XYOA Secretary enjoys the Lymington rally

by XYOA secretary Nicky Gardner


As a “new boy” to the Association and to the committee, before I talk about my experiences of the Rally I would like to thank again Max, John N., John O from the committee and Debbie from X-Yachts for their unstinting hard work and determination to produce a very successful and extremely well attended two day rally. I believe the numbers attending were the highest to date.

The plan was to sail to Lymington Yacht Haven from our various ports of call and to raft up as many boats, as possible, together. This proved a bit of a nightmare for the Harbour Master, Peter, but with a lot of juggling he managed to get us all in.

Our boat Xtract was rafted alongside Unruly, La Nef IV and SX Girl. No sooner had we moored up alongside Unruly than we were invited on board for a drink. What a wonderful way to start a rally.

Later that evening we all met up for dinner in the Haven Restaurant where we had a really first class meal. The atmosphere was electric, the service first class and the drinks flowed. This was followed by drinks aboard Minx, a gorgeous boat which had sailed over from Jersey especially for the rally. No mean feat considering the preceding weather conditions.

During the evening there was much talk about the forthcoming weather. The forecast was winds of up to 30 knots from the South West which if we raced to the Fairway Buoy, as was the plan, would have been rather hairy struggling straight into rough sea.

3rd May. Sunday morning. We all met up on the pontoon for a conflab with our leader John N. and the overall decision was to talk again at midday. In the meantime with gusts of 52Kn registered at Hurst Castle, all thoughts of racing were cancelled. This gave everyone time to work out how they might get to and from Poole, ably helped by Debbie who sorted out train times and taxis.

Dudley and I arrived in Poole in time for lunch, meeting up with other members of the committee and their wives and had a very convivial lunch of excellent standard and value overlooking the harbour.

A few of the larger boats had decided to take up the challenge and sailed off to Poole, namely, Unruly, Texa, Xtravagance and Boxer.  Many of us took the easier route by land. Again the Lymington Yacht Haven dock master was very obliging and let us keep our boats in the Haven for another night.

After lunch we headed into town to welcome the boats who had made the trip across.

Back to the RNLI and the upper bar where we all met up for pre-dinner drinks and to catch up on the news of the boats which had sailed across, whom we hadn’t seen arrive.

Our guest speaker at dinner, Neil Garrie, was a very entertaining volunteer who gave us a brief history of the RNLI. Its beginnings by three very determined men, and how a few dedicated donors made the present headquarters a reality. In real terms the cost of running the RNLI is over £300,000 – per year I immediately thought, but oh no, it’s per day!

Supper followed, regrettably not up to the standard of the previous evening, but again we were on a table with lovely entertaining people which made the evening very memorable.

The turn out from the members was very impressive, bearing in mind the conditions, and we thank everyone for making such an effort to support the rally.

The end of my first rally was a taxi ride back to Lymington being driven by a lovely Estonian just about to go for his citizenship, and the cost was cheaper than a taxi ride from Hamble to Parkway Train Station some fifteen to twenty minutes away!!

XYOA Rally May 2015  

Some twenty-one X-Yachts and nearly 100 owners and crew entered the two-day Rally on the 2 -4 May 2015.

On Saturday, 2 May, the yachts came from their various homeports, including Ipswich and the Channel Islands to the Lymington Yacht Haven.  Some crew and owners took the opportunity to visit the shops, whilst others found the local bars.  The Marina chandler, Nick Cox, was offering generous discounts to X-Yacht owners, and so some took advantage to buy equipment for their yachts.

However, all gathered in the evening for drinks at the bar of The Haven Restaurant, before enjoying an excellent seafood dinner.  The atmosphere was relaxed and noisy, and this all helped everyone to ignore the ominous black clouds and rain outside!  Despite a relatively early finish to the meal, it was midnight before the last of the revellers left the restaurant.

There should have been a fun race from Lymington to Poole on Sunday morning, but with rain, and winds gusting over 50 knots at Hurst, it was decided to cancel the race and leave it to individual owners whether they sailed to Poole or not.  Whilst some owners consulted train times and taxi tariffs, a few brave souls in heavy weather gear left in their yachts for Poole.

