X-citement abounds as XODs celebrate 100 years on the water

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FIVE days of racing for the Itchenor XODs marked their contribution to celebrations along the south coast to mark the date 100 years ago when Xs first raced in Southampton Water.

It was clear from the outset that Xcitation, helmed by John Tremlett, was the boat to beat.

Xcitation’s beautiful restoration was started by Frank Powell and completed after his death by Haines Boatyard for her re-launch this year. Tremlett took the first three races in the week as a number of other top Itchenor crews took turns to challenge.

On Monday that was Mark Palmer in Sweet X and Damion Ash sailing Wenda. Ted Roose in Thora took up the challenge on Tuesday, with Wednesday’s chasers Ron Parker and Alan Perry in Falconet and Richard Jordan and Richard Bullock sailing Lass.

On Thursday, sparkling summer conditions with a gentle sea breeze gave the fleet a change from the brisk northerlies.

Colin McKinnon, sailing Chartreuse, won but Xcitation’s second place was good enough to secure victory in the week’s series for the Benson Platter.

A special race was added on Thursday to mark the centenary.

Xcitation returned to top spot out of 27 boats to clinch the new West Wind Trophy. No celebration would be complete without a party and more than 200 Itchenor members and guests dined and danced until the early hours.

The northerlies returned on Friday and Alastair Shaw in Phoenix, accompanied by Captain’s Cup winners Steve and Peter Lawrence, took line honours with Tremlett second and Peter Taylor’s crew in Felix in third.

The XOD centenary celebration continues at Cowes Week in August when more than 20 Itchenor boats will be involved.