XXVIIe PRIMO CUP - Trophée Credit Suisse
Friday 3 to Sunday 6 February 2011
And Friday 11 to Sunday 13 February 2011
Sunday 5 February 2011: Review of the first week-end
“The years follow on and none are alike. After the snow and very strong breezes of 2010, it is the first time in 27 years that we have had such conditions!” declared Thierry Leret, Race Committee President, at the prize-giving. Indeed, spring-like conditions, with an anticyclone centred on the Gulf of Genoa meant only one race counted during the whole of the first weekend of the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse.
“That’s the risk you run with regattas! We had the most amazing sailing conditions from Tuesday to Thursday with 15 knots of wind and a calm sea which meant we were able to sail with many foreign teams who had arrived early to get in some training!” observed Jean Rodelato, one of the J24 specialists, a series which this year attracted a very international field with 24 registered.
So it was the race held on Saturday 4 February which was decisive for the 100 competitors in the first Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse weekend, divided into five series: Dragon, Surprise, Esse 850, J24 and Melges 20.
Surprise: fierce duel right up to the last few metres
In this Swiss dominated series, it was a close call between the Italian born Cesare Vailati (Twins) who pipped Silvio Spellini (Olympic) to the post to win the race. The last meters and tacks so close to the finish line were decisive and even fatal for some, as tacticians had to deal with a capricious current.
“We have been taking part in the Primo Cup for seven years now with the Olympic crew. As a committed partner, ERI follows the event from the inside through its Tessin crew, which in 2009 finished second and went on to win the European Championship in the series. This bodes well for the next European Championship in June in Lugano,” explained Monika Assaraf, ERI President.
Dragon: a real Classic
Ten nations (25 competitors) were represented in this series which was without doubt the most international. It was the Englishman Ivan Bradbury (Blue Haze) in his 1958 all varnished wood Dragon who won this 27th edition and a Hublot Chronographe, Hublot being the YCM’s official time keeper, as well as high performance items of clothing from Slam.
Although there were many competitors from Eastern countries in this series, the Anglo-Saxons skilfully managed to hold on to the top two places, with the Irishman Ean Pugh (Eve), a YCM member, clinching second ahead of the Muscovite Anatoly Loginov (Annapurna), title holder from last year.
Note that several of the favourites, including the Swiss Ulrich Libor (Generis), the Finn Jouko Lindgern (Lisa), and the two Côte d’Azur specialists Michael Kurt (Activist) and Christian Boillot (Tamm ha Tamm) were over the line (OCS) for this one race.
J24: on route for the Buenos Aires world championship
“It is the first time I have come to Monaco to race in the Primo Cup, as I had heard so much about this event which is a benchmark on the international one-design scene. I witnessed the dynamism of the Monegasque J24 class which organised a ski & sail ahead of the regatta. I also discovered new one-designs such as the Esse 850s, the Surprises and the Melges 20s, series which we are not accustomed to seeing in Brazil,”**** commented Mauricio Santa Cruz (Bruschetta), triple world champion. Faced with a Monegasque and Italian armada, he clinched a fine second ahead of the Monegasque Pieter Flohil (Dangerous) and won “selection by invitation” to take part in the series’ world championship being held 11 to 19 November 2011 in Argentina.
Melges 20: Rimini Club Nautico reigns supreme
First introduced to Monaco in 2009, the Melges 20s have made amazing progress in this fast growing series which is attracting amateur racers and Olympic specialists alike. A very lively one-design it again proved to be very comfortable in this type of weather, with three members of the Rimini Club Nautico battling it out in the lead round the course. Marco Franchini (ITA 92), Marco Zennaro (Shadow) and Francesco Farnetti (Reggini Sailing Team) dominated the race, taking it in turns to take the lead round each mark.
Esse 850: Swiss combat
Designed and built in Switzerland, the Esse 850s are often described as lake boats which may explain why they were the fastest of the one-designs this weekend, clearly revelling in the calm seas. The slenderness of their rigging enabled them to catch up with the series that had started before them, which of course complicated the tactics.
