Two day's wait

A successful first round of the Primo Cup-Credit Suisse Trophy took place this weekend

Tuesday February 7th 2006, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: France
The 22nd Primo Cup-Credit Suisse Trophy opened the Mediterranean 2006 Yachting Season with the first of the annual event’s two successive weekends. 113 internationally-flagged sailing craft were in attendance, spread over 5 Categories: 30 Dragons, 14 Stars, 38 Surprises, 21 J/24s and ten Laser SB3s - the latter an entirely new selection for the Monaco-waters regatta. 600 crew from 16 nationalities were at the ready for this One-Design Season Opener.

Waiting for the wind tries any sailor’s patience - but it is a fact of sailing life. Ideal conditions sprang up on the third day of the Regatta: a nice 15 knot southwesterly, with a bright sun and blue sky - a delightful day for all those who travelled from afar to compete. With only a single round having been run the preceding day, the Race Committee decided to take the bull by the horns and make up for the feeble breezes of the first two days. It was a good bet: Over the single day of Sunday 20 successful starts were signalled - with four rounds per series.

"La Primo, It’s Tough!" slyly joked former Solitaire du Figaro winner Kito de Pavant, racing on this occasion aboard a Surprise with two other leading lights of Figaro class - Alberto Spina and Olivier de Roffignac. Physical the Regatta was with a steady working breeze and races succeeding each other with the regularity of a metronome: no lolling around between...

"The non-stop rounds, which we did today, are really very interesting: you race, there is a five-minute pause, and then you are off again, right away. The length of each circuit was perfect: an average of 45 minutes. That is enough - more, and you lose concentration!" commented British sailor Chris Blackburn, who's Team Touareg was victor of the new Category to the Primo Cup: the Laser SB3.

J/24 : 21 Entries - four nationalities

The YCM contingent, well-versed in sailing the J/24, did not fare well and had to concede victory to the Italian crew of J di Quadri, captained by Claudio Buiatti. The Monégasque armada, led by the brothers Jean and Claude Rodelato were routed by the destruction of a spinnaker boom aboard the brothers’ craft in the third race. And so, away slipped their title.

Dangerous turned in a good effort, skippered by Cesare Gabasio and helmed by Peter Flohil, they took second place. A tight third place was snapped up by young Monégasque hopes aboard Gasper, helmed by Loic Begué.

1. J di Quadri Italy Claudio Buiatti 5.00 pts
2. Dangerous Monaco Cesare Gabasio 15.00 pts
3. Gasper YCM Loic Begué 18.00 pts

Dragon: 30 Entries - ten nationalities

This series was followed with great interest due to its large international field, and the presence of many of the top expert Dragon sailors. A steady helm enabled Italian Paolo Manzoni (Tramontana) to take first place and win a tender donated by Radio Monte Carlo.

Munegu, Prince Albert II’s Dragon, was skippered by Peter Johansen, owner of Royal Denship, a world leader in Dragon construction. Johansen took a handsome second place, just pipping the third placed English crew of El Gringo, the latter fresh from having just won the 'Ski-Voile d’Antibes' event.

1- Tramontana YC Cannes Paolo Manzoni 14.00 pts
2- Munegü Monaco Bo Selko 16.00 pts
3- El Gringo G.B. Martin Paynes 20.00 pts

Laser SB3: ten entries - six nationalities

After a poor showing in the first race, Chris Blackburn and his crew on Team Touareg pulled themselves together and shot to top place, after four successive race victories. Second place went to French sailor Nicolas Honor, in charge of development of this new series which was first presented to the Primo Cup three years ago.

Marçon Yachting took Third Place, with a crew of solo Laser sailors specially composed for the Primo; they had decided to try out keel-boat power. "Three Laser boys on a boat…an odd idea to unite three solo sailors! But the boat was beautifully easy to sail, and it was pure pleasure!" commented Patrice Clerc who is just beginning in this new Category aboard Marçon Yachting.

1- Team Touareg G.B. Chris Blackburn 4.00 pts
2- Touareg YC Grande Motte Nicolas Honor 10.00 pts
3- Marcon Yachting France Xavier Leclair 12.00 pts

Surprise: 38 Entries - six nationalities

This was the largest fleet of the weekend with 38 Entries and by coincidence this year is the Surprise’s 30th Anniversary. But it was aboard a new craft that Swiss Alain Marchand again won a First Place in the Primo Cup. Alain won three races of the five run.

Despite the presence of expert sailors such Paralympic Gold Medallist Damien Seguin on Lord Jim, and Kito de Pavant on Roc’h Guarine II, the podium was once again filled by the Swiss and Italian contingent, who, it must be said, are particularly skilled in this class.

1- St Jacques Switzerland Alain Marchland / Patrick Richner 5.00 pts
2- 5 For Fighting Italy Alberto La Tegola 19.00 pts
3- TEO JAKOB Switzerland Michel Glaus 23.00 pts

Star: 14 Entries - seven nationalities

This was a nice dog-fight on the water, with the result that only three points separated the first three vessels across the finish line. German Philip Rotermund made an excellent final run, which, with his two victories in the previous races, put him squarely in top place.

Diego Negri, 2001 Mediterranean Gold Medallist, and Silver Medallist in 1997 & 2005, snapped up second place, thus signalling his successful changeover from Lasers to the Star.

Good showings were also made by seasoned hands of this event: Englishman Graham Bailey on Dr Evil and Italian Loris Modena, who took third and fourth Places respectively, having suffered from tricky winds.

1- Ger 8033 Germany Philip Rotermund 8.00 pts
2- Ita 8075 Italy Diego Negri 9.00 pts
3- Dr Evil G.B. Graham Bailey 11.00 pts

Next Calendar Date: Friday 10 February 2006
Second Primo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy Weekend
Participating Categories: Mumm30, Melges 24, First Class 7.5, First 40.7,
Bénéteau 25, & Smeralda 888
Start of Regattas: 13h00

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