Photos: Stefano Gattini / Studio Borlenghi

Solid final day

Sports boat racing concludes at the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse

Sunday February 8th 2015, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: Monaco

With snow on the mountains and a sunny, breezy on the coast, the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse served up a lively final day. A 12 knot westerly shifting to an easterly at the end of the day allowed the Race Committee to lay courses on a flat sea for all the one-designs  - J/70, Melges 20, Longtze Premier and Platu 25 and an ever-expanding IRC fleet.

Like last weekend, the Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse was the only regatta where it was possible to sail in France given the severe weather warnings for the Atlantic and West Mediterranean coasts.

Longtze Premier

In the absence of four-time Primo Cup winner, Nicolas Bérenger who is preparing for this year's Tour de France a la Voile, the regatta looked to be wide open.

Eventually, Marc Mallaret’s team on Petit Dragon dominated the weekend with three race wins. Hard on their heels came the Swiss Jarno Wieland on Shensu, second last year, with the Frenchman Laurent Abignoli on Tendrisse coming third, having been black-flagged in the third race, robbing him of any chance of victory.

“It was a great start for all of us," said Pierre Mas, Managing Director of Longtze Yacht Europe. "We’ve been launching our season in Monaco for several years now and have 11 teams: class regulars, amateurs here to enjoy themselves in the Principality, and students keen to train alongside the best.”

Melges 20

In the most international class at the Primo Cup - with eight countries represented by the 28 entrants - the level was high in the Melges 20. Participants included title-holders like European Champion Achille Onorato (Mascalzone Latino Jr) and American Russell Lucas (Shimmer) sailing this weekend with Federico Michetti and Harry Melges, grandson of founder 'Buddy' Melges, who came all the way from Florida to experience for himself the only Melges 20 regattas held in France and the Western Mediterranean.

“We are proud of the motivation driving our fleet, with 70 Melges 20s in competition this weekend either side of the Atlantic,” said Federico Michetti, President of Melges Europe.

Monaco's Augusto Corrado on Customly surprised everyone with two race wins and a second place to win the competition, ahead of the Italian Mirko de Falco on Peccere.

Victorious in January on the same race area for the third event in the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, the Russian team from St Petersburg Yacht Club, led by Polina Liubomirova (Bronenosec), aged just 20 and the only woman at the helm in this class, came third after winning the last race.


Another very popular class, the J/70s were out in force with 32 entrants, the biggest fleet since the last European Championship held in Riva del Garda in Italy with 36 boats. This bodes well for the European Open Championship which the Yacht Club de Monaco will host over 12-17 October 2015. It was with this in mind that class attendance was high, the learn the race area.

The last race proved decisive for the German Claus Lehmann on Blanker Hans, who won the event a point ahead of the Italian Alesio Marinelli on Uji Uji and two points in front of Le Havre sailor, Ludovic Sénéchal on Lulu La Nantaise.

Platu 25

Switzerland's Markus Sigrist on Ursa Minor, third last year, won with two race wins ahead of a German armada led by Wolfgang Renz on Spirit of 25 and Michael Haacke on Amica. The results went to the wire with ultimately just four points separating first from fourth.


Although the Primo Cup is primarily a one-design gathering, it has welcomed IRC boats keen to prepare for the coming season for the last four or five years. The Primo Cup is the first championship event in the Med 2015, and only stage pitting Italian fleets against the French.
It was no surprise to see the Swiss Jean-Jacques Chaubard on Team Vision Future claim the first step of the podium. He and his team dominated, winning four races. It was thanks to victory in the last race that Jean-Paul Amar on Esparlica 4, with Walter Pirinoli on tactics took second, ahead of Vadim Iakimenko on Amber Miles.

The next IRC competition at the club will take place over 28-31 August in the Yacht Clubs Cup - a team event where each club puts together a team of three boats (Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3).

Photos from Stefano Gattini / Studio Borlenghi


Final results - top three in each class

Longtze Premier after 5 races (4 retained)
1. Petit dragon (Marc Mallaret, 5 pts)
2. Shensu (Jarno Wieland, 9 pts)
3. Tendrisse (Laurent Abignoli, 12 pts)

Melges 20 after 4 races (3 retained)
1. Customly (Corrado Agusta, 4 pts)
2. Peccere (Mirko de Falco, 8pts)
3. Bronenosec (Polina Liubomirova, 9 pts)

J/70 after 4 races (3 retained)
1. Blanker Hans (Claus Lehmann, 7 pts)
2. UJI UJI (Alesio Marinelli, 8 pts)
3. Lulu la Nantaise (Ludovic Sénéchal, 9 pts)

Platu 25 after 4 races (3 retained)
1. Ursa Minor (Markus Sigrist, 4 pts)
2. Spirit of 25 (Wolfgang Renz, 7 pts)
3. Amica (Michael Haacke, 8 pts)

IRC after 4 races (3 retained)
1. Team Vision Future (Jean-Jacques Chaubard, 3 pts)
2. Esparlica 4 (Olivier Maubert, 6 pts)
3. Amber Miles (Vadim Iakimenko, 8pts)

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