The biggest class with 38 entries was the Surprise

The biggest class with 38 entries was the Surprise

Fun in Monaco

First weekend of the Primo Cup - Credit Suisse for one designs

Tuesday February 8th 2005, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: Mediterranean
It was an excellent turn-out for this First Weekend of the 2005 Primo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy. The Yacht Club Monaceo organised event has been going from strength to strength since its inception in 1984 and this weekend 114 craft competed across 5 Categories : Sixteen Bénéteau 25, Sixteen Dragon, Eighteen Star, Thirty-eight Surprise, and Twenty-four J/24. Some 500 sailors from 16 nationalities turned out to compete in this great opening of Season event for One-design Craft.

Competitors expecting light warm breezes & easy seas got more than they bargained for – winds were shifting around the 20 knots mark, peaking at 25 knots during the final two rounds of Friday & Sunday. A heavy swell was also running with a rough sea. Conditions were far from easy, and a number of craft sustained damage to spars and rudders.

"These were really winter conditions – for pretty tough sailors. You can also appreciate that, because it was the most experienced and well-trained crews who managed to deal with the combination of the sea-state and the winds!" Commented Thierry Leret, Commodore of the Race Committee. "This year, to speed up the cadence of rounds, we tried out a new formula of 'continuous regatting'. This is brought about by setting up the departure line independently and outside the course itself.” The new system appeared to be effective : 8 Rounds in three days without a hitch.

Dragon (16 Entries)
The traditional style Dragons hit the Primo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy for the very first time this year. They were a great success with the public, the YCM, and the sailing fraternity in general. It is impossible not to admire such splendid craft. A large number of expert foreign crews were among the contestants. A magnificent duel took place between Whisper (Michael Cotter) and the Danish BB King, (newly designed out of the Börresen yard), skippered by Lars Hendriksen, European Champion in 1990 and winner of the Gold Cup in 1998.

Whisper was victorious, but somewhat due to BB King’s crippled rudder. The Danish craft had just come from a win a few days previously at the “Ski-voile d’Antibes”. "It was really a tight contest right up to the end. It’s a shame Lars could not get through the final Round. It was a great fight," said Michael Cotter, a seasoned international circuit skipper.

Third Place was taken by visiting sailors from Brittany aboard Dirastac’h, helmed by Gildas Philippe. Cannes Yacht Club President, Denis Charvoz, associated with Philippe Mourniac, pulled in at Fifth Place.

1 IRL WHISPER (Michael Cotter) 9.00
2 DEN BB KING (Lars Hendriksen) 11.00
3 FRA DIRASTAC’H (Yann Kersale) 20.00

Star ( 28 Entries) :
Last year’s winner Jacques Puissegur, from Nice, with a total of 17 Primo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy events under his belt, was not able to hold on to his title this year. The well-known Swiss helmsman Christoph Gautschi took first place aboard Fram. The Star battles were very exciting and toughly fought out : the Second, Third, & Fourth Places were each separated by only a single point.
1 SUI FRAM (Christoph Gautschi) 10.00
2 GBR DR EVIL (Graham Bailey) 17.00
3 ITA ALTEA BLACKY (Andrea Rachelli) 18.00

J24 (24 Entries)
"Good win, good fun!", laughed Stuart Jardin. The 80 year-old J/24 “Pope” is still firmly at the helm of his boat - with which he has taken numerous European and World titles. This was Stuart’s second visit to the Principality. "I first came here to compete in the 1964 “Tournoi de Pâques”. Already then, there were a good number of international regatting sailors."

The J/24 Category is particularly favoured by Yacht Club de Monaco members. For the record number of total entries, 14 craft were from local waters. A top Monégasque team on Topos too took the first place. The very experienced brothers Jean & Claude Rodelato established a strong lead over a wide field of international competitors. "We sail every Saturday to keep ourselves in shape for the Monégasque Championships. That does mean that we have very good knowledge of the local waters in all conditions. However, you do actually have to be out there to train!" smiles Jean Rodelato, who is off to the Sables d’Olonnes with a Monégasque contingent to greet Sébastien Josse, a YCM member, who has just finished his first Vendée Globe.

Also to be noted, given the presence of eight European Representatives at this weekend’s events : the first European Commission of the J/24 Class Association was created. The Commission was initiated by Donald Manasse, former Vice President for the Category. The new body is designed act as a counterpart to the powerful US J/24 Section.

Another piece of news is that the Primo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy has now been incorporated into the Italian Championships, which comprise Eight Legs.

1 MON TOPOS TOO (Claude Rodelato) 8.00
2 ITA MIKI II (Anthony de Stephany) 15.00
3 ITA ANNA SARGENTI (Luigi Ravioli) 19.00

Surprise (38 Entries)
The Surprise competitors did not disappoint. Traditionally the Category attracts a large number of craft : 38 this weekend. A crew from the Sail Training Centre of Geneva led by Julien di Biase, third in the Swiss Championship of the Category, won with a large margin.

"It’s great! We are really surprised that we won. Usually, at this time of year, we still have skis hanging on our feet! We come to Monaco to shape up our crews for Tour de France à la Voile. It’s really important to measure oneself against the best crews right at the beginning of the season. At home, in Switzerland, we cannot do that; you still cannot sail on the Lake at this time of year," said Julien di Biase, skipper of the contented CER 2. Julien will also take part in next weekend’s Mumm 30 event in Monaco, aboard Olympic alongside Etienne David.

1 SUI CER 2 (Julien di Biase) 7.00
1 FRA ALTERMAT (Didier Roussel) 20.00
3 SUI CER 1 (Jérôme Cler) 29.00

Bénéteau 25 (14 Entries)
Another sharp and determined leader masters the weather and the pack. A dazzling fourth consecutive year win for Fra Martina TNT in the Monaco event. The talent is there, but so is the hard work. Helmed by Lorenzo Bressani, Fra Martina TNT not only took all the rounds, but also rounded all the buoys in the lead. "We have now been sailing for seven years together on the Bénéteau 25. We’ve got to the stage where we have a pretty good technique. Also, the crew is always the same people. It’s that stability that gives us our edge," explains Edoardo Pavesio, second place at the 2004 Copenhagen European Championships, and also Second on the Italian Circuit. He and his team are preparing for the World Championships in the class, to be held at Porto Rotondo next September.

1 ITA FRA MARTINA TNT (Lorenzo Bressani) 6.00
2 GER FRAU HOLM (Claus Nehrig) 13.00
3 DEN ZIRRA (Daniel Schroff) 17.00

Friday 11 February 2005
Second Weekend Primo Cup - Credit Suisse Trophy
Categories : Mumm 30, Melges 24, Swan 45, First Class 7.5, & Smeralda 888

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