In This Issue
France claims Fastnet Challenge Cup for third consecutive time | The Dutch Women's Match Racing Team Wins in Lysekil | (Fast) horses for courses - Future Fibres | MAPFRE continue Leg Zero dominance | Day 4 RC44 Marstrand World Championship | Annie Lush announced as new member Team Brunel | Smooth sailing at Hanko | Dennis Conner: 'The end of the Russell Coutts era' | 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

France claims Fastnet Challenge Cup for third consecutive time
RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd presents the Fastnet Challenge Cup to the overall winner, Didier Gaudoux's JND39, Lann Ael 2. ELWJ Photography/RORC. Click on image to enlarge.

For a third time running the Rolex Fastnet Race has been a story of French domination, Le Tricolor flying on this occasion from the top spot in IRC 1, 2, 3 and 4, the Class40 and IMOCA 60, the Two Handed and IRC Overall. Even the Chinese boat, Dongfeng Race Team, that won Volvo 65 competition had a largely French crew.

This left IRC Zero to American Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Privateer, while, surprisingly, the only British class victory went to Tony Lawson's MOD 70 trimaran Concise 10, in the usually French-strong Multihull class.

Early on, the overall prize looked set to be a big boat affair with both the JV 115 Nikata and George David's maxi Rambler 88 leading until the run back from the Fastnet Rock favoured the medium-sized boats.

Ron O'Hanley's Privateer came close to making it a second Cookson 50 victory, a decade on from the overall win of Irishman Ger O'Rourke's Chieftain.

However by Wednesday it became apparent that there was a new contender for the 2017 Fastnet Challenge Cup - the overall prize under IRC.

Didier Gaudoux's JND39, Lann Ael 2, struggled last year when she competed in the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, however then she was only six months old. Since then the team, based out of La Crouesty in southern Brittany has tweaked the boat considerably with the assistance of sailmaker and former Mini and Figaro sailor Fred Duthil.

The JND 39 is a heavily-chined design from Bernard Nivelt and ate up the miles on the run towards Bishop Rock.

Paris-based Gaudoux was sailing with his son Thomas and daughter Coralie, navigator Fred Duthil, plus Nicolas Deberque, Nicolas Dore, Alois Kerduel, Pierre Louiset, Paulin Nicol and Christian Ponthieu.

As to the Rolex Fastnet Race, this is Gaudoux's fourth. -- James Boyd

Provisional Results:

1. Privateer - Cookson 50, Ron O'Hanley (USA)
2. Lady Mariposa - Ker 46, Daniel Hardy (GBR)
3. Bretagne Telecom - Mach 45, Nicolas Groleau (FRA)

IRC 1:
1. Lann Ael 2 - JND 39, Didier Gaudoux (FRA)
2. Pata Negra - Lombard 46, Hermann de Graaf (NED)
3. Ino XXX - HH42, James Neville (GBR)

IRC 2:
1. Pintia - J/133, Gilles Fournier / Corinne Migraine (FRA)
2. Lisa - First 44.7, Michael Boyd (IRE)
3. Elke - First 40, Frans and Carla Rodenburg (NED)

IRC 3:
1. Dream Pearls - JPK 10.80, Arnaud Delamare and Eric Mordret (FRA)
2. Timeline - JPK 10.80, Marc Alperovitch (FRA)
3. Bellino - Sun Fast 3600, Rob Craigie (GBR)

IRC 4:
1. Night and Day - JPK 10.10, Pascal & Alexis Loison (FRA)
2. Foggy Dew - JPK 10.10, Noel Racine (FRA)
3. Cocody - JPK 10.10, Richard Fromentin (FRA)

IRC Two-Handed:
1. Night and Day - JPK 10.10, Pascal Loison (FRA)
2. Ajeto! - J/122e, Robin Verhoef and John van der Starre (NED)
3. Bellino - Sun Fast 3600, Rob Craigie and Deb Fish (GBR)

1. Dongfeng Race Team (CHN) - Charles Caudrelier
2. MAPFRE (ESP) - Xabi Fernandez
3. Team Brunel (NED) - Bouwe Bekking

1. SMA - Paul Meilhat/Gwenole Gahinet (FRA)
2. StMichel-Virbac - Jean-Pierre Dick/ /Yann Elies (FRA)
3. Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco - Boris Herrmann/Pierre Casiraghi (MON)

1. V and B - Maxime Sorel (FRA)
2. Imerys - Phil Sharp (GBR)
3. Campagne de France - Halvard Mabire (FRA) and Miranda Merron (GBR)

MOCRA Multihulls:
1. Concise 10 - MOD 70 trimaran, Tony Lawson (GBR)
2. R-six - HH66 catamaran, Robert Szustkowski (POL)
3. Hissy Fit - Dazcat 1495, Simon Baker (GBR)

The Dutch Women's Match Racing Team Wins in Lysekil
Dutch Olympian Renee Groeneveld and her crew won Lysekil Women's Match, the 2nd stop on the 2017 WIM Series, by beating Pauline Courtois, FRA, 3 - 1 in Saturday's final.

