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Report and results from the concluding weekend of the Primo Cup - Credit Suisse Trophy

Monday February 13th 2006, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: United Kingdom
Close-fought tactics and battles of nerves were constants of this second weekend of the 22nd Primo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco. Eight rounds were completed under shifting and light winds by the 94 crews entered for the second weekend.

207 boats sailed by 14 nationalities competed over the two weekends; Northern European crews were numerous, but Eastern Europe was also present – six Russian boats participated.

Mumm 30 (17 entries) - 8 races (6 counted)

A very high level of competence was demonstrated in this major category of the Primo Cup. Many crews competed as part of their preparations for the Tour de France à la Voile. The young sailors aboard Ile de France, and Dieppe Seine Maritime came to sharpen their experience of Mediterranean sailing. Nouvelle Calédonie was on her first official outing, skippered by Vincent Portugal.

Victory went to COYCH (Toulon Provence Méditerranée), from Hyéres, helmed by Tugdual Becquemie, Tour de France à la Voile winner in 2005. The Monaco-based Dangerous But Fun pulled in second, helmed by Michele Perris, partnered with Paolo Cian, helmsman of the Italian 2002 America’s Cup challenge vessel Mascalzone Latino.

"We are very happy with this good start to the Season. And also with the addition to our team of two excellent parts. Antoine Bréger, twice a Tour winner, and Sébastien Col, tactician of K-Challenge, French challenger to the America’s Cup. That strengthens our position as favourites for the French Crew Championships, and also, of course, our main target, the Tour de France à la Voile," says Tugdual Becquemie.

The Swiss-flagged Olympic, helmed by Julien Di Biase, turned in a smart performance and took third place. "We did badly at last year’s Primo, so this year, having on-board our boat owner, Mrs. Monica Assaraf, Head of “Eri Monaco”, and a YCM member, it was important for us to get a good result here in Monaco waters," said Julien di Biase, adding: "As we expected, it was a very tight regatta – only 4 points separate the first 4 places. We are delighted to have beaten top-level rivals, such as the Italian Matrix, and Kismet of the brothers Leporati associated with Stefano Massimo."

2 DANGEROUS BUT FUN ( Michele Perris) 21.00 YCM
3 OLYMPIC (Julien Di Biase) 24.00 YCM

Smeralda 888 (11 Entries) - 8 races

The Perris family is decidedly a dangerous adversary this year : Michele Perris snapped second place in the Mumm 30 Category, and son, Gian Luca Perris, pocketed first place in the Smeralda 888 class, just pipping Adalberto Miani, YCM Sailing Commissioner General.

"I am extra-happy to have won because this is the first time I have helmed in an international regatta, and we are sailing in our new boat, and in this new Category," said a delighted Gian Luca Perris.

Only three points separate the first three places. A tight fight on the water that included a few collisions.

"The Smeralda 888 is becoming a very popular class; the number of entries this year for the Primo Cup is the highest so far. It’s true the boat handles well and is fast. It is a very attractive craft for owner-helmsmen. I must say, competition is pretty tough!” said Marc Pajot, winner of the Smeralda 888 event last year, and pulling in in fifth place this year.

Fourth place went to Prince Charles de Bourbon Siciles ( Vamos Amor), newly appointed President to the Class, who is currently organising a Smeralda 888 Mediterranean Circuit.

1 DANGEROUS BUT FUN (Gian-Luca Perris) 12.00 YCM
2 BOTTA DRITTA (Adalberto Miani) 13.00 YCM
3 SMERALDA IV (Alderico Paganini) 14.00 ITA

First 40.7 (15 entries) - 8 races

Victory went to Spirit of ad Hoc, well in front of Sayann 2, helmed by Sylvain Chtounder. Serge Paillard, Bénéteau shipyard representative, took an excellent initiative in holding a celebratory cocktail at the YCM Clubhouse for owners and crews of this newcomer vessel to the Primo Cup event.

"I was very happy to meet up with Diego Ciarnelli, President of the First 40.7 Category in Italy. We aim to organise a 15-day Round Corsica Rally in the near future. This Primo Cup enabled all interested parties and owners to meet and discuss the project. If all goes well, you may see Primo Cup entries doubled from this year’s 15 to 30 entries in 2007!” said Hervé Peduzzi.

1 SPIRIT OF AD HOC (Thierry Bouchard) 14.00 FRA
2 SAYANN 2 (Cyril Baillie) 20.00 FRA
3 HEAVEN CAN WAIT (Albino Picco) 21.00 ITA

Melges 24 (37 entries) - 8 races

In comparison to the number of entries for 2005, this year’s Melges 24 fleet was a record : 37 boats. Racing was of high quality and skilled – turns were very crowded, and there were a number of general recalls. It was not until the very last of the eight races run that the top three emerged- each separated by one single point and each having won two races.

Victory went to Italian AMF Nikita, entered by la Fiamma Gialla (the Italian Financial Police : Guardia di Finanza), and helmed by Andrea Casale, Italian Laser and J/24 Champion. The Swiss Blu Moon pulled in just one point behind to take second place, skippered by Franco Rossini, President of the Yacht Club de Lugano. Third place went to Sandro Montefusco, a seasoned Italian Circuit 470 sailor ; Roberto Benamati was tactician, a former Star Category World Champion, and a repeat winner of the 100 Miglia du Garda event.

The Champion de France title-holder, Benjamin Cohen ( Sogeti), with Fabien Henry, struggled over the two initial days, but finally managed a fifth place by taking two race wins out of two on the final day.

1 AMF NIKITA (Andreas Faerber) 16.00 ITA
2 BLU MOON (Franco Rossini) 17.00 SUI
3 LIOCORNO MELSINEO (Sandro Montefusco) 17.00 ITA

Bénéteau 25 (14 entries) – 8 races

This series has just been officially recognised as an international class by ISAF under the name of Platu 25. The regatta was unequivocally dominated by the Italian Fra Martina TNT – the crew’s fifth consecutive win of this annual event in Monaco. The boat was entered by the brothers Pavesio, and helmed by Lorenzo Bressani.

"We have been doing the Primo Cup for eight years, and it is still a great pleasure to come to the Principality ; the Primo Cup gives us the chance to match up to international competitors – like the two crews who are here from Moscow."

1 FRA MARTINA (Lorenzo Bressani) 7.00 ITA
2 BITIPI (Savino Formentini) 12.00 SUI
3 ZIRRA (Daniel Schroff) 15.00 ITA

Along with various awards of Slam apparel, the Credit Suisse (Monaco) Gold Ingot, presented by Alain Ucari, Manager of Credit Suisse (Monaco), was won by the Melges 24, Docteur Jigolo, at a draw held at the Clubhouse.

Monica Assaraf presented Spirit of Ad Hoc, victor in the First 40.7 Category, with a Hublot / Tuiga chronograph, valued at Euros 8.800.

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