There was to have been complimentary drinks reception at Poole on the pontoons in the marina, but with winds still blowing force 6, it was decided to cancel the event.  Drinks were ordered at the Bar at the RNLI headquarters, and shortly afterwards, Neil Garrie gave a very informative and interesting talk about the history of the RNLI, and in particular, the training and life boat facilities at Poole.

After dinner, the Chairman gave a short speech thanking all those who had made the considerable effort, and indeed extra cost, to attend the dinner despite the adverse weather.  He also thanked Debbie Weldon and John Noe for helping to organise the Rally.  Mention was made of the 463 emails the Chairman had already received on the Rally!  Whilst some left the dinner to travel back to Lymington by train, car and taxi, others stayed the night in the comfortable bedrooms of the RNLI College.

The Chairman also reminded owners of the XYOA Rally to Yarmouth, 26 -27 September 2015; and the AGM and Laying Up Luncheon, RSYC, Southampton, 1 November 2015.

There was a brief respite in the weather on Monday morning, so owners took the opportunity to sail back early to the Solent, or in one case to sail to the Channel Islands.

Despite the poor weather conditions, the Rally seems to have been a success and enjoyed by all.

Future Rally gift packs will contain not only race instructions and tide tables, but also train times and contact details of local taxis!

Fitting Out Supper

Thank you to all those who took the time to join us in celebration of our 5th anniversary, for excellent food, copious wine and engaging conversation in the beautifully converted engine room of the beautiful and historic Atlantic escort HQS Wellington. Thank you especially to X-Yachts GB for helping to make the night such a success, and if anyone has any suggestions for the location of next years dinner we would love to hear from you.

We were fortunate also to be joined by Niels Jeppesen who gave an interesting and amusing talk on the origins of X-Yachts and the ideology behind arguably the best sailing yachts on the market, which sparked a lively debate and led smoothly into a discussion as to the future of X-Yachts.

Our next event is the 2015 Rally on the 2-3rd of May, which we are also incredibly excited about.  Click HERE for more information about the event if you haven’t already.

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X-Yachts Rally 2015

Saturday 2nd May – Sunday 3rd May


In the absense of this years X-Yachts Cup, we have teamed up with X-Yachts GB to programme the most interesting and diverse Association Rally yet. Set in the beautiful surroundings and picturesque towns of the Solent , we have a number of activities planned including an informal race, tour of the RNLI headquarters as well as a whole host of things to keep you occupied shoreside. We are really excited about this years Rally and hope you all are too, and that it will be a great success.

Click the link below for the full bochure, including timings

2015 Rally

Also find attached the booking form which can either be sent by post or email to our treasurer (details in link), and payment made by cheque or bank transfer.

2015 Rally 2015 Rally Booking Form


Celebratory Dinner/Fitting Out Supper

Friday 6 March 2015 – Celebratory Dinner

To celebrate X-Yachts Owners Association fifth year, a special celebratory dinner has been arranged on HMS Wellington, Embankment, London.  The Owners Association is extremely fortunate in that that it will have exclusive use of this historic ship on the evening of Friday 6 March 2015.

Niels Jeppesen, one of the celebrated founders and the designer of all X-Yachts, has kindly agreed to give a short talk after dinner on the history of X-Yachts and future designs.  There will be an opportunity for questions afterwards. This promises to be an exciting and memorable evening, as well as an excellent opportunity for a private visit to this unique warship.  The programme for the evening is:

17.30 Sparkling wine drinks reception

18.15 Three course dinner including white and red wine

20.15  Coffee and chocolates

20.30  Talk by Niels Jeppesen

21.00  Questions

22.00  Close

hms welli

HMS Wellington was built at Devonport Dockyard in 1934.  She was one of 13 Grimsby class warships built for service in the Commonwealth and Dependencies and from 1936 to 1939 she patrolled the waters around New Zealand. At the outbreak of WWII HMS Wellington was recalled to perform convoy escort duties in the Atlantic.  During six years of wartime service she rescued over 450 Merchant Navy seamen and was active at Dunkirk and the North African landings.  She also shared the credit for sinking a U-Boat. Shortly after the end of the war she was retired and laid up at Pembroke Dock.In 1947, The Honorable Company of Master Mariners decided to buy her and convert her to a floating Livery Hall.

