hemisphere, anyone could tell that with their bright yellow customised crew polo shirts, they were a passionate family of Australians with a love for their their X-Yacht, currently kept in Norway where one of the brothers now resides with his wife.
When asked how they felt, Steven replied “it is such an honour to be here in Copenhagen, celebrating something so dear to our hearts and we LOVE Georg Jensen. What a fantastic addition to an already memorable week!”