Saturday 8th June 2019
This morning the X-Yachts sailors woke up to sunshine and light breeze – but with a weather change in sight. The sailors made their last preparations on their boats; rigging the sails, plotting the GPS and chatting about the tactics before heading out to the race course outside Haderslev Fjord.
Like beads on a string they were sailing patiently after each other to sail the 8 nm out towards the race course on Lillebælt. And the race plan onboard the teams was clear: “Win the start, sail as fast as we can and simply just enjoy it”, as skipper onboard his new Xp 55 Karl-Thomas Neumann put it.
Strong winds and speed records
At lunch time the weather shifted and brought along some rain and extra winds. Sailors have reported wind measurements up to 40 knots in some of the gusts which meant speed records on board the racing X-Yachts. “We saw 17,5 knots of boat speed out there today so for our boat that is pretty good. It was nice and intense,” said tactician Jesper Radich onboard the German X-41 Sportsfreund.
Long distance course
The X-Yachts sailors were sent out on a long-distance course between the only 15 km narrow waters between Jutland and Funen in between some of the islands in the Southern Funen archipelago. Sports A and B-class raced on a 39 nm course, which was shortened till 27 nm. The Family A-class was sent out on an 18 nm course and the slightly bigger boats in the Family B-class had an additional 6 miles to race. The big brothers of the X-Yachts Gold Cup 2019 – the over 50 ft-class had a course of a total 38 nm, which stretched more north to the island Brandsø.
X-79 showing extraordinary courage
A team that was honored with applause after they completed the race and sailed into the harbor were four German sailors onboard the X-79 Joey. Crew, Peter Knauf explains: “We were close to saying it’s too much, but we trusted the boat and kept on fighting and telling ourselves “come on lets do it”. We were the last boat over the finish line but it was a joy”. Owner of this boat Horst Krapohl adds: “It’s a courageous feeling sailing this boat and today it’s the best. We had a great team effort onboard and I am so happy we kept on till the finish.”
How to host a big birthday bash
This year’s X-Yachts Gold Cup also celebrated the yards 40th anniversary and racing around some buoys and socializing on shore afterwards is the best thinkable way a sailor could join in on a party. “We come here and have this great celebration and I am very happy to join in on this very iconic event. We thought it would be great to come here and enjoy Denmark,” smiled Miguel A. Gonzales from Chile owner of the X-55 Mardivino.
Since X-Yachts has hosted the Gold cup for X years it is a matter of course to merge the two happenings in here in 2019. “For us it’s all about the community. We want to celebrate our anniversary together with our customers and have this gathering where sailors can meet each other and have a cozy time”, says Kræn Brinck Nielsen, CEO of X-Yachts while he enjoys a warm cup of coffee on the shore after sailing.
Scandinavian summers can be tricky weathervise, but the past many X-Yachts Gold Cups have offered amazing weather with wind and sun. But today the X-sailors had to show weather-wise the X-Yachts sailors have been greeted with hospitable conditions in Haderslev, but today at noon a weather front brought along some rain and additional wind.
Onboard the German X-50 Lynx five youth sailors from a sailing club in Essen were invited to joined the team in racing. “Our dream is to one day sail the Ocean Race and so today we got a little test of that,” said the young german sailors NAVN.