In This Issue
Three New ORC Champions Crowned | Paul Goodison wins 2017 Moth Worlds title | FAST40+ Fracas | New Horizons - McConaghy Boats | Turkish Delight on the Bay of Palma | Fondation FDJ - Des Pieds et Des Mains claims Tour Voile championship | Podium challenge for Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan in Transgascogne | Wild Oats XI claims line honours in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast race | 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

Three New ORC Champions Crowned
Gdansk, Poland: Near-perfect conditions yesterday provided a fantastic ending to four days of competition at the Dr Irena Eris ORC European Championship Gdansk 2017. Two hard-fought final races determined the new 2017 European ORC champions in each of three classes, and while ultimately the winners were yesterday's series leaders in each, they had to fight to the end to keep themselves at the top of their respective podiums.

No where was this seen more keenly than in Class B, where in all the inshore races the X-41's battled with each other with the skills honed over years of racing these boats as one designs throughout the Baltic region.

In the final race, Martin Eslander's X-41 Xini Freedom from Finland and Priit Tammemagi's Premium skippered by Mati Sepp, from Estonia, were both over early; the Race Committee sounded a horn and raised the X flag...yet neither came back to re-start. Premium was fast, 3 minutes ahead of Xini on the 5.4-mile course, and looked as though she would win the race and the ORC European Class B title crown. Yet with both were scored OCS, causing this race to be discarded instead of their worst scores from the offshore race, and thus put Xini in the lead by one point instead.

In Class A the scenarios were not nearly as complex given the smaller number of boats in the class. Tea Ekengren-Suaren's Swan 45 Blue Nights from Finland did what they needed to do to stay on top. By winning the first 6.3-mile race, their 2-2-1-2-1 scoreline was almost unassailable in the last race: they just had to make sure their closest rivals from Denmark - Erik Berth's Swan 45 Tarok VII - did not win this race to put them tied in points and win the tie-break. While doing this, Alex Seehaufer's Soto 40 Sportfreund had a great 3-1 day to move up to take the Bronze medal slot. For Blue Nights and Sportfreund this was their first podium finishes in a major ORC championship.

Class C was much like Class A, where a dominant team had to just continue doing what got them to the top and not make mistakes. Patrik Forsgren's modified First 36.7 Pro4U from Sweden did just that by scoring their second win of the series in today's first race, then staying clean and close to their closest competition in a shifty and contentious second race that featured two general recalls and a Black Flag. The racing was so close in fact that Pro4U had to share 3rd and 4th place points with a boat well behind them, Juss Ojala's First 34.7 Jazz from Estonia, but it made no difference: they finished well-clear of the runner-up and last year's Class C champion, Aivar Tuulberg's Arcona 340 Katariina II.

Winners in the Corinthian Division of all-amateur crews were Tarok VII in Class A, Peter Buhl's Swan 42 Sirena from Denmark in Class B, and Pro4U in Class C.

Full results:

Paul Goodison wins 2017 Moth Worlds title
Paul Goodison (GBR) smashes it on the final day of racing at the 2017 McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds at Lake Garda against the hottest fleet of Moths ever assembled. Goody (to his friends), is the first foiling Moth sailor to win back to back world titles and the result is that much more special considering the high calibre of competition from the most recent top Americas Cup skippers and sailors with more Olympic medals around their necks than any other regatta with exception of the Olympic Games itself.

Going into the final day of racing Goodison begun the day with a 13 point cushion over Pete Burling (NZL) with Iain 'Goobs' Jensen with an outside chance of catching Burling.

The weather gods turned it on again for the final day of racing when a light 'Ora' started to build from the South around lunchtime and any fluffy little clouds dispersed to leave another fine sunny afternoon for racing.

The Youth category went down to the wire on the final day with a fine battle between the two Italian twins Gian Marie and Stefano Ferrighi. With an 8th in the final race on Saturday and a 9th today (Sunday), Stefano stole the title from his brother by 3 places. Stefano finished 23rd overall an excellent performance in a fleet of champions.

The Master's category swung between Jason Belben (GBR) and Rob Gough (AUS) and a similar tussle played out. Rob Gough won this one finishing 25th overall to Jason Belben's 28th.

First in the female category went to Irish Olympian Annalise Murphy who finished 51 in the Gold group.

The Silver group was won by John Clifton (GBR) and the Bronze group won by Maximilian Mage of Germany.