As well as the Italian André Guggiari (Trucciolo d’Oro) who was over the line at the start, three Swiss clubs, Voile de Vidy, Nautique de Morges and Société Nautique de Genève, battled it out in the vanguard. Charles Fabre (Chantal Naval de Vidy) beat Alain Marchand (Otto Cinque), last year’s winner and a strong favourite. Of note was the fine performance by Etienne David (Luxmarie), former Farr 30 star and a loyal regular to the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, who came third.
All set for the second week-end
Top level competition is expected for the second weekend of the 27th Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse with four more series registered to take part starting Friday 11th: X35, Longtze Premier, Platu 25 and Smeralda 888.
New for the Primo Cup this year is a round table taking place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th attended by specialists in sports medicine and from high-tech industries to discuss: “Health and safety in sailing regattas: what does the future hold?”. Two days of cross-disciplinary debate, with top level experts exchanging views and experiences, which are open to the public and will be attended by the sailor Bertrand de Broc.
Final Ranking of the first weekend:
Groupe J24 après 1 course (1 retenue) (24 inscrits)
1 - Alessandro Cominelli, Dangerous, 1pt
2 – Mauricio Santa Cruz, Bruschetta, 2pts
3 – Marco Stefanoni, Kong Grifone, 3pts
Groupe ESSE 850 après 1 course (1 retenue) (8 inscrits)
1 – Charles Favre, Chantier Naval de Vidy, 1 pt
2 – Alain Marchand, Otto Cinque, 2 pts
3 - Etiennee David, Luxmarie, 3 pts
Groupe DRAGON après 1 course (1 retenue) (25 inscrits)
1 – Ivan Bradbury, Blue Haze, 1 pt
2 – Ean Pugh, Eve, 2 pts
3 - Anatoly Loginov, Annapurna, 3 pts
Groupe MELGES 20 après 1 course (1 retenue) (17 inscrits)
1 – Marco Franchini, ITA 192, 1 pt
2 – Marco Zaoli, Shadow, 2 pts
3 – Francesco Farnetti, Reggini Sailing Team, 3 pts
Groupe SURPRISE après 1 course (1 retenue) (25 inscrits)
1 – Cesare Vailati, Twins, 1 pt
2 – Silvio Spellini, Olympic, 2 pts
3 – Bryan Mettraux, CER 3 Aéroport Int’l de Genève, 3 pts
Sunday 13 February 2011:
Wind picks up for the last day
A steady south-westerly breeze meant the Race Committee were able to run four races today, much to the delight of competitors on the final day of racing which ended the 27th edition of the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse.
After the first round last weekend which gathered five one-design classes (Dragon, J24, Surprise, Melges 20, Esse 850), Monaco bay again produced balmy spring-like conditions for four other series: Longtze Premier, Platu 25 and Smeralda 888, alongside the X35s which were taking part for the first time in the Monaco event.
Every year for the last 27 editions, the Primo Cup regatta has always come across as an innovator, both on water and ashore. This year was no exception as organisers, the Yacht Club de Monaco, hosted the first ever round table on the health and safety of sailors at sea at the same time as the regatta. A panel of 11 international multi-disciplinary speakers took to the floor, together with solo sailor Bertrand de Broc. “The ocean is a school for Man, an apprenticeship where he learns how to cope by himself vis-a-vis nature. Nature is powerful and one has to respect and fear it at the same time,” said the French sailor. All the conclusions reached will be available on the Yacht Club de Monaco website (www.ycm.org <http://www.ycm.org/> ).
A Chinese delegation, on a trip to the Principality to learn more about Monegasque expertise in naval architecture and construction, also enjoyed the spectacle put on by competitors, particularly the Longtze Premiers which are built in China in Qingdao.
At the prize-giving the Primo Cup’s partner, equipment and clothing manufacturer Slam, presented the first three teams in each series with clothing from their Advanced Technology Sportswear range. The winner of the X35, a new series at the Primo Cup, received a Hublot watch, as had the first in the Dragon class last weekend, it having been the most international class. The always highly anticipated draw for the gold ingot presented by Credit Suisse was won by the young Myst team, lead by the Stimamiglio brothers, competing in the Smeralda 888 class.