Defending Champion and local hope Anna Ostling of the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club, took the bronze after a 2 - 0 score against Trine Palludan, DEN, in the petite final.

After the semi finals it was evident that home sailor Anna Ostling wouldn't defend her Lysekil title from last year. Instead she had to reload to avoid becoming fourth

The World Championship silver medal at the beginning of the summer, and the triumph here in Lysekil, takes Groeneveld & Co to the top of the WIM Series leader board. Trine Palludan is on third, on the same point as Ostling, while Courtois holds fourth place. Thanks to her 5th place in Lysekil, Swede Caroline Sylvan advances to the same place on WIM Series. Events in Korea in October and US Virgin Islands in December still remain.

Results in the Final of Lysekil Women's Match:
Pauline Courtois, FRA - Renee Groeneveld, NED, 1 - 3

Results in the Petit-Fnal of Lysekil Women's Match:
Anna Ostling, SWE - Trine Palludan, DEN, 2 - 0

Results in the Semi-Finals of Lysekil Women's Match:
Trine Palludan, DEN - Pauline Courtois, FRA 1 - 3
Anna Ostling, SWE - Renee Groeneveld, NED 1 - 3

2017 WIM Series Standings after two events (Skipper, team, nationality, WIM Series points):

1. Renee Groeneveld, Dutch Match Racing Team, NED, 47
2. Anna Ostling, Team Anna, SWE, 38
3. Trine Palludan, Team Experience, DEN, 38
4. Pauline Courtois, Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team, FRA, 34
5. Caroline Sylvan, New Sweden Match Racing Team, SWE, 26
6. Marinella Laaksonen, L2 Match Racing Team, FIN, 26
7. Lucy Macgregor, Team Mac, GBR, 25
8. Johanna Bergqvist, Team Bergqvist Match Racing, SWE, 20
9. Alexa Bezel, ChicaCER Women Match Racing Team, SUI, 14
10. Mikaela Fors, Pen & Hammer Sailing Team, FIN, 14
11. Antonia Degerlund, Team Skona Vibbisar, FIN, 11
12. Linnea Floser, Peregrine Racing, SWE, 8
13. Octavia Owen, Athena Racing, GBR, 7
14. Margot Riou, APCC Women's Sailing Team , FRA, 7
15. Martina Karlemo, Team Karlemo, FIN, 6
16. Sanna Hager, Stockholm Match Racing Team, SWE, 4
17. Ekaterina Kochkina, Team SailWay, RUS, 3

(Fast) horses for courses
Even aloft it's not only about weight and windage...

Carbon fibre standing rigging is fast becoming commonplace, not just with grand prix-level designs, but also among the world's ocean record-breakers and increasingly superyachts as well. Advantages in strength, light weight and increased performance are merging now with improved longevity and reliability and therefore longterm costs.

As a manufacturer of both solid and bundled carbon rigging, Future Fibres are always diligent in making sure that customers are best informed on the correct choice to match their particular balance of performance and reliability. Future Fibres' ECsix continues to offer the best-proven and most durable composite shroud solution. With use across an enormous variety of platforms, widespread acceptance of ECsix has made it today's de facto choice in carbon rigging. Over 10 years there has not been a single ECsix failure due to age, wear or sailing conditions

Full article in the August issue of Seahorse:

MAPFRE continue Leg Zero dominance
MAPFRE maintained their near-faultless performance in Volvo Ocean Race qualifying - and gave themselves the best possible chance of completing overall victory in the Leg Zero series - as they led the fleet over the finish line on a short opening stage of the final race out of Saint-Malo.

Extended periods of extremely light weather meant that the Saint-Malo to Lisbon leg had to be split into two parts.

As expected, the Volvo Ocean 65s stayed tightly bunched on the first of those, a drag race towards Le Grand Lejon. Vestas 11th Hour Racing were neck-and-neck with MAPFRE for the lead, with the Spanish side just pipping them to the line.

Dongfeng Race Team grabbed third ahead of Turn the Tide on Plastic and team AkzoNobel. Preliminary unofficial results gave Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Team Brunel the same time, with less than a mile between the first and last teams in the seven-boat fleet.

Now that the teams have completed their 'Sunday drive' - a 25nm sprint in just 10 knots - they can prepare for the restart which will begin from Chaussé de Sein at 0900 UTC on Monday. It will be a staggered start based on the finishing deltas from Sunday.

The fleet will start with light south easterlies that will quickly die and then come back from the west.

Overall standings after 3 of 4 completed races in Leg Zero:
1. MAPFRE, 23 points
2. Team Brunel, 20
3. Dongfeng Race Team, 19
4. team AkzoNobel, 15
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, 12
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 9
7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, 7

While an overall winner will be declared, no points will be carried forward to the Volvo Ocean Race itself, which starts on 22 October from Alicante.

