Dragons underway

Action commences at the Primo Cup in Monaco

Friday February 1st 2008, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: United Kingdom
Organised every year on the first two weekends of February, the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse has grown into a popular one-design event. Thousands of sailors, both amateurs and professionals, from Sunday racers to top level competitors, have descended on Monaco from over 20 countries to take part in the 13 classes. Over the two weekends, that’s more than 250 boats.

Following the success last year of the format, the Laser SB3 and Dragon classes have four days in which to show what they can do, while the eleven other series will compete over three days.

On Thursday morning, several competitors have been testing the water temperature of the Mediterranean, notably the Surprises which arrived in force numbering around 30 boats, as well as the Smeralda 888s, which include in their number Gianluca Perris, recent winner of the Mediterranean Match-Racing Championship, and François Brenac on Vamos mi amor. There were also two races for the Dragons.

Without doubt the most active in Europe, the Dragon fleet in the Mediterranean counts around 70 boats in the PACA region, of which many are foreign. During the winter season, they flock from all over Europe to participate in the winter regattas from Saint-Tropez to Cannes and Monaco. Their number and quality continues to increase at the Primo Cup which has become after only two years one of the landmark events on the Dragon circuit.

No less than 41 Dragons representing a dozen nations headed out to the starting line at 1pm, among them numerous teams from Scandinavia and eastern Europe including the German world title holder Vincent Hoesch ( Jerboa). Also of note was the presence of Anatoly Karachinsky ( Versiya 3.1), CEO of IBS, (the Russian Bill Gates), and the English scientist Ron James ( Fei-lin’s flirtation), director of the research team who produced Dolly, the famous cloned ewe.

Pts R1 R2
2 NOR 282 FINITO 9 6 3
DYVI Jan Erik
3 GBR 716 JERBOA 10 3 7
4 RUS 2 ALISA 12 2 10
EZHKOV Alexander
5 MON 11 TAMM HA TAMM 18 14 4
BOILLOT Christian
6 IRL 196 WHISPER 18 10 8
COTTER Michael
7 GBR 720 AIMEE 21 4 17
8 POR 51 BABY GIRL 22 8 14
SILVA Filipe
9 SUI 296 ARISTON 23 11 12
10 UKR 8 QUEEN 25 7 18
In sunny conditions with a lovely 10 knot easterly breeze, Markus Wieser ( Bunker Queen), 2007 European Champion and second in the international class, was way ahead in both of the day’s races. He very quickly understood the subtleties of the waters off Monaco and within the first half mile was out in front with almost insolent ease. From the first buoy he kept off his rivals and increased his lead.

The Yacht Club de Monaco wanted to test a system for following the races in real time with the aid of GPS/GSM radio beacons installed on each of the 41 Dragons. During the races, each will be regularly transmitting relevant operational data such as latitude, longitude, speed etc via the GSM/GPRS networks to a central location. This data will enable the race organisers to plot the position of all the boats in real time on a digital map, to estimate the time left for the last boat to arrive and to automatically determine the moment they cross the finish line, which means they can issue the race results almost immediately. Thus the Yacht Club de Monaco is giving Movado Solutions an opportunity to apply to sailing the expertise it developed in 2007 for car races at the Antibes Rally (50 vehicles) and the International Rally of Valais (140 vehicles).

Among the new initiatives this year is the presence of the famous journalist and marine artist, Patrick Poivre d’Arvor. A big fan of sailing, he will be giving a talk and signing copies of his book Solitaires de l'extrême (publisher Place des victoires), co-written with his brother Olivier. Patrick Poivre d’Arvor will share the enthralling epics of modern legends of the sea who have become role models for entire generations. The talk is open to all so please do register your interest at the Club.

Start of racing Firday for the Star, Surprise, Smeralda 888, J/24 and H22 classes
The first weekend of the Primo Cup - Trophée Crédit Suisse gets off to a strong start Friday 1st February, with the race beginning at 10am for the Dragons and the gun going off for the Stars, Surprises, Smeralda 888s, J/24s and H22s at 1pm.

Next weekend sees racing for the Platu 25, First 40.7, Mumm 30, Melges 32, Swan 42 classe and Laser SB3 class

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