In This Issue
Macgregor (GBR) Wins 2017 Women's Match Racing Worlds | Britain's Land Rover BAR Academy crowned Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions | Glorious Start To O'Leary Life Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Volvo Ocean Race Entry Team Akzonobel Christens New Ocean Racing Yacht | Notice of Race released for Legends Race 2018 | Sled Takes the Lead in the First Day of Racing at Audi Sailing Week | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage

Brought to you by Seahorse magazine, Scuttlebutt Europe is a digest of sailing news and opinions, regatta results, new boat and gear information and letters from sailors -- with a European emphasis. Contributions welcome, send to

Macgregor (GBR) Wins 2017 Women's Match Racing Worlds
Helsinki, Finland: For a second day, the thunderstorms rushed the sailors off of the water, but not before Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and her Team Mac with teammates Silja Lehtinen Frost, Rosie Watkins, Imogen Stanley, and Charlotte Lawrence were declared 2017 Women's Match Racing World Champions in Helsinki, defeating the Dutch Match Racing Team skippered by Renee Groeneveld (NED) sailing with Marcelien Bos-De Koning, Lobke Berkhout, Sanne Akkerman, and Mijke Lievens.

This is Lucy Macgregor's second Women's Match Racing World Championship title. She won her previous title in Newport, Rhode Island, USA in 2010.

The score line may seem on the surface that Team Mac was not challenged, but the battles on the water told a different story. Lots of close matches and thrilling exchanges.

After the brief yet violent showers, the Closing Ceremonies in Hernesaaren Ranta were a festive event with everything from a heartfelt thank you from World Sailing Vice President Ana Sanchez to the prize giving to dancing on stage to the live band.

The winning team at the ISAF / World Sailing Women's Match Racing World Championship are crowned World Champions and presented with the ISAF Francoise Pascal Memorial - Women's Match Racing World Championship Trophy. The trophy is named in honour of the late Francoise Pascal, a former Vice-President of the Federation Francaise de Voile and a hugely influential figure in the growth of women's match racing.

Final Standings (skipper, nationality, Team Name, WIM Series points):
1. Lucy Macgregor, GBR, Team Mac, 25
2. Renee Groeneveld, NED, Dutch Match Racing Team, 22
3. Trine Palludan, DEN, Team Experience, 20
4. Anna Ostling, SWE, Team Anna, 18
5. Marinella Laaksonen, FIN, L2 Match Racing Team, 16
6. Mikaela Fors, FIN, Pen & Hammer Sailing Team, 14
7. Pauline Courtois, FRA, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, 12
8. Caroline Sylvan, SWE, New Sweden Match Racing Team, 10
9. Johanna Bergqvist, SWE, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, 8
10. Margot Riou, FRA, APCC Women's Sailing Team, 7
11. Martina Karlemo, FIN, Team Karlemo, 6
12. Antonia Degerlund, FIN, Team Skona Vibbisar, 5
13. Sanna Hager, SWE, Stockholm Match Racing Team, 4
14. Ekaterina Kochkina, RUS, Team SailWay, 3

The next event on the 2017 WIM Series is the Lysekil Women's Match in Lysekil, Sweden, 7-12 August 2017.

Britain's Land Rover BAR Academy crowned Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions
Britain's youth America's Cup sailors from the Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned the 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup Champions in Bermuda.

The British entry completed 12 races against 12 other nations on Bermuda's Great Sound to take the title - six initial qualifying races and six in the finals - and finished the event with 50 points, just two points ahead of second placed New Zealand Sailing Team (48 points) and eight points ahead of Switzerland's Team Tilt (42 points).

The victory came down to a nail biting finale and the final race of the event.

Land Rover BAR launched the Land Rover BAR Academy in January 2016, to support talented young British sailors, and create a structured pathway into the America's Cup. 22-year-old Neil Hunter was an initial example of success, promoted from junior to senior team, becoming not only the youngest sailor to compete in the America's Cup but the only sailor to compete in both competitions.

The British entry is also made up of some of the country's top sailing talent, aged between 19-24 years old and led by Skipper Rob Bunce. 23-year-old Strategist, Annabel Vose, was the only female crew member to compete in the Youth Cup.