wellli 2

HQS Wellington arrived at Victoria Embankment in 1948. In 1991 major refurbishment was carried out over three months in dry-dock at Sheerness.  In 2005 ownership was transferred to the Wellington Trust, a charitable trust established to ensure the preservation of this historic ship. HMS Wellington is moored on The Victoria Embankment on the North Bank of the River Thames.  The nearest Underground Station is ‘Temple’ on the District and Circle Lines. Waterloo, Charing Cross and Blackfriars Stations are all just a short walk away.

The Association has grown since is inception with an exciting programme of events including dinners, rallies and races.  It seems appropriate to mark the fifth year with a special event in London.  This event replaces the 2015 Association’s Fitting Out Dinner normally held in the spring.   This event receives the generous support of X-Yachts (GB). Dress code – dinner jackets or lounge suits.

Members are strongly encouraged to attend this unique event.  As it is a large and very comfortable ship, members’ guests will be most welcome.

The booking form is attached and you can either book and pay-on-line, or alternatively complete the booking form and sent it with a cheque to the Treasurer.

Celebratory Dinner Booking Form

AGM and Laying Up Luncheon

Following the success and popularity of last year’s event, the Annual General Meeting, Laying Up Luncheon and Prize Giving will again be held at The Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Ocean Village on Sunday 2 November 2014.

The Royal Southampton Yacht Club is one of the most active and dynamic royal yacht clubs in the South of England with a long and proud history, receiving its Royal Charter in 1875. The AGM will start at 11.30 prompt in The Trafalgar Room. The buffet roast luncheon (12.00 for 12.30 hours) will be in the Clubhouse Lounge adjacent to the bar with its panoramic views of the marina. Prize giving will follow the luncheon.

The John Lewis department store at the West Quay shopping centre also proved to be very popular last year!

Late Summer Rally – Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Saturday/Sunday – 27/28 September 2014

This year’s XYOA rally will be to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.  The inaugral X-Yachts rally held in 2011 was to Yarmouth and this proved very popular. Berths in Yarmouth Harbour have been reserved for Members’ yachts on Saturday night. Owners are responsible for paying the overnight berthing fee to the Harbour Master. High water Yarmouth is predicted to be approximately 13.00 hours on Saturday 27 September 2014. All yachts are to fly the X-Yachts logo flag (blue “X” on a white background) and the XYOA member’s burgee.

Dinner has been booked at Saltys Restaurant (First floor) in Quay Street.  Diners will be able to choose from an “A la carte” menu on the evening. Members who are unable to sail their yachts to Yarmouth are encouraged to come by ferry as the Ferry Terminal is adjacent to Saltys restaurant.  There is a good choice of hotels and B & B’s in Yarmouth for those not sleeping on their yachts.

The evening will be informal and members are encouraged to bring families and friends for what is intended to be a relaxing and social event.

The programme for the evening is –

  • 1830 Informal complimentary drinks on-board an X-Yacht in the harbour
  • 2000 Dinner at Saltys – dress informal
  • 2230 Close

The three-course dinner will cost £35.00. There will be a cash bar for all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including coffee.

Please complete the attached form and forward either by email or post with payment to John Noe at –

Entry Form


X-Yachts Owners Association

Tall Trees

Little Barn Place


Hampshire GU33



In the most demanding of conditions, congratulations to our members who succeeded in completing this year’s race both in IRC and ISC classes.

