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XXXIe PRIMO CUP : Russians and German-Swiss dominate fleets and results

Jean-Jacques Chaubard, Markus Sigrist, Claus Lehmann, Corrado Agusta, Marc Mallaret winners

mardi 10 février 2015Redaction SSS [Source RP]

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With snow on the mountains and a sunny breezy day on the coast, the Primo Cup launched by HSH Prince Albert II when he first became the Yacht Club de Monaco’s President 31 years ago, more than lived up to its reputation and charm.

With 188 boats and some 1,000 sailors over the two weekends, divided into ten classes, the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse remains a great winter classic for one-designs and IRC boats, both attracted by the race format where each class follows on from each other. A big attraction is that enthusiastic amateurs get to pit their skills against big names in the sailing world and America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup , like the Italian Francesco de Angelis, and Frenchmen Sébastien Col and Marc Pajot.

Another unusual aspect is the loyalty of hi-tech clothing supplier SLAM which has supported the Primo Cup for nearly 30 years and offers Advanced Technology Sportswear to all crew members on the podium in each class.

At the same time ashore, the Israeli Nino Shmueli, Vice-President of ISAF’s Race Committee and the Turk Ilker Bayindir were running seminars on race management, alongside courses in how to use race classification software by the French Sailing Federation.

Sunday 8th February 2015 – For the last race of the 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 : leader spot up for grabs

In the absence of four-time Primo Cup winner, Nicolas Bérenger who is preparing for sailing’s Tour de France, the regatta looked to be wide open. In the event, Marc Mallaret’s team on Petit Dragon dominated the weekend with three race wins. Hard on their heels came the Swiss Jarno Wieland (Shensu), second last year, with the Frenchman Laurent Abignoli (Tendrisse) finishing 3rd, having been black-flagged in the third race which robbed him of any chance of victory.

“It was a great start for all of us. 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,” said Pierre Mas, Managing Director of Longtze Yacht Europe.

Melges 20 : with Harry Melges on the water

In the most international class, 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 the 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.

The Monegasque Augusto Corrado (Customly) surprised everyone with two race wins and a 2nd place to win the competition, ahead of the Italian Mirko de Falco (Peccere). Victorious in January on the same race area for Act 3 of 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 3rd after winning the last race.

J/70 : record Record #sailingrecord attendance

Another very popular class the J/70 were there in force with 32 entrants, the biggest fleet since the last European Championship held in Riva del Garda in Italy with 36 boats. It bodes well for the European Open Championship which the Yacht Club de Monaco is in charge of organising from 12th to 17th October 2015 (all registration info is already up on the website It was with this in mind that class representatives from France, Italy and Germany came to meet their counterpart Jacopo Carrain and get the measure of the race area off the Principality. The fleet is highly motivated with another event in Monaco on 28th and 29th March, the first act of the national J/70 Italian Championships, with around 40 entrants expected. Of note was the attendance for the first time on the boat of Italian Francesco de Angelis, owner of the Italian America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup Challenger Luna Rossa. The last race proved decisive for the German Claus Lehmann (Blanker Hans), who won the event a point ahead of the Italian Alesio Marinelli (Uji Uji) and two points in front of Le Havre sailor, Ludovic Sénéchal (Lulu La Nantaise