Light airs on final day of Cowes could turn the tables in the highly competitive XOD class 5/8/06

The X One-Design, one of the largest classes here at Skandia Cowes Week have enjoyed an extremely competitive series and going into the final race, there are four boats in with a chance of taking overall class honours for the Captain’s Cup.

Currently leading the fleet with 39 points is Kim Slater, Alaistair Evans and Jamie McCabe in Alvine X, but with one race to go they have to be sure to keep ahead of their closest rivals aboard Caprice – the 42 year-old boat – sailed by Peter Baines, David Lindsay (the owner) and Kym Bassey.

Chatting before they left the dock for the last race this morning Slater said: “The conditions are light and tricky today so it’s going to be a bit of a lottery out there. We know we have to score a top nine result to better our overall score. We haven’t actually won a race this week but we’ve been fairly consistent. Unlike last year, where we were second, it’s been an incredibly high scoring event. I think last year we ended the series with just 18pts.”

Team Caprice, who finished fifth overall last year, have a total of 57pts but discards have not yet been taken into account so a good result today to add to their couple of first places at the beginning of the week, and their second and third, could see them snatching victory if Alvine X stumbles in today’s light airs.

Another couple of boats to keep an eye on, who also have a chance of claiming overall honours are Felix and Zoe sailed by Peter Taylor and Mike Pascall respectively.

Chatting just before Team Caprice set sail in today’s final showdown David Lindsay commented: “We’ve a lot on our plate today. We basically need to finish in the top 10. However, we’re not about to go out there and give Alvine X a particularly hard time, our intention is to go out and race our own race and aim for a respectable position. Obviously we’ll be keeping a good eye on our closest rival but we won’t spend the race sitting on them.”

The current situation at 11:30 this morning shows very little wind so the race committee have wisely decided to postpone the XOD start until 13:00 and lay a start line off Hill Head where hopefully there’s a chance of a better, clearer breeze.