Results ISC Class X-Yachts O/A:

2nd Quickstep – X-302 – Clive Drury-White

3rd Touche – X-50 – David Murray

4th Xtravagance – Xp-50 – Anton Jenkins

Results IRC Class X-Yachts O/A:

2nd Xtract – X-302 – Dudley Stock and Nicky Gardner

3rd Juno – X-34 – Charles Whittam

4th Xcitable – X-362 – Peter Hodgkinson and Sarah Bailey

5th Fatjax – X-37 – Iain Fitzpatrick

6th 2XS – X-99 – Aindriu McCormack

7th Unruly – X-37 – Charles and Ellen Bull

8th XtoSea – X-332 – David Hunt

9th Vixter – Xp-38 – Andrew Arthur

14th Alison Mary – X-442 – Simon Anderson

15th Samatom – Xc-45 – Bob Rendell

17th Ntanda – X-46 – Mike and Ben Daly

18th In X Celsis – X-119 – Peter Jones

19th Pure Latitude – X-37 – Martin Gray

20th Tyke – X-332 – Brian Thomas

Cruise to West Brittany June – July 2014

Thursday 12th June

Having raced La Nef IV in the HRSC Wednesday evening “A” series fully laden with all the cruising gear (we managed 3rd), Peter Slimming and I set sail for Weymouth at 08.20 on a bright sunny morning with just a little SW breeze. Sadly this meant motor sailing all the way to Weymouth. Although there was firing practise on the Lullworth range, this did not affect us at all since they were only firing 1.5 miles out to sea.

We arrived in Weymouth at 16.15 where a few more provisions were purchased. We chose the first night of our cruise to Brittany to eat on board.

Friday 13th June

Not withstanding the date, the day dawned bright and sunny yet again. Our destination was Dartmouth, so having fuelled up, we left at 08.45 in time for an early rounding of Portland Bill. With little or no wind again we motored on a flat sea along with several other boats. It was 14.30 before a decent breeze filled in. Everyone around cut their engines and the upwind race was on. Most boats we left far behind, but there was a Dutch boat about 45ft that seemed determined to not let us get in front. It was difficult with our old cruising sails but we finally did it. They tacked away in gentlemanly fashion and when we crossed again we had gained the advantage. After a glorious end to the day we docked in Kingswear marina at 17.30

Being so close to Capton, I made a call to my old friend Brian. It was decided that we should all lunch together the next day at a location of Brian and Sarah’s choice. That evening we dined at the Royal Dart Yacht Club.

Saturday 14th June / Sunday 15th June

Our next destination was to be L’Aber Wrac’h. Since we wished to arrive there in the daylight, with an 18 hour passage ahead of us, we decided to leave around 15.00 This gave us time to do a little more shopping and have a little rest before taking the ferry to Dartmouth to meet Brian and Sarah. They took us to a pub some little way away where we ate royally. Brian then got us back to Dartmouth in time for our 15.00 hrs departure.

To keep a relatively boring trip short, we motor sailed nearly all the way in a virtual flat sea. This seemed very strange at the time since the forecast told us to expect a F4-F5 NE. The only excitement we had during the clear moonlit night was dodging the various ships in the shipping lanes.

Just as it started to get light around 04.00 a sea mist formed leaving us with around 1.5 miles visibility. The last 30 miles or so were very slow since we had a very strong tide against us. The good thing, I guess, is that by the time we reached the Libenter buoy marking the entrance to L’Aber Wrac’h, the mist had all but cleared. As we turned into the river, all hell let loose. The forecasted F5 blew up. By the time we got to the marina entrance it was clear that it would not be easy and safe to get in, so we were forced against our better judgement to more against the wave break. The NE wind was on the port bow so pushing us on, but all was OK. Breathing a sigh of relief at having made the crossing in benign conditions, we ate a superb meal ashore.

Monday 16th June

We left L’Aber Wrac’h at 09.20 in order to take the last of the favourable tide down the Chenal de Four and then be carried on to Camaret.