Day 4 RC44 Marstrand World Championship
Team Nika have won the RC44 Marstrand World Championship after a dominant performance across the four days of competition. The final day delivered the strongest wind of the week, with the north-westerly breeze blowing at 15 knots and with a big, lumpy seaway. Vladimir Prosikhin may not have won any races today but he steered Nika to a comfortable victory overall, earning back the trophy he last raised in 2015.

The final race was a close battle for second and third. Team Ceeref, the 2016 World Champion, crossed in second place behind Artemis Racing. This was sufficient to secure second overall for Igor Lah from Slovenia. Behind him, Bronenosec's photo-finish ahead of Peninsula Petroleum was sufficient to put two Russian teams on equal points. On tie-break, Bronenosec beat Katusha for third place overall.

For full results visit:

Annie Lush announced as new member Team Brunel
Annie Lush is joining Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. The British sailor is back and ready for her second Volvo Ocean Race.

The last edition Lush was part of Team SCA, which ended up in sixth position overall. For the ambitious Lush it was her entry in to the Volvo Ocean Race.

For Team Brunel's skipper Bouwe Bekking the selection of the 37 years old Lush is one without doubts.

Bekking: "I think all the sailors know how complete she is. Annie has twelve year of Olympic Sailing experience and she did the Volvo Ocean Race before. She is a fantastic addition to our team. The way she just established herself with the guys and the way the guys has embraced her is marvellous. We're all really happy that she is part of Team Brunel right now."

Bekking was known for his resistance to women aboard his boat in the previous edition. What made him change his mind?

Bekking: "Yes my mind has changed. The rules are written now in such a way that we can have two extra females on board. That means four extra hands. In the previous race you could sail with eight guys. In this edition you can only sail with seven but if you can bring two extra pair of hands on board that's a no brainer. We can all see how hard it's to sail these boats. Imagine with only seven sailors. We just use the rule to the maximum for our own benefits and I have learned there is no difference to be a male or female, we are all team members on the same l

Annie Lush is the eight selected sailor. With just 70 days left till the start in Alicante these are the announced sailors for Team Brunel:

Bouwe Bekking (NED)
Carlo Huisman (NED)
Kyle Langford (AUS)
Juanpa Marcos (ARG)
Alberto Bolzan (ITA)
Maciel Cicchetti (ARG)
Peter Burling (NZL)
Annie Lush (GBR)

Smooth sailing at Hanko
The winner of the 8mR Regate Annuelle en Mer. Photo by James Robinson Taylor. Click on image for photo gallery.

The sailors had to wait for two hours before sailing could start, but when the sea breeze turned up, the conditions were excellent.

A large number of spectator boats followed todays racing for the 8mR Regate Annuelle en Mer. Thankfully they managed to stay clear of the sailboats, much thanks to the RIBs actively patroling the course. The wind condition were a stable 12-14 knots southwesterly giving fair conditions for all.

With close to 30 boats on the starting line, the start of these majestic 8 metre yachts is a very spectacular and impressive sight.

8mR Regate Annuelle en Mer was finished today after a total of three races. The winner, the newest boat in the class, "Miss U" delivered only four years ago, and sailed by Avia Willment and with a very visible affection to James Bond, the sail number 007 and with "The Girl with the Golden Gun" printed on the sail as well as on the boat. The boat had to fight unexpectedly hard against her older sisters, built before 1960, "Pandora" "Wanda" and "Banaglore". -- Mikkel Thommessen

Results 8mR Regate Annuelle en mer
1. Miss U, Avia Willment, GBR 1, 2, 1 - 4 points
2. Pandora, Werner Deuring, AUT 3, 1, 3 - 7
3. Wanda, Lars Ingeberg, NOR 2, 3, 5 - 10
4. Bangalore, Terry MacLaughlin CAN 6, 9, 2 - 17
5. If, Tom B. K. Knutsen, NOR 4, 10, 4 -18
6. Luna, Harri Rochier FIN 9, 5, 8 - 22

When the 8 Metre World Cup starts Monday, the racing may be followed live at

Dennis Conner: 'The end of the Russell Coutts era'
America's Cup legend Dennis Conner predicts we've seen the end of Russell Coutts' involvement in the event.

In his latest podcast, Conner, a four-time winner of the Auld Mug, wrapped up the recent event Bermuda and shared his views on what the 2021 regatta, shaped by new defender Team New Zealand, would look like.

Conner believes the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda signalled "the end of the Coutts era", which would likely spell the end of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison's Cup dalliances for now.

"Coutts looked like he'd had enough of the Cup to me," Conner said of the Kiwi sailing great's demeanour in Bermuda.

Conner predicted such a move would impact on Ellison, who had employed Coutts as his right-hand man in yachting.

"I think we will see Larry retiring and moving on to other things that Larry does."

The downfall of Oracle Team USA places a question mark over the continuing involvement of Team Japan and France. But Conner believes Team New Zealand will attract other teams back in the game, including another possible billionaire-backed US challenge.

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The Last Word
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