Final top five:
1. Paul Goodison, GBR, 20 points
2. Peter Burling, NZL, 40
3. Iain Jensen, AUS, 41
4. Tom Slingsby, AUS, 43
5. Scott Babbage, AUS, 65

Full results:

FAST40+ Fracas
An incident packed second day at Lendy Cowes Week included Girls of Film hitting a rock on approach to a mark, a collision between Invictus and Rebellion at the same mark, plus 42 South snapping their rig, and a navigational error costing a round of drinks at the bar.

Sir Keith Mills' British Ker40+ Invictus took line honours, and corrected out to win the race. However, after racing, Peter Morton's British CF40+ Girls on Film, was given redress, and awarded joint first place for the race. The two teams will share the Royal Thames Yacht Club's 1840 Challenge Cup.

Bas de Voogd's Dutch Carkeek MkIII Hitchhiker was second, and leads the class for Lendy Cowes Week. Johnny Vincent's British Ker40+ Pace stayed out of trouble to finish third. Tony Dickin's Farr designed Jubilee was fourth, just four seconds ahead of the German Felci designed Silva Neo.

After the first beat, Peter Morton's CF40+ Girls on Film, was leading by two minutes, approaching Baxters, located near Gurnard Head. "We had dropped our spinnaker and we were about to round the mark when we hit a rock." explained Peter Morton. "We were hard on and had to be towed off some time later. At the time, we were frantically waving at the boats behind to alert them, and we saw Invictus and Rebellion coming in really fast."

In the fracas, Invictus and Rebellion had a minor coming-together. "It was a just a kiss really." suggested Stewart Whitehead, owner Driver of Rebellion. We had our A2 up, and I think Invictus had their Masthead Zero, so we were coming in at different angles. When we both took evasive action, we touched. To cap the day off, Campbell Field took us to the wrong mark in the confusion, which cost us a bit of time. He was a bit sheepish about it, and bought a big round when we got in, but we are still all good friends on board."

Racing for the FAST40+ Class continues Monday 31 July, for the Royal London Yacht Club Bloodhound Challenge Trophy.

New Horizons
Seahorse After 50 years' building everything from foiling Moths to the supermaxis McConaghy Boats are entering new markets with a ground-breaking supercat plus a mini-Canonball to take on the growing Fast40+ class

McConaghy Boats are celebrating a half-century in performance boatbuilding this year with an impressive pedigree of raceboat excellence that, in the hands of the world's best sailors, has now won pretty much every major contest in the sport. This ranges from Aussie 18s in Sydney Harbour to custom offshore IOR, IMS and IRC designs, ACC America's Cup boats, first-to-finish maxis, supermaxis... the list goes on and on. Oh yes, did we mention the Andrew McDougall Mach 2 foiler Moths which continue to pour out of the door of the company's Chinese facility?

Yet, rather than rest on these laurels of always being on the cutting edge of composite fabrications, McConaghy have recently further notched up the pace to adopt some recent innovations that will have this firm well poised to enter the next half-century with greater efficiencies and versatilities in production of a new range of boat types wider than ever before.

Full article in the August issue of Seahorse:

Turkish Delight on the Bay of Palma
They have led four of this season's five regattas and twice been within touching distance of overall victory on the last day, but today when they crossed the finish line of the what proved to be the last race of Puerto Portals 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week Ergin Imre's Provezza team finally closed the deal and won their first ever regatta title in their five years on the 52 SUPER SERIES.

Popular Turkish owner Imre has owned nine different Provezza race boats in more than 30 years of campaigning, dating back to IOR Admiral's Cuppers and Two Tonners. But his win today on the Bay of Palma is made all the more special as they have been so close on two occasions this season. They led into the final day in Key West in January but botched the start of the first race and dropped from contention. And last month they fleetingly led the final run of the last race which would have given them the title in Porto Cervo until a clip opened and they could not trim their kite on, ceding the title to Ran Racing.