It was obvious that the forecasted wind had arrived. It was blowing 16Kn+ in the river. In order to safely leave the quayside, we enlisted the help on the harbour launch to pull the bow out. From then on it was straightforward. Having left the river, the wind increased to 20Kn+ in the Chenal de Four, but with it behind us there was little problem. We had anticipated this an used the cautious approach on leaving the main securely stacked. The headsail was all we needed. Having reached the end of the chenal marked by the Vieux Moines, we had to harden up to a heading of 115 which gave us a close hauled situation. As an experiment we just sheeted in the headsail and she sailed like a dream even though by now it was blowing a steady 22Kn+. With a fortunate lift, we sailed straight into the bay, furled the headsail and entered the marina. I found just the berth which meant that we would once again have the wind on the port bow, but this time would be blown off, so no squashed fenders. I started to reverse in. Gave a stern mooring line to a waiting Dutchman who duly cleated it. A strong gust came, the bow swung out and before we knew it we were parked on the inner pontoon at right angles to what we needed. Having taken a deep breath, we enlisted the help of the 2 Dutchman on the boat next to where we wished to be (for the record an X-442). Between us all, we managed to haul the boat round to its rightful position. That afternoon and evening, the wind howled, reaching 35Kn at times and never less than 24Kn

Tuesday 17th June

With a continued forecast of very strong NE winds, we decided, with most others to stay put. This gave us a chance to stock up with more provisions and try to fill the tank with diesel. We emptied the final red diesel from the spare can into the tank and then took the 3 empty cans round to the self service pump. Having done the necessary with my credit card, I put the filler pistol in the first can an pulled the trigger. Immediately diesel fuel came pouring out of the pump body, but not into the can. There was a massive leak. Fortunately, Peter had the presence of mind to put the pistol back on the pump. This cut the fuel supply. The machine then presented me with a bill for 17 Euros. I was not amused. I went straight to the Capitainnerie and told the girl what had happened. “Oh yes” she said, “it did that last week. Give me the bill and I will reimburse you” This done she called her boss who promised to deal with the situation. Later that day, repairs seem to have been made, so we had another go at filling the cans. This time we had more success.

Wednesday 18th June

The forecast being somewhat lighter, we left Camaret at 05.00, just as it was starting to get light. This allowed us to safely negotiate the short cut through a gap in the rocks. We needed to transit the Raz around 09.00 when it would be slack water. In the end, with a light 8 Kn wind behind us and the engine running we got there a bit early, so slowed down. This gave the chance for a beautiful wooden German boat to catch us. He followed just behind as we transited the Raz. The wind had increased to 12 – 15 Kn and with a reek in the main we had a superb champagne reach to the Point de Penmarc’h on our way to Loc Tudy. Our German friend’s boat was so much quicker. He was a real gentleman and passed us to leeward before correcting his course. 20 miles later his 13m flush decked boat was 2 miles ahead! We should perhaps have used a full main!

Heading up to round the pointe and go on to Loc Tudy, the wind dropped and the tide became a hindrance so the last 15 miles to our stop was run under engine yet again. We cut through the shallows as much as we dared, finally arriving about 2 minuted ahead of the German! We exchanged compliments on our boats and greetings as best we could since they spoke little English.

The 55 mile journey had taken us the best part of 10 hours.

Thursday 19th June

We left Loc Tudy in a clear blue sky and with an almost imperceptible NE wind which meant we had to motor sail all the way to Groix, 30 miles away. The only real excitement was to see a school of dolphins play around the boat for a while. We tied up to a visitors buoy at 15.00 and took it easy.

Friday 20th June

Having arrived in Groix when a slight sea breeze had clocked the gradient wind round to SW making the harbour very protected, during the night, the wind rotated back to NE making it very lumpy in the harbour. This was all the more galling for us, since they put us between 2 huge rusty iron buoys that were too close together. There was a lot of snatching and banging during the night, making for a troubled sleep. Various black marks now need to be polished from the transom.

As we made to leave, the ferry chose to arrive, holding us back for a couple of minutes. Finally leaving the harbour, we saw a Pogo 8.50 that had been alongside us over night. It looked like the race was on again. With 10Kn NE we seemed very much matched. Any more wind and we pulled away, any less, he caught us. This continued until the wind died. We started the engine earlier than him and never saw him again. Later, the wind filled in again,so the engine was cut once again and we had a glorious sail as far as Basse Cariou at the tip of the Quiberon peninsula. During this part of the trip, once again a couple of dolphins came to see us. From there it was just a motoring exercise as far as our destination, Crouesty. We tied up in a very hot marina at 14.15. One more journey left to make to get to Vannes.