Red Bull Youth America's Cup squad:
Skipper, Rob Bunce
Helm, Chris Taylor
Strategist, Annabel Vose
Main Trimmer, Elliot Hanson
Jib Trimmer, Sam Batten
Bow, Neil Hunter
Substitute, Adam Kay

Land Rover BAR Academy Support team:
Rob Andrews
Andrew Walsh
Matt Adams
Jono Macbeth
Tim Carter

Red Bull Youth America's Cup overall results:
Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR), 50 points
NZL Sailing Team (NZL), 48
Team Tilt (SUI), 42
Artemis Youth Racing (SWE), 37
Team France Jeune (FRA), 35
Spanish Impulse Team (ESP), 34
SVB Team Germany (GER), 33
Team BDA (BDA), 33

Glorious Start To O'Leary Life Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale
Photo by David Branigan, Click on image for photo gallery.

With light winds and broken sunshine, flat seas allowed a full programme of opening day races to be sailed on four course areas at the O'Leary Life Sovereigns Cup at Kinsale today where a fleet of 98 boats has gathered.

At this early stage, few of the nine divisions racing have clear leaders and with the prospect of fresh to strong winds for the next two days, a full test in all conditions is likely to bring the final results down to the wire for Saturday's finale.

At stake, the Sovereigns Cup for the best performing boat on IRC handicap alongside the Portcullis Trophy for the best boat on Progressive ECHO handicap.

Laying down a clear signal of intent to become the overall winner of the regatta, Rob McConnell's Fool's Gold from Waterford Harbour won both races of the day in Division 1, the largest fleet in the event with 18 entries, a result only matched in the White Sails Division 2 fleet where Stephanie Ennis' Club Shamrock Demelza had two bullets for the day.

In Division 2, the second largest fleet on the course, the top three boats are within one point of each other while the chasing pack aren't lagging too far behind either. Kieran Collins' Coracle IV leads after winning the opening race before placing fifth in the second and lies level with Howth's Richard Evans on The Big Picture.

In the 1720 Sportsboat European Championships that is being sailed as part of the main regatta, a luffing match between father and son in race one saw Olympic sailor Peter O'Leary defeat his father Anthony to take first place. However, O'Leary senior was the more consistent over the three races and is the clear overnight leader.

Full results are available here:

Seahorse July 2017
What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine

Rodney Pattisson and Luca Devoti are on the same page, the new Cannonball is already looking ominous and how to choose your whomper. Plus America's Cup 36, anyone? Philippe Serenon, Jack Griffin, and Terry Hutchinson

Still improving
So which fleet is the greatest test? Ken Read

Out the same mould
TP52 moulds have been put to good use recently but with a bit added on top. Rob Weiland

Founding father - Part II
But Adrian Morgan draws the line at following Sir Robin Knox-Johnston And Chris Bonington up any mountains

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Volvo Ocean Race Entry Team Akzonobel Christens New Ocean Racing Yacht
Click on image to enlarge.

Team AkzoNobel, the Dutch ocean racing team preparing to compete in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, has christened its newly built Volvo Ocean 65 racing yacht at an event in the Netherlands.

The ceremony took place at the team's home base in The Hague, four months almost to the day before the start of the 83,000-kilometer (45,000-nautical mile) round-the-world race, which begins in Alicante, Spain, on October 22.

Team AkzoNobel is backed by global paints, coatings and specialty chemicals company AkzoNobel and skippered by renowned Dutch yachtsman Simeon Tienpont - with British three time Volvo Ocean Race competitor Jules Salter in the navigator's role.

The team will take on up to seven other professional teams in the race which crosses four oceans and stops at 11 major cities before the finish in The Hague in June 2018.

A flotilla of nine young dinghy sailors from the Dutch national Optimist team proudly escorted the 65-foot team AkzoNobel yacht into the dock. Like several other members of his crew, Tienpont began his own sailing career racing Optimists in the Netherlands.

This was followed by the ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle on the bow of the team AkzoNobel yacht, which was performed by Mayor Krikke, accompanied by Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Karsten Klein.

The team AkzoNobel yacht is the only one of the fleet of identical boats in the race to have been newly built for the 2017-18 edition. Launched for the first time a fortnight ago in Lisbon, the boat underwent stringent safety testing before being handed over to Tienpont's crew.

Notice of Race released for Legends Race 2018
Gothenburg, Sweden: The Official Notice of Race for the Legends Race 2018 was launched on 21 June, detailing the rules under which boats that have taken part in either The Whitbread Round the World Race or the Volvo Ocean Race, will race each other from Gothenburg to The Hague next summer.

