Princess Royal to mark a century of XOD-class racing

XODs ready to race at Cowes Week Picture by Rick Tomlinson
XODs ready to race at Cowes Week Picture by Rick Tomlinson
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Itchenor’s famous XOD fleet have found the perfect place to continue their centenary celebrations – Cowes Week.

With XODs from other clubs along the south coast, they have been involved in some close and thrilling race at the world-famous regatta.

The co-owner of X169 Perdix, David Humphreys, was somewhat modest after beating 138 other XODs on Tuesday’s racing for the 100-year-old class, saying: “Well, someone had to win.”

That summed up the nature of the conditions which saw Stuart Jardine and crew on X119 Lone Star start five boats from the back of the fleet and claw their way up 84 places to 54th.

A gentler breeze meant fewer dramas for XODs on the Royal Yacht Squadron start line, viewed by hundreds of onlookers drawn by the spectacle of so many identical boats. Conditions became lighter and more shifty through the day, turning the race into a lottery for many and disappointment for some.

Success would normally be determined by a good start in this fleet, but not on this occasion as the struggles of early frontrunners X47 Vanity (Tim Harding) and X164 Diana (Eric Williams) showed.

The XODs’ ‘regatta within the regatta’ is celebrating the fact it’s 100 years since the first XOD fleet race. The Princess Royal was marking the occasion by firing the starting gun for today’s action.