Saturday 21st June 

Once again the day dawned hot and sunny with not a cloud in the sky. However there was a bit of a breeze blowing. About 15+ Kn as usual for this trip, from the NE. We topped up the water tank and then shortly before 09.30 motored across to the fuel dock and filled up with 41l of diesel. Once completed we set off for the famous Golfe du Morbihan with final destination Vannes. Since we had set off early, we elected to take a more scenic route around the islands. This proved very pleasant, especially since it meant we cleared away from a 50ft catamaran who seemed determined to cause us to change direction every 5 minutes.

Finally getting back to the main channel to Vannes we met up with a number of other boats all heading for the same destination. All very inconvenient since it was at this point we had to make a detour round a fleet of racing catamarans. As time went on, we went slower and slower so as not to arrive at the road bridge halting our passage too early. It was due to open at 12.30. As we arrived, there were signs of activity. The boats leaving Vannes had to pass through first and then it was our turn. In hot sun, we finally tied up alongside another UK boat in front of the Capitainnerie, goal achieved.

After lunch, I went to the railway station to pick up a hire car with which to take Peter to Nantes airport tomorrow and collect Wendy.

– John Noe

AGM and Laying Up Luncheon


Following the success and popularity of last year’s event, the Annual General Meeting, Laying Up Luncheon and Prize Giving will again be held at The Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Ocean Village on Sunday 2 November 2014.

The Royal Southampton Yacht Club is one of the most active and dynamic royal yacht clubs in the South of England with a long and proud history, receiving its Royal Charter in 1875.

The AGM will start at 11.30 prompt in The Trafalgar Room. The buffet roast luncheon (12.00 for 12.30 hours) will be in the Clubhouse Lounge adjacent to the bar with its panoramic views of the marina. Prize giving will follow the luncheon.


The John Lewis department store at the WestQuay shopping centre also proved to be very popular last year!

Late Summer Rally – Royal Solent Yacht Club, Yarmouth

Saturday/Sunday – 27/28 September 2014

We are delighted to announce that this year’s rally will be to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.

We are currently discussing evening dining arrangements with the Royal Solent Yacht Club for Saturday evening, 27 September 2014.  The Club, which is located on the seafront next to Yarmouth Pier, enjoys unrivalled views of the Western Solent.

The Club was formed in the summer of 1878 by a dozen of well-connected enthusiasts “to promote both their passion for yachting and the social graces surrounding it”.

Berths in Yarmouth Harbour have been reserved for Members yachts on Saturday night.

Members who are unable to sail to Yarmouth are encouraged to come by ferry as the Ferry Terminal is adjacent to the Clubhouse.

The evening will be informal and members are encouraged to bring families and friends for what is intended to be a relaxing and social event.

The provisional programme for the evening is –


  • 18.30   Drinks reception
  • 19.25   Call for Dinner
  • 19.30   Dinner
  • 22.00   Close


The dinner menu is under discussion, but is likely to be in the order of £30.00/person. There will be a cash bar for all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.


Once the details of the evening have been finalised, a booking form will be sent to all members.


In the meantime, to help with the organisation of the event, it would greatly assist if you could let the Treasurer know whether you are likely to attend and the approximate number of attendees.   John Noe – treasurer@x-yachtsowners.co.uk


XYOA Photography Competition

Congratulations! to Bill Lowe, this years winner by unanimous vote of the XYOA photography competition. The winning photo below is a great shot of an Xc45 sitting arrestingly at harbour whose mast is second only to the church spire in the town’s skyline.


We will be running the competition again this year, and look forward to seeing photos from your seasons sailing and whether you can top Bill’s terrific shot.


Bill Lowe 02

The runners up:


Bill Lowe08  SONY DSCbill lowe 01 Bill Lowe 04 Bill Lowe 06 Bill Lowe 07 Bill Lowe 09 sarah bailey 1 sarah bailey 2 sarah bailey 4