Final Standings
1. Provezza, Ergin Imre, TUR, 34 points
2. Quantum Racing, Doug DeVos, USA, 36
3. Azzurra, Roemmers Family, ITA/ARG, 36
4. Platoon, Harm Muller-Spreer, GER, 38
5. Ran Racing, Niklas Zennstrom, SWE, 42
6. Sled, Takashi Okura, USA, 45
7. Bronenosec, Vladimir Liubomirov, RUS, 46
8. Gladiator, Tony Langley, GBR, 61
9. Alegre, Andy Soriano GBR/USA, 67

Fondation FDJ - Des Pieds et Des Mains claims Tour Voile championship
While Team SFS triumphed in spectacular style in today's Coastal Raid, a third place finish in Nice was more than sufficient to assure Fondation FDJ - Des Pieds et Des Mains overall victory in the 40th edition of the Tour de France a la Voile. Eighteen points clear of Team SFS in second, the crew led by Damien Seguin and Damien Iehl with Benjamin Amiot and François Morvan can no longer be caught, and will add their name to the illustrious list of teams who have raised the Tour's Cup since 1978.

Solid, consistent and never far from the top of the classification ever since the event got underway in Dunkirk on 7th July, the crew of Fondation FDJ - Des Pieds et Des Mains placed outside the top 10 just once over 16 race days (an eleventh position in Act 4 in Arzon). And they displayed their usual cool, calm and collected character today when the time came to seal the deal. Paralympic sailor and co-skipper Damien Seguin has sailed in the Tour for the past three years and - in addition to his two Paralympic golds in the 2.4mR - has once again achieved his goal of proving that physical disability does not preclude top performances.

Top three overall rankings:
1. Fondation FDJ - Des Pieds et Des Mains - 837 points
2. Tresors de Tahiti - 808
3. Beijaflore Sailing - 806

Top three youth rankings:
1. Team Lorina Mojito - Golfe du Morbihan - 773
2. Ville de Genève - CER 2 - 608
3. Team Natixis - YC Saint Lunaire - 595

Top three amateau rankings:
1. Homkia - Les Sables d'Olonne Agglomeration - 674
2. Team Installux Aluminium - 662
3. Dunkerque Voile - 631

Podium challenge for Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan in Transgascogne
Irish solo sailor Tom Dolan has his sights set firmly on a podium finish in the last race of the Mini Class Series before the big season finale - a 4,000-mile epic across the Atlantic alone on his 21ft racing yacht.

The 30-year-old from Kells, County Meath, goes into the 600-mile Transgascogne Race, beginning today, as one of the favourites for victory having notched up a string of impressive results so far this season.

Three podium finishes in five races has rocketed Dolan into fourth place overall in the season standings with only the Transgascogne Race, from Les Sables d'Olonne in France to Aviles in northern Spain, to go before the Mini Transat in October.

Dolan, who is now based in the Breton port of Concarneau, will go head to head with around 25 other sailors in the Transgascogne.

The race is split into two legs. The first, at 345 miles, takes the fleet from Les Sables d'Olonne around the small island of Belle Ile then south through the Bay of Biscay to Aviles in Spain's Asturias region. The second is a 245-mile direct sprint from Aviles back to Les Sables. Although much shorter than the Transat, the Transgascogne has historically been seen as an indicator of how the season finale could finish.

Dolan's progress in the race can be tracked here:

Wild Oats XI claims line honours in the Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast race
In the closest finish in more than 15 years, the Oatley family's record-breaking supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, has claimed line honours for the sixth time in the 384 nautical mile Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race.

The 30-metre long, silver-hulled racer knifed its way across the finish line off Main Beach soon after sunrise; and only 3m 31s behind was the similar sized Black Jack, owned by Peter Harburg, out of Brisbane.

These two yachts started life as near-identical Reichel-Pugh designs in 2005. Harburg purchased Black Jack from a European owner earlier this year, shipped it to Sydney and had it modified just in time for this race.

Light to medium headwinds made what was the 32nd staging of the coastal classic a physical and mental test of endurance for both crews. Sleep was a rare and brief experience over the entire distance, and sail changes were made constantly to suit the prevailing conditions.

Richards heaped praise on his crew and also recognised the outstanding effort made by the Black Jack team, especially considering this was their maiden race with the yacht. However, the result was particularly encouraging for Wild Oats XI.

"From the day she was launched Black Jack was always faster than Wild Oats XI when sailing upwind in those conditions," Richards said. "So we were more than pleased to be able to go toe-to-toe with them in this race, especially when you consider that we've done extensive modification to our yacht to make it faster downwind."

This was Wild Oats XI's sixth line honours victory in the Gold Coast race; however the light headwinds that prevailed led to it crossing the finishing line more than 20 hours outside the course record time she set in 2012. -- Rob Mundle

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