Glamour and one designs

205 competitors from 21 nations in 13 classes competed in this year's Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse in Monaco

Sunday February 10th 2008, Author: James Boyd, Location: France
The 2008 Mediterranean regatta season has opened in style with the XXIV Primo Cup- Trophée Credit Suisse. From Ukraine to Ireland, Portugal to Greece, 205 competitors from 21 nations took part over the two weekends in the 13 classes (Dragon, Laser SB3, Platu 25, J24, Mumm 30, Smeralda 888, First 40.7, Star, Surprise, H22, Melges 24, Swan 42 and Melges 32). All faced weather conditions that were as testing on the nerves as they were on the body.

More than 1,000 sailors descended on the Principality of Monaco for three days of competition to be welcomed by variable winds ranging from 5 to 20 knots and a strong chop but omnipresent sunshine. The annual rendez-vous sponsored by clothing company SLAM lived up to its reputation. While the Dragons opened the series on the first weekend with a record participation of 40 boats, including numerous Scandinavian and Ukranian teams, the second weekend was marked by a strong showing of the Bénéteau Platu 25 class (17 boats) and the increasingly international Laser SB3, in which nine nations were represented.

For his return to competition, Nicolas Honor (Laserperformance), the man responsible taking the SB3 into Europe, achieved a good third place behind the two Anglo-Saxons, Baloo (2nd) and Darling Associates (1st). A special mention should be made for newcomer Little Santandrea. Helmed by Christophe Fresson, this Monaco boat clinched fifth place with a race victory which delighted her owner, Gildo Pallanca Pastor, who is more used to car racing.

The race committee chaired by Thierry Leret kept the programme going at a rhythm which enabled participants to test new materials and train crew members at the start of the 2008 season. The jury had no time to rest as they dealt with the majority of the many protests and claims directly on the water.

“Some memorable conditions and choppy seas proved a tough challenge for our crew. Traffic on the water with a 100-odd boats on the same circuit is a real headache for tacticians. But it’s also why we come to the Primo!” said Tommaso Chieffi, ex-tactician from the South African challenger Shosholoza, winner in the Mumm 30 class, on Enfant Terriblebelonging to Gianmarco Rinaldi, President of Yacht Club Cortina d’Ampezzo.



The Mumm 30 series served up a battle royal where the podium places were decided in the very last race between the three Mediterranean boats, ELCIMAI - Ville de Marseille (Dimitri Deruelle), TPM COYCH (Fabien Henry) and Dangerous But Fun of Monaco’s Michele Perris. There were numerous figures from the America’s Cup in this class, including Frenchman Sébastien Col (helmsman of Défi Areva), and Italian Paolo Cian (helmsmna of Shosholoza), tactician on Dangerous but Fun. “Between two America’s Cup projects, we maintain our level by participating in international events such as the Primo Cup”, commented Col. “Everyone may seem relaxed here but don’t be misled, we are here to win the Primo Cup”, exclaimed an enthusiastic Paolo Cian.

This year the Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse welcomed two new classes: the Melges 32, racing for the first time in Europe, and the Swan 42 class, here for the first time in the Mediterranean. It was also the setting for events such as the launch of the Swan 42 Cuordileone. “I am happy that the first Swan 42 regatta should have been held in my club” commented the owner Leonardo Ferragamo, the CEO of Nautor’s Swan.

Also launched during the Primo was the Melges 32 Hublot Big Bang of M. Battistella and Jean-Claude Biver. “It is an honour for the whole team to race under the Yacht Club de Monaco flag, and I wish that the prestige of this Club linked to the Hublot name will bring us luck and a good wind during the rest of the season!”, enthused the CEO of the Swiss watchmaker, official timekeeper of the Yacht Club de Monaco.

For this first outing for this class, eight boats of a high standard signed up. Only two points separated the first from the third. Kismet, helmed by Francesco Bruni, another America’s Cup regular, won out in the final ahead of Thule, with the tactics of Lorenzo Bressani, currently N°1 in the international Melges 24 rankings. Nicola Celon, 2006 World Champion in the Melges 24 class seized third place thanks to a win in the last race. “An excellent start to the 2008 season and a unique opportunity to sail in tricky conditions. The Melges 32 is one of the best one-designs on which I have had the opportunity to sail” said the Italian team Olympian Nicola Celon.

Thanks to loyal partners, Credit Suisse, equipment manufacturer SLAM, Hublot and the SEPM, some highly enjoyable events took place in the evening, notably the Pasta Party arranged by Eri Monaco. “A great atmosphere on land is much appreciated by the competitors”, commented French world champion François Brenac, who sailed a Mumm 30 with Vincent Portugal (Nouvelle Calédonie).

A signing session with Patrick Poivre d’Arvor for his book Solitaires de l'extrême, the Smeralda 888 and Dragon dinners, the Bénéteau party, and the reciprocal agreement signing ceremony between the YYCC and the YCM…, this 24th edition was particularly rich in social events.

