Carlo Borlenghi /

One race regatta

J/24s, Esse 850s, Dragons and Melges 20s at the opening weekend of the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse

Sunday February 6th 2011, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: Monaco

After snow and very strong breeze in 2010, for the first time in 27 years the opening weekend of the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse suffered from an anticyclone centred on the Gulf of Genoa, resulting in only one race being counted.

“That’s the risk you run with regattas," observed J/24 sailor Jean Rodelato. "We had the most amazing sailing conditions from Tuesday to Thursday with 15 knots of wind and a calm sea which meant we were able to sail with many foreign teams who had arrived early to get in some training.”

So it was Saturday's one race which was decisive for the 100 competitors divided into five classes: Dragon, Surprise, Esse 850, J24 and Melges 20.

Surprise: In this Swiss-dominated class, it was close between the Italian born Cesare Vailati (Twins) who pipped Silvio Spellini (Olympic) to the post to win the race.

“We have been taking part in the Primo Cup for seven years now with the Olympic crew," said Monika Assaraf, ERI President. "As a committed partner, ERI follows the event from the inside through its Tessin crew, which in 2009 finished second and went on to win the European Championship in the class. This bodes well for the next European Championship in June in Lugano.”

Dragon: 25 competitors from ten nations were represented, the most international class taking part. It was Englishman Ivan Bradbury on his 1958 all varnished Blue Haze who won the race and a Hublot Chronographe, Hublot being the YCM’s official time keeper, as well as high performance items of clothing from Slam.

Although there were many competitors from Eastern countries in this class, the Anglo-Saxons skilfully managed to hold on to the top two places, with the Irishman Ean Pugh on Eve, a YCM member, clinching second ahead of the Muscovite Anatoly Loginov on Annapurna, the winner last year.

Several of the favourites, including Switerland's Ulrich Libor on Generis, Finn Jouko Lindgern on Lisa and the two Côte d’Azur specialists Michael Kurt on Activist and Christian Boillot on Tamm ha Tamm were OCS in the one race.

J/24: “It is the first time I have come to Monaco to race in the Primo Cup, as I had heard so much about this event which is a benchmark on the international one-design scene," commented Mauricio Santa Cruz (Bruschetta), triple world champion. "I witnessed the dynamism of the Monegasque J/24 class which organised a ski & sail event ahead of the regatta. I also discovered new one-designs such as the Esse 850s, the Surprises and the Melges 20s, series which we are not accustomed to seeing in Brazil.” Facing the Monaco and Italian armada, Santa Cruz clinched a fine second ahead of the Monaco's Pieter Flohil (Dangerous) and won “selection by invitation” to take part in the series’ World Championship to be held 11 to 19 November 2011 in Argentina.

Melges 20: First introduced to Monaco in 2009, the Melges 20s have made amazing progress in this fast growing series which is attracting amateur racers and Olympic sailors alike. This lively sportsboat again proved to be very comfortable in this type of weather, with three members of the Rimini Club Nautico battling it out in the lead round the course. Marco Franchini (ITA 92), Marco Zennaro (Shadow) and Francesco Farnetti (Reggini Sailing Team) dominated the race, taking it in turns to take the lead round each mark.

Esse 850: Designed and built in Switzerland, the Esse 850s are often described as lake boats which may explain why they were the fastest of the one-designs this weekend, clearly revelling in the calm seas. The slenderness of their rigging enabled them to catch up with the series that had started before them, which of course complicated the tactics.

As well as Italian André Guggiari (Trucciolo d’Oro) who was over the line at the start, three Swiss clubs, Voile de Vidy, Nautique de Morges and Société Nautique de Genève, battled it out. Charles Fabre (Chantal Naval de Vidy) beat Alain Marchand (Otto Cinque), last year’s winner and a strong favourite. Of note was the fine performance by Etienne David (Luxmarie), former Tour Voile winner and a regular to the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, who came third.

All set for the second week-end

Top level competition is expected for the second weekend of the 27th Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse with four more classes due to take part starting on Friday 11th: X35, Longtze Premier, Platu 25 and Smeralda 888.

New for the Primo Cup this year is a round table discussiontaking place on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th attended by specialists in sports medicine and from high-tech industries to discuss: “Health and safety in sailing regattas: what does the future hold?”. Two days of cross-disciplinary debate, with top level experts exchanging views and experiences, which are open to the public and will be attended by round the world sailor Bertrand de Broc.

Final results of the first weekend:

1 - Alessandro Cominelli, Dangerous, 1pt
2 – Mauricio Santa Cruz, Bruschetta, 2pts
3 – Marco Stefanoni, Kong Grifone, 3pts

Groupe ESSE 850  (8 entries)
1 – Charles Favre, Chantier Naval de Vidy, 1 pt
2 – Alain Marchand, Otto Cinque, 2 pts
3 - Etiennee David, Luxmarie, 3 pts

Groupe DRAGON  (25 entries)
1 – Ivan Bradbury, Blue Haze, 1 pt
2 – Ean Pugh, Eve, 2 pts
3 - Anatoly Loginov, Annapurna, 3 pts

Groupe MELGES 20  (17 entries)
1 – Marco Franchini, ITA 192, 1 pt
2 – Marco Zaoli, Shadow, 2 pts
3 – Francesco Farnetti, Reggini Sailing Team, 3 pts

Groupe SURPRISE  (25 entries)
1 – Cesare Vailati, Twins, 1 pt
2 – Silvio Spellini, Olympic, 2 pts
3 – Bryan Mettraux, CER 3 Aéroport Int’l de Genève, 3 pts


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