A windy 29th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse from East to West…

“It’s been a long time since I had so much fun on the water”. This comes from Achille Onorato, the Italian skipper on Mascalzone Latino, who finished third in the Smeralda 888 series at the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse.

Following the first session last weekend with six one-design series (Longtze Premier, Dragon, J/24, Platu25, Surprise and Star series), Monaco’s bay again delivered a varied regatta full of surprises. From bright blue skies on Friday to the scattering of snow on Saturday, not to mention the tail end of a Mistral, the weather conditions delighted the IRCs and the three mono-hull series: Smeralda 888s, SB20s and J/70s.

Even though conditions were not quite good enough to race on the Sunday, due to the centre of a depression in the Gulf of Genoa changing tack, five very enjoyable races were started over this second weekend compared to six last weekend.

With 14 nationalities present and a high level of competition, the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse confirmed its demanding reputation and quality for all 130 yachts, a total of 600 sailors who come back every year from all horizons to line up on the start.

SB20s: top level racing in anticipation of World Championship
Following Friday’s British domination by John Pollard (5th in the 2011 World Championship) who had come to try out the Monaco waters, the experience and wisdom of the Class’ President Edward Russo made the difference in the final analysis, with tactics by Sébastien Col assisted by Gilles Favennec. “With Seb, it’s always so easy! We were treated to the full range of conditions, which proved an enormous challenge for the team, forcing us to constantly trim the boat throughout the races,” admitted Edward Russo, who managed to steer clear of front-line Laser specialist, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz.

Ranked 10th at the London Olympics in the Laser class, this young sailor took the opportunity to race with his father and brother. “I came here to have fun, my brother wanted to get involved and for this first race together we are on the podium!”

The level was high, including Black Pearl’s German team led by Stefan Jentzsch for whom the Primo Cup is a chance to get training in prior to the Soto40 race season starting in the spring: “It’s important for us to sail at such a top level during the winter months in one-design, on a smaller craft such as the SB20. The Primo Cup allowed us to challenge the best international teams”.

It was a very encouraging start for the season which allowed crews in this series to train for the World Championship, due to be held from 7 to 14 September 2013 in Hyères (France). Note that after the championship, the Yacht Club de Monaco will welcome any of the SB20s who want to train and race all winter until the next edition of the Primo Cup in 2014. The Monaco fleet has four boats, with young sailors trained by the YCM Sailing School ready for the challenge ahead.

Once again this year the first three crews in each series received items of clothing from SLAM’s Advanced Technology Sportswear line. Another highlight was the lucky draw for the gold ingot donated by Credit Suisse which was won by the crew of Challenger, an IRC boat.

The rendezvous for 2014 has already been set for the 30th edition which will take place 31st January to 2nd February and 7th to 9th February. Significantly, the regatta will be registered as part of the IRC Mediterranean Championship.

In the meantime, the YCM will host from the 8th to 10th March 2013, a new Team Racing event in J/24s as well as the J/24 European Championship, organised from the 6th to 12th October 2013.

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