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X-Yachts Aurum Cup 2024 Day 1

by Mark Jardine 21 Jun 15:09 UTC 21-22 June 2024

The biennial X-Yachts Gold Cup has been a fixture on X-Yacht owners' calendars for years, combining great racing and superb social activity, so extending the concept from Denmark to Australia was a natural progression.

Owners in Australia have gathered at the Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney for the Aurum Cup, the brainchild of X-Yachts importer Kevin Wallis. Aurum is the Latin word for gold if you were wondering where the name came from!

The first day saw a 20 nautical mile passage race from Pittwater to Sydney on a stunning winter's morning, with unbroken sunshine and a sometimes-fickle breeze. Concentrations was required, in an 'eyes out of the boat' race to make best use of the wind.

Steve Burcher, one of three sailors who own Trilogy, a new X43, described his day:

"We struggled a bit as our wind vane was damaged, so we didn't know the true windspeed and direction, but we managed, and it was a lovely day out there. The wind was all over the shop, but it was good fun. Today was one of the first times we've used the Code Zero downwind, and we got a lot of performance out of it which was good."

Steve and his fellow owners had been looking to retire, but somehow seem to be busier than ever, and have found the X43 ideal for their situation and time in life:

"We love the boat! We were looking for the ultimate racer-cruiser, and she ticked all the boxes for us. We're still learning, and we'd all been racers before, so this is us getting back into sailing a boat that we thought would allow us to do that. We're not spring chickens, and she's a very comfortable boat, so we're very happy with it. We have a couple of little luxuries, such as bow thrusters and electric winches, which are all very handy. It fits us perfectly."

Sal Ridulso is the owner of an IMX-40 called Xcalibur that he races successfully at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and had a superb day on the water:

"We started with an asymmetric spinnaker inside Pittwater, then gybed behind Blacksmith, an Xp50, and XS Moment, an Xp44, trying to make the most of the variable breeze."

Sal is pleased with how his yacht is performing:

"We're doing well, considering it's a 24-year-old boat, but it's solid as a rock. The steel grillage inside doesn't go anywhere, and we have a carbon mast and boom, so it's a beautiful boat with a superb performance. It's a testament to the guys in Denmark that they can build a boat that can last that long."

On the X-Yachts Aurum Cup Sal added:

"It's a great initiative for a brand with such a high kudos in terms of ownership and quality." Saturday sees two more races on Sydney Harbour, followed by Dinner and the Prize Giving Party at the Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

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