On 21 June 2018, and for the first time ever, a fleet of Legends boats will cross the official start line, just 45 minutes ahead of the racing fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s, to race from Gothenburg to The Hague.

The stage for this historic race from Sweden to The Netherlands is steeped in ocean racing history. Both countries have each fielded winners of the world's premier ocean race: Flyer in 1977-78 and 1981-82 plus ABN AMRO One in 2005-06 for The Netherlands, and EF Language 1997-98 and Ericsson 4 in 2008-09 for Sweden. Both nations are expecting to field entries to contest the race again.

"Racing round the world has been an enormous part of my life and I am very excited that a fleet of Legends boats will be here in Sweden, my home country, next year. It's going to be an event not to be missed and I will be there to cheer them on", said Swedish race veteran Roger Nilson.

Following a departure ceremony in Gothenburg , the fleet will race approximately 460 nautical miles directly to the finish line in The Hague.

The boats will be open to the public both in Gothenburg and The Hague as well as being available for charter sailing before and after the race itself. There will be a parade of sail in both host cities, and the event will conclude with an official prizegiving in The Hague.

Sled Takes the Lead in the First Day of Racing at Audi Sailing Week
Porto Cervo, Italy: The Audi Sailing Week, an event that is organised by the Yacht Club Costa in collaboration with Title Sponsor Audi, officially started today. The fourth event in the most competitive circuit of keelboat racing will end on Sunday, June 25th and currently sees Sled in first place, followed by Alegre and Rán Racing who finished in second and third places respectively today.

Punctually at 1:00 PM today the eleven TP52s that are racing in this event were at the starting line in Porto Cervo ready to start a 13,5 nm race that also included three windward/leeward legs for a total of almost 20 nm of racing. After the W/L legs the fleet headed out to the Golfo delle Saline then back through the Passo delle Bisce keeping Capo Ferro to starboard and ending in front of Porto Cervo.

The American team aboard Sled with its owner Takashi Okura at the helm was in the lead from the first downwind gate, with about 150mt on the second boat, the English team aboard Alegre with former America's Cup tactician Andy Horton. Niklas Zennstrom's Ran Racing placed third today.

The cumulative overall circuit results see the German team aboard Platoon in first place after she placed seventh in today's race. Azzurra, with today's fifth place finish has recovered two points on the circuit's leader overall and is in second place, while Quantum is currently in third place on the cumulative circuit scoreboard.

Tomorrow, Thursday June 22nd, the 52 Super Series races will begin at 12 noon. Two windward/leeward races are scheduled to be held in medium to light winds. As always in this circuit, competition on the water is followed by a prestigious social programme on land: tomorrow will see the Owners Dinner at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Clubhouse.

Letters To The Editor -
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.

* From Alistair Skinner:

Interesting words from Dale Kushner about the VOR, some I agree with, some less so.

I wholeheartedly agree that in-port races in a different boat takes away from the Round the World element while on the other hand it opens up the opportunity for ports to host the race that might not otherwise be able to due to inadequate area of deep enough water.

While I am not necessarily a fan of one design, it must not be forgotten that this is a commercial event and therefore all about ROI to the sponsors, the fun we observers get looking on is a) a spin off and b) partly how the sponsor gets their return from their name splashed everywhere.

Often, skippers and teams made decisions at the design stage that meant they had little chance of winning. Ian Walker was pretty sure right after the first Abu Dhabi's Fastnet record they had a problem and if Peter Blake had not asked that one question of Bruce Farr about the difference to rating a masthead or fractional fore-triangle would make then Steinlager 2 might not have been so dominant.

Dale's comment about the VO70s might well have read "Look at the VO70's, they kept breaking... " because they certainly did, bomb doors coming off - even leading to a sinking - , rigs falling over the side and hulls delaminating with many legs completed on the deck of a ship or back of a truck.

My understanding is the one design, the Boatyard, the reduction in crew numbers etc have all been in an attempt to control costs. By controlling costs you make the race more accessible to sponsors yet even with these efforts it is still not easy to raise the double figures of millions to fund an entry.

Throw in the additional design and tooling costs of individual designs and (going on previous budgets) you could be looking at a 50% increase in entry level expenditure.

Whether a close copy of the latest generation IMOCA boats is the right way to go, I am not sure and likely the jury will be out all the way to the finish line of the next race (2020 that is).

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Ben Cooper
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