Carlo Borlenghi /

First Primo Cup at the new clubhouse

John Pollard's Xcellent tops the SB20s at the Monaco YC's Primo Cup-Trophee Credit Suisse, plus top snaps from Carlo Borlenghi

Monday February 2nd 2015, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: Monaco

For the first weekend of the Monaco Yacht Club-hosted Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, a depression sitting squarely in the Bay of Genoa made life difficult for the Race Committee and 92 teams, from 13 nations which were divided into six classes racing on two courses. But the tenacity and determination of both the umpires and competitors wanting to do battle on the water won through.

“The elements play a fundamental role in our sport and knowing how to read the wind, feel the current and interpret the clouds is all part of the pleasure of racing,” commented Thierry Leret, President of the Race Committee for the 31st Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse at the prize-giving when each member of all the teams on the podium won Advanced Technology Sportswear from Slam.

In IRC, the man from Saint-Tropez who runs the class in the Mediterranean and won last year, Jean-Claude Bertrand, skipper of Tchin Tchin, lost his supremacy to LOL helmed by Maxime Vyncke and a young crew on Nutella, here for the first time in Monaco.

The SB20s, here in force with 22 entries from seven countries, undoubtedly had the youngest average aged crew. The boat has won over both beginner-racers to the most experienced, like Fabien Henry (Black Magic) from Hyères, multiple-winner of the Tour de France à la Voile, sailing this weekend with International Class President Ed Russo.

A worthy second place was won by the young FFV Jeunes Talents team who came close to winning with two race wins. Only their performance in the first race cost them overall victory which went to Englishman John Pollard on Xcellent.

Robin Follin, 20, who was 4th in the last 420 Worlds and helmed the FFV Jeunes Talents boat, said: “We had a long wait for our class, but I was really happy that the Race Committee did all in their power to complete as many races as possible. And on the water as ashore the ambiance has been very welcoming in this exceptional building. Roll on next year.” Russian Kirill Frolov (Melstom Team) finished third overall.

In the Smeralda 888, Class President Prince Charles de Bourbon-Siciles (Vamos mi Amor) returned to competition after an absence of several months. He had lost none of his skills, finishing third overall. Second was Gryphon, helmed by the Grute family with François Brenac on tactics, but who were not consistent enough to hang on to their lead, which was taken by Adalberto Miani (Botta Dritta), the YCM’s Sailing Commissioner, and his loyal crew.

It came as little surprise that in the Dragon class victory went to the Russian Anatoly Loginov (Annapurna). This former Olympic medallist is still at the top of his game and has lost none of his expertise at the helm. He won ahead of the Italian crew on Cloud with Frenchman Jean-Sebastien Pons from Cannes on tactics, who always lifts the team to another level when he is on board. Third place went to YCM member Jens Rathsack (Little Hook).

In the Stars, the best represented fleet this weekend, with 23 entries and certainly the highest level, the battle was close between the first nine boats. Gaining a good place on the start line was difficult, with boats OCS which proved disastrous for some, for example in the first race for Laurenz Zimmerman (Squalo Bianco VIII) and in the second for Alex Gauda, a Primo Cup regular.

A special mention too should be made for the fine performance of Niçois Jean-Gabriel Charton and Olivier Terrol (Junior), who lifted the trophy, 9 points clear of the foreign armada in Monaco. The Italian Maurizio Planine (Annetta) finished second ahead of Swiss sailor Bernhard Seger (Madbox).

Helmsman Jean-Gabriel Charton observed: “We were very motivated to come to this Primo Cup and compete in such a large fleet. The Principality is an exceptional training base for our class, and the technicality of the venue on the water provides a lot of room to progress.”

The Swiss remain masters of the Surprise class, once again proving their supremacy, with five boats in the first six places. Société Nautique member Nicolas Groux (Signaterre CER 1) won the event for a third time ahead of Eric Monnin (Va-Rhum 9) and Jérome Clerc (Teo Jakob by Realteam).

“We had not been to the Principality for four years," said Clerc, a little disappointed with his third place. "The Primo is a great preparation for us for the upcoming season. We know the conditions in Monaco are relevant to anyone racing at a high level: you have to react very quickly.” The Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse is also the opening event in the Europ’ Sails European Surprise Sailing Series 2015.

On the side lines of the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit, ISAF organised two days of Principal Race Officer seminars in the Yacht Club de Monaco’s lounges, run by two key names in the International Sailing Federation - Israeli Nino Shmueli, Vice-President of the ISAF Race Committee and the Turk Ilker Bayindir, an ISAF clinic instructor. This provides an opportunity for delegates from Italy, Germany, Romania, Armenia and France to get the latest on the new regulations and yacht clubs duties in terms of security and setting courses, and to plan for the next season.

“This is the first time the ISAF Race Committee has met in the Principality," said Nino Shmueli, who has been appointed the PRO for the Olympic Games in Rio. "Personally I was very impressed with the Yacht Club de Monaco’s new facilities. For two days we had constructive discussions and shared our expertise and methods.”

For the second weekend of the 31st Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse nearly 100 teams are already signed up for racing in five classes - Longtze Premier, Melges 20, J/70, IRC 1 & 2 and Platu 25. For the Melges 20 and J/70, it will also be the fourt event in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter series, which runs over October until March in the Principality.

Final results

SB20 after 3 races (3 retained)
1. Xcellent (John Pollard, 9 pts)
2. FFV Jeunes Talents SB20 (Robin Follin, 12 pts)
3. Melstom Team (Kirill Frolov, 17 pts)

Surprise after 3 races (3 retained)
1. Signaterre CER1 (Nicolas Groux, 8 pts)
2. Va-Rhum 9 (Eric Monnin, 8 pts)
3. Teo jakob by Realteam (Jérome Clerc, 10 pts)

Dragon after 3 races (3 retained)
1. Annapurna (Anatoly Loginov, 5 pts)
2. Cloud (Giuseppe Duca, 6 pts)
3. Little Hook (Jens Rathsack, 8 pts)

Star after 3 races (3 retained)
1. Junior (Jean-Gabriel Charton, 6 pts)
2. Annetta (Maurizio Planine, 15 pts)
3. Madbox (Bernhard Seger, 20 pts)

IRC 3 & 4 after 4 races (3 retained)
1. LOL (Maxime Vyncke, 4 pts)
2. Nutella (Max Laout, 5 pts)
3. Tchin Tchin (Jean-Claude Bertrand, 6 pts)

Smeralda 888 after 4 races (3 retained)
1. Botta Dritta (Adalberto Miani, 5 pts)
2. Gryphon (Peter Grut, 8 pts)
3. Vamos mi amor (Charles Bourbon de Sicile, 10 pts)

Latest Comments

Add a comment - Members log in

Latest news!

Back to top
    Back to top