Strong breezes and bright sunshine marked the first weekend of the 28th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, which saw five very competitive series racing from Friday to Sunday: Dragon, Surprise, J24, Star and Platu 25
Sixty-five international teams from all over Europe faced tough conditions, with winds up to 30 knots from the north-east to south-west, providing an excellent early start to the regatta season in demanding rather 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 a delighted Thierry Leret, Race Committee President, at the prize-giving when all the winning crews are presented with SLAM clothing and a pair of waterproof binoculars with compass from Bernard Optic.
No fewer than six races were held for the one-designs, still the best format for the most seasoned sailors when it comes to competing on a level playing field. Apart from the Platu 25 class, dominated by the German Jens Ahlgrimm (Grün-Farrbarz) who raced to six easy victories, the other four series 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 in this very international series where nine nations were represented.
These were delicate conditions for the Dragons with their slender hulls. It took three races before Primo Cup newcomer Dmitry Samokhin and his crew on Strange Little Girl adapted to the vagaries of Monaco sea conditions. The Pirogovo Yacht Club member won the last three races just ahead of his two compatriots, the Muscovite Anatoly Loginov (Annapurna), who was still leading the class at the end of the fifth race ahead of Victor Fogelson (Sunflower). Surprise: duel right up to the final few metres In the best represented series, with 23 boats on the water, the majority coming from Switzerland, an overall winner did not emerge until the final race. A Société Nautique de Genève member, CER 3 Aprotec was third in the fifth race and crossed the line one little point ahead of his compatriots in Mirabaud 1 and CER2 Geneve Airport, both equal on points and in the vanguard throughout the weekend. Having led the fleet at the end of the second day, 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 Gastone Farolfi.
J24: sights set on the J24 European Championship in Monaco in 2013 With several series dominated by the "northerners" it was good to see the "southerners" clinch victory in the J24s. 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. 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," said Marianne, who is also president of the European Class Association. Topo Too, helmed by Claude Rodelato, finished third but the skipper was very satisfied with the result. He had a totally new team who came together specially for the Primo, as his brother Jean and Blandine Medecin are currently among the leaders of the Transquadra double-handed 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 at the finish going to Filippo Orlando (Acciuga) in the last race having been tied on points and victories with the Swiss Urs Infanger (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, namely 13 Longtze Premiers, 11 Smeralda 888s, 7 Esse 850s and more than 20 IRC cruisers coming to race for the first time in the Principality. The dates have already been announced for the 29th edition: 1-3 and 8-10 February 2013.
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
Groupe J24 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
Groupe Surprise 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
Groupe Star 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
Groupe Platu 25 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
photo: Carlo Borlenghi