X35: the most powerful and fiercely fought
This was the most competitive of the four series, both on the passages between the marks and at the finish line, as the majority of teams arrived within two minutes of each other throughout the weekend. The level was the most consistent and the highest, as evidenced by the presence of Tommaso Chieffi (Mag Jackpot Sailing Team) or Matteo Savelli (Lelagain).
The stable conditions of the last day of racing made for an even closer contest, as crews fought hard to get round the buoys. In a tense final race an element of luck separated the three leaders. In the end it was Mag Jackpot Sailing Team who snatched victory by one single point ahead of Spirit of Nerina and Lelagain, helmed by Alessandro Solerio, manager of the class at European level.
Longzte Premier: Happy Birthday to the winner!
In this young series which was first introduced here in Monaco three years ago, everyone expected Nicolas Berenger (Un maillot pour la vie) to shine as he fought to make it three victories in a row in Monaco, but it was not to be. He ceded victory to the German Eckard Kaller (Wet Feet) “just because it’s his birthday” he joked, “but also because I made too many mistakes.” These two leaders dominated the event with three race victories each; the Swiss Frank Beat (QI) was third, eight points behind the Frenchmen.
Platu 25: strong German presence but an Italian leader
With only one outright victory in a race, the Italians on Nanuk still won the overall ranking, following a consistent performance which saw them among the front runners every time. Throughout the weekend they held off attacks by Falkone and Farr Bar, last year’s winner; these two German boats each won three races, totalling six of the eight that were run.
Smeralda 888: Botta Dritta beats the favourites to win
“It was a fantastic week-end with at least five or six of us on the same level which produced a real battle on the water; the standard was outstanding,” commented the winner Adalberto Miani (Botta Dritta). The Racing Officer of the YCM’s Sports Section put in a fine tactical performance to outwit and hold off his two closest rivals, Money Time and Vamos mi Amor. These two teams had on board very experienced sailors like Vasco Vascotto (Money Time) and François Brenac (Vamos mi Amor), but it was Botta Dritta who won the overall ranking with Lorenzo Bressani on tactics.
Money Time (second in the final rankings) lost his first place on the podium in the last race on the final approach to the buoy, finishing behind Vamos mi Amor. “It’s a pity as we were in the lead from the start to the last mark before the finish line. That’s racing for you but it was a lovely weekend, the Smeralda 888 is a great one-design series as all the contestants are on an equal footing. It’s the quality of the crews that make the difference and the standard continues to rise which makes racing all the more interesting,” observed Vasco Vascotto.
The Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse 2012 will be on the same dates, from 3 to 6 and 11 to 13 February.
PLATU 25 after 8 races (7 counted) (15 registered)
1 – Luigi Ravioli, Nanuk, 34 pts, Italy
2 – Falko Knabe, Falkone, 38 pts, Germany
3 – Jens Ahlgrimm, Farr Bar, 39 pts, Germany
LONGTZE after 8 races (7 counted) (12 registered)
1 – Eckhard Kaller, Wet Feet, 29 pts, Germany
2 – Nicolas Bérenger, Un Maillot pour la vie, 27 pts, France
3 – Frank Beat, QI, 35 pts, Switzerland
SMERALDA 888 after 8 races (7 counted) (11 registered)
1 – Adalberto Miani, Botta Dritta, 24 pts, Monaco
2 – Alderico Paganini, Money Time, 24 pts, Monaco
3 – Charles de Bourbon Siciles, Vamos, 25 pts, Monaco
X35 after 8 races (7 counted) (9 registered)
1 – Roberto Mazzucato, Mag Jackpot Sailing Team, 26 pts, Italy
2 – Gianluca Vigano, Spirit of Nerina, 27 pts, Italy
3 – Franco Solerio, Lelagain, 29 pts, Italy
View photos from both weekends by Carlo Borlenghi.