It was also an occasion for the Yacht Club de Monaco to welcome the general assembly of the Union Méditerranéenne de Voile. The principal aims of this association of sailing federations, founded in 2002 and bringing together 14 countries on the Mediterranean, are: coordination of events in the Mediterranean basin, training across the board, including arbitration, and promoting sailing especially to women. During the meeting, it was decided to entrust the secretaryship to the YCM.

During the prize-giving, organised under the presidency of HSH Prince Albert II, the first three in each series received Slam Advanced Technology Sportswear clothing, awarded by Beppe Casalini, President of Slam. The gold ingot offered by Credit Suisse (Monaco), represented by Alain Ucari, Director of Credit Suisse (Monaco), was won by Nathalie Mouret ( Rollmop’s 3 Laser SB3).

The Yacht Club de Monaco wanted to pay homage to the late Franco Rodino, photographer, sailing journalist and a regular visitor to the Primo Cup since it started in 1985. A selection of his works were on show and the Franco Rodino prize was created and awarded this year to Giovanni Maspero, owner of the Melges 32 Joe Fly.

Final results

Laser SB3 - (29 in the class) – 7 races of which 6 counted
1 : Darling Associates Darling Chris (17 pts) Great Britain
2 : Baloo Outhwaite John (18 pts) Great Britain
3 : Laser Performance Honor Nicolas (20 pts) France

First 40.7 Bénéteau – (7 in the class) - 6 races of which 5 counted
1 : Heaven Can Wait Picco Albino (11 pts) Italy
2 : Spirit of Ad Hoc Bouchard Thierry (16 pts) France
3 : Sayann 2 Baillie Cyril (18 pts) France

Mumm 30 – (12 in the class) - 6 races of which 5 counted
1 : Enfant Terrible Serena Gianluigi (11 pts) Italy
2 : Elcimai –Marseille Deruelle Dimitri (14 pts) France
3 : TPM- COYCH Henry Fabien (15 pts) France

Platu 25 Bénéteau – (17 in the class) - 6 races of which 5 counted
1 : Modus Vivendi IV-VE Mantis Takis (8 pts) Greece
2 : Bribon De Antonio Marc (11 pts) Spain
3 : Farrbar Ahlgrimm Jens (15 pts) Germany

Melges 24 – (12 in the class) - 6 races of which 5 counted
1 : Flor Direct Roig Alain (7 pts) France
2 : Poizon Rouge Monnard Jean Marc (7 pts) Switzerland
3 : Alfa Spider Pavesio Edoardo (16 pts) Italy

Melges 32 - (7 in the class) - 6 races of which 5 counted
1 : Kismet Slam Leporati Stefano (10 pts) Italy
2 : Thule – Casino di Venezia Rubbini Fausto (11 pts) Italy
3 : Fantasticaa Celon Nicola (12 pts) Italy

Swan 42 – (4 in the class) - 6 races of which 5 counted
1 : CuordiLeone Ferragamo Leonardo (6 pts) Italy
2 : Kora 4 Pastorino Paolo (15 pts) Italy
3 : Affair Ivanisha Linas (16 pts) Italy

Dragon (40 in the class) – 10 races of which 9 counted
1 : Bunker Queen Wieser Marcus (39 pts) Ukraine
2 : Jerboa Wilkinson-Cox Gavia (72 pts) Great Britain
3 : Ariston Kniffka Harro (80 pts) Switzerland

Star (7 in the class) – 6 races of which 5 counted
1 : Fritz The Cat Rotermund Philipp (7 pts) Germany
2 : Fram Gautschi Christoph (10 pts) Switzerland
3 : Www.Tracciadigitale.Com Moschioni Vito (16 pts) Italy

Surprise (34 in the class) – 7 races of which 6 counted
1 : Dream Fravezzi Albino (13 pts) Italy
2 : Cer 3 Real Time Forex Clerc Jérome (18 pts) Switzerland
3: Cer 1 Implenia David Etienne (20 pts) Switzerland

Smeralda 888 (10 in the class) - 7 races of which 6 counted
1 : Vamos Mi Amor Perris G. / Bourbon Charles (12 pts) Monaco
2 : Fire Mangifesta Roberto (13 pts) Monaco
3 : Another Affair Basson Paul (14 pts) Monaco

J/24 (11 in the class) - 7 races of which 6
1 : Topo Too Jardine Stuart (8 pts) Sweden
2 : J. Hard Ultragas Gorgerino Davide (11 pts) Italy
3 : Just A Joke Gastaud Gilles (23 pts) Yacht Club de Monaco

H22 (14 in the class) - 7 races of which 6 counted
1 : Stilo Fassitelli Ludovico (11 pts) Italy
2 : Mintakino Ivaldi Francesco (17 pts) Italy
3 : Vetille Mazarguil Pierre (20 pts) France

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