- Jean Genie becomes first British boat to win Scandinavian Gold Cup
The British 5.5 Metre Jean Genie, helmed by Elliot Hanson with Andrew Palfrey and Sam Haines, made history by winning the Scandinavian Gold Cup at the Hankø Yacht Club, Norway after two days of racing.
The British team won both races sailed on Tuesday to take their race win score to three, and become the first British boat in the 103-year history of the event to win this highly prestigious trophy.
In a first to three wins format, the Australian Ku-Ring-Gai 3 of John Bacon, Terry Wetton and James Mayjor, and Jean Genie already had a win each, and after three races everyone but the race winners are eliminated.
The first race (R3) Tuesday was incredibly close with four boats pacing each other round the three laps, though New Moon II (BAH 24) of Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger and Peter Vlasov led at every mark, sometimes by just a few boat lengths.
Jean Genie closed up on the final lap and sailed deeper to the left hand finish mark and took the final wave into the finish to win the race by just two boat lengths. It was a very exciting finish to an exciting race.
Then just the two race winners, Jean Genie (2 wins) and Ku-Ring-Gai 3 (1 win), continued into race 4 for a first to win three overall winner.
However, Ku-Ring-Gai 3 broke its jib halyard and had to retire, leaving Jean Genie to complete the final race unchallenged to take a third race win and the Scandinavian Gold Cup.
British Sailing Team Laser sailor, Elliot Hanson, took the helm at short notice after owner Peter Morton had to pull out and has helmed a 5.5 Metre for just four days so far.
The project led by Peter Morton to create both GBR 42 and GBR 41 has been going for nearly three years.
The Classic fleet concludes the Royal Kaag Classic Cup on Wednesday, but the rest of the fleet now has two days off before the world championship begins on Friday 1 July..
Twentyfour boats from ten nations are expected to compete, with most already present in Hankø.