Mumm 30s at the Primo Cup

Louis Browne, owner of Asterix, describes the last weekend of racing and why everyone should try Mumm sailing

Tuesday February 18th 2003, Author: Louis Browne, Location: Mediterranean
The evening of Thursday 6th February saw the rank and file of British Mumm 30 crews gathering at Heathrow or Luton for flights to Nice while the happy few packed up their skis and made their way down from the Alps to the shores of the Mediterranean. Monaco Yacht Club was holding three days of racing for Mumms as the second weekend of the Primo Cup.

The first race got under way at about 1pm on Friday in about 12 knots of wind. Asterix was third round the windward mark but gybed too late on the run allowing the pack of leading boats to sneak past in the inside lane. Among these was Robin Fielder’s Warp Factor, which carried on picking up places to score a fifth at the finish.

The second race was held in similar medium conditions and this time two British boats made it into the top ten: Asterix (8th) and Pogo Bogo (10th). The third race was drastically shortened as evening fell; it was won by the French boat Cinesport, the leader after the first weekend, in an indication of things to come.

Top boat of the day was the Italian Joe Fly which scored 3rd, 3rd and 4th, while the French boat Defi Partage also had a profitable day with 1st, 4th and 9th.

On Saturday the breeze failed to materialise but eventually a race was started in unpleasant crew-to-leeward-or-down-below conditions. The winner was Vitamine COYCH (France) with Joe Fly 3rd and Cinesport 4th. Pogo Bogo sailed a blinder coming in 6th; no further races were held.

Sunday’s racing was started in the lightest of breezes. Jack Kelly in Hakuna Matata was the only Brit to master the conditions finishing 8th. Cinesport won the race by what seemed like several miles.

The breeze then filled in with a bang and by the start of the final race it was blowing at 22 knots with big gusts. This race was all about staying in control with the masthead spinnaker on the downwind legs; those who managed to do so were rewarded with sustained bursts of 18+ knots while for those who broached there was no way of making up the ground lost to those who stayed on their feet. Cinesport won this race, showing dominance in all conditions. The Italians Kismet and Joe Fly were 4th and 5th respectively, giving the lie to the platitude that Med sailors can’t cope with the rough stuff. Best Brit was Asterix in 8th.

The overall results were

1st Cinesport (FRA) 25.70
2nd Joe Fly (ITA) 55.10
3rd Antibes NEC (FRA) 70.40
4th Vitamine COYCH (FRA) 73.70
5th Kismet (ITA) 79.00

British placings

13th Asterix 118.00
17th Pogo Bogo 144.70
19th Warp Factor 158.00
24th Checkmate 178.00
25th Mumbo Jumbo 179.00
30th Hakuna Matata 210.00

It is fair to say that the British did not cover themselves in glory at this event but the quality of the Mumm 30 fleets in France and Italy is very high and success does not come easily over there: all except three boats scored places in the twenties in at least one race. Experience at this level is invaluable and all the British crews felt that the regatta had been fantastic from the point of view of lessons learnt, in fact some boats are staying down there for more of the same. For us the game plan is a gradual build-up to the Worlds which will be in La Ciotat (near Marseille) in October.

Those of you who have never sailed a Mumm don’t know what you’re missing. No other boat offers the same combination of big fleet one design racing, the exhilaration of a dinghy, and the teamwork skills of a yacht. The boat is beautifully balanced and well mannered, but it is also very powerful so it shows up any bad habits and forces you to eradicate them. Downwind in 20+ knots the Mumm is amazing, but it is also very satisfying upwind in sticky 7-10 knot conditions. Try it once and you’ll be hooked.

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