To the wire for four classes
Strong breeze and brilliance sunshine marked the first weekend of the 28th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, with competitive racing between the five classes taking part: Dragon, Surprise, J/24, Star and Platu 25.
65 teams from all over Europe faced tough conditions, with winds up to 30 knots shifting between the northeast and southwest, providing an excellent start to the European regatta season in demanding wintery conditions.
“I take my hat off to all the participants, some of whom braved traffic problems caused by the wintery weather to get here, and while it was a bit chilly this year there was sunshine and wind in the bay of Monaco,” said Thierry Leret, Race Committee President, at the prizegiving where all the winning crews are presented with SLAM clothing and a pair of waterproof binoculars with compass from Bernard Optic.
Despite the conditions, six races were held for the one-designs. Apart from the Platu 25 class, which was dominated by German Jens Ahlgrimm (Grün-Farrbarz) who raced to six easy victories, the other four classes went to the wire with the overall winner being decided in the final race.
Dragons: Russian domination
The three Russian crews put on a great show throughout the weekend. The conditions were tough for the Dragons. It took three races before Primo Cup newcomer Dmitry Samokhin and his crew on Strange Little Girl got comfortable with the challenging sea state off Monaco. The Pirogovo Yacht Club member won the last three races just ahead of his two compatriots, the Muscovite Anatoly Loginov on Annapurna, who was still leading the class at the end of the fifth race ahead of Victor Fogelson's Sunflower.
Surprise: duel right up to the final few metres
The Surprise was the best represented class, with 23 boats competing, the majority from Switzerland, and here an overall winner did not emerge until the final race. CER 3 Aprotec was third in the fifth race and crossed the line just one point ahead of Mirabaud 1 and CER2 Geneve Airport, both equal on points.
Having led the fleet at the end of the second day, the crew on Gastone Farolfi's Olympic were not able to pull it off on the last day. “The very changeable wind conditions we had today took us quite by surprise. It’s a pity as we so wanted to get a better result for our sponsor, ERI, who is very involved in the Primo Cup organisation,” said a disappointed Farolfi.
J/24: sights set on the J24 European Championship in Monaco in 2013
With several series dominated by the 'northerners' on this occasion it was the 'southerners' who clinched victory in the J/24s. The crew from St Andrews Securities, with François Brenac as tactitian, fought off the attacks by the Swede Marianne Schoke and her team on Julia.
“I’ve been competing regularly in the Primo Cup for the last seven or eight years with members of the Yacht Club de Monaco," said Schoke, who is also president of the European Class Association. "The Primo is a fantastic event to kick-start the season and prepare for the big regattas later in the year. And I am delighted to learn that Monaco will be hosting the J24 European Championship from 6 to 12 October 2013."
Topo Too, helmed by Claude Rodelato, finished third but her skipper was very satisfied with their result. He had a new team who came together specially for the Primo, as his brother Jean and Blandine Medecin are currently among the leaders of the Transquadra doublehanded transatlantic between Cascais, Portugal and Le Marin, Martinique.
Star: neck and neck in the Olympic class
The Stars were back in the Primo Cup after a four-year absence, with victory going to Filippo Orlando on Acciuga in the last race, having been tied on points and victories with Swiss sailor Urs Infanger on Kalafati. The Stars were very comfortable today, even overtaking the Dragons who had started five minutes earlier. Only a few seconds separated the first from the last on the finish line.
All eyes on the second week-end
A very high standard of competition is expected for the second weekend of the 28th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, with four other series due to take part, - 13 Longtze Premiers, 11 Smeralda 888s, seven Esse 850s and more than 20 IRC cruisers coming to race for the first time in the Principality.
Dragon after 6 races (5 counted) (13 registered)
1 – Dmitry Samokhin, Strange Little Girl, Russia, 8pts
2 – Anatoly Loginov, Annapurna, Russia, 9pts
3 – Victor Fogelson, Sunflower, Russia, 12pts
J/24s after 6 races (5 counted) (20 registered)
1 – St Andrews Securities, Monaco, 8pts
2 – Mariane Schoke, Julia, Sweden, 11pts
3 – Claude Rodelato, Topo Too, Monaco, 12pts
Surprises after 6 races (5 counted) (23 registered)
1 – Alexa Bezel, CER 3 Aprotec, Switzerland, 14pts
2 – Arnaud Psarofaguis, Mirabaud 1, Switzerland, 15pts
3 – Jérome Clerc, CER 2 Genève Airport, Switzerland, 15pts
Stars after 6 races (5 counted) (8 registered)
1 – Filippo Orlando, Acciuga, Monaco, 7pts
2 – Urs Infanger, Kalafati, Switzerland, 7pts
3 – Mario Orlando, Filance, Monaco, 16pts
Platu 25s after 6 races (5 counted) (7 registered)
1 – Jens Ahlgrimm, Grun - Farrbarz, Germany, 5pts
2 – Sébastien Sturm, Gamberro, Germany, 11pts
3 – Ulivier Ryhner, Le Cactus, Switzerland, 24pts