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BMW X-Yachts Gold Cup 2003

Eighty Four X-Yachts gathered in the Solent for the 5th X-Yachts Gold Cup in July 2003 representing the full range of yachts built by X-Yachts in Haderslev Denmark.

Appropriately for a yacht manufacturer which takes pride in the quality and versatility of its products, the event was most successfully sponsored by BMW, with a number of UK dealerships competed in three chartered X-332s with great success.

The race program, very ably organized and managed by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, began on Thursday the 17th of July. The first race, sailed in winds averaging 35 knots was wildly exciting. Well set windward leeward legs took the fleet across the wind swept Solent. This was just a warm-up for the second race where winds reached plus 40 knots with gusts of 47 and as the tide turned the race course was a true test for the boats and crews particularly for those who dared their spinnakers. A tired but exhilarated fleet returned to the generous hospitality of the Royal Southern Yacht Club.

Friday saw the return of some semblance of this year's summer weather, with winds moderating to 27 knots for the start of the first race to give the fleet two superb races.

By Saturday summer had returned, with a moderate twelve to fifteen knot breeze sunshine showing off the Solent at its best. The final race was an interesting tour of the Eastern Solent and Cowes Roads some long beats into the tide made it a tactician's race with places won or lost in the ability to read the wind and the tides in the ever changing conditions.

The Gold Cup fleet was divided into six Classes - Family A and B for yachts with no spinnakers and Sport C/D/E/F for those with full racing inventories.

The Family Class A with LOA under 11m was won by Minx X-302 owned by the Clarks from Kent and Family Class B with LOA over 11 m by Petra and Chris Persoon in their X-412 Bixmile who joined us from Belgium. Guy Cowper sailed from North Wales to lift the X-362 crown in Sport Class C with LOA under 11m after a hard fight with the X-362 Sport Alchemist and the X-302 Blues Extra. The very completive X-332 Class D was won by the local boat Glide-X by Ian Dawson follow by X-332 Peanut by J. Butler. Niels Jeppesen was able to show off his latest X-43 Cruiser/Racer Hoddox to win Sport Class E with LOA over 11m. While in Sport Class F (IMX 40s + IMX 45s) the beautifully sailed French IMX 40 Cajou took the IMX 40 honours but overall it was Conor Fanning's Fanatax IMX 45 who swept all before him to take this Class and the BMW X-Yachts Gold Cup overall.

The series was a wonderful success, in great part due to the attentive and participatory support of BMW, the outstanding and creative race management of the Royal Southern who provided all classes with a real test of boats and crew together with a great reception ashore every evening which for many went on into the small hours. The weather, which in three days gave the competitors the best and worst that the South of England in the summer has to offer. Next year the Gold Cup goes to Italy and many of this year's competitors will want to make this trip.

The X-332 "Yellow Rose" by M.J. Ringers came over from the Netherlands to participate in the BMW X-Yachts Gold Cup 2003. They placed 10th in the X-332 Sport D class with 25 participating X-332s.

Close race between X-412 "Hellefix" by Jack Kamminga from the Netherlands and X-412 "Xpresso" by Neil Martin, GB. "Xpresso" came 5th and "Hellefix" 8th in the Sport Class E over 11 m.

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