Exocet is a 40-foot (11.92 metre) racing yacht built by X-Yachts of Denmark in 1989. She was designed as an offshore racer-cruiser, capable of passages of about 800 miles before re-provisioning. She has classic lines with a distinctive transom and overall she is pleasing to the eye, with an excellent turn of speed. She is crewed by a crew of 10, although for offshore events, she is best suited to a crew of 8.
A brief history
Exocet started her life at Poole where she was raced in local regattas before being sold in 1995 to an UK expatriate living in Kuwait. She was shipped out to the Middle East to take part in the Dubai-Muscat race. Only 3 days after her arrival, she started the race with a scratch crew and managed a most credible second place in the race.
On completion of the race, she sailed for Kuwait where she took part in a number of regattas for the next 18 months. However in 1997, her owner was unwell and Exocet lay in her berth for almost 2 years without moving until the British Army serving in Kuwait offered to refurbish her and sail her regularly for the benefit of those serving in Kuwait.
In 1999, the present owner, Chris Copeland, was asked to take over as Exocet’s regular skipper and to form a regular crew. At that time he had recently retired as an Army officer and had been appointed as a regional director in Kuwait of a UK-based training company. He became the owner of Exocet on 8 October 2000.
From then, Exocet raced regularly in a number of regattas including the Bahrain regatta and the British Airways race series, all of which she won. In 2002, she went down to Dubai to take part in the Dubai-Muscat race in which she took Line Honours. Later, back in Kuwait, she continued to win a number of race series run by the Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association and countless people from all walks of life were taken to sail in her, including crews from visiting RN ships.
In January 2003, as storm clouds gathered in the Middle East, Exocet set of from Kuwait for the last time to position herself in Dubai for the Muscat race. A fierce sandstorm raged as she was escorted by the Royal Navy out of Kuwait territorial waters and as they bade her farewell, a RN helicopter gave her a close-quarter flying display. Two days later, all the waters of the Northern Gulf were closed to recreational craft as the Coalition Forces went onto a war footing. By this time, Exocet was closing on Dubai after 2 days of sailing in which she averaged 197 miles a day.
The Dubai-Muscat race went ahead, but light airs resulted in its cancellation, even though Exocet was leading and within 20 miles of the finish. She returned to Dubai on the day before the start of the Coalition invasion of Iraq and remained there for the next 2 months, before being shipped back to Southampton to start a new life back in the UK.
Within days of her arrival, Exocet was entered into Cowes week and since then she has been raced regularly in a number of regattas, including Cork week 2004, Dartmouth, Lymington, Yarmouth and over 18 Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) offshore races, taking her to France, Southern Ireland and the Channel Islands. She successfully completed the 2005 Fastnet race and continued to race throughout 2006.
For the 2007 racing season, she has both an inshore and offshore programme planned, including Cowes week, Round the Island, the Fastnet race and all the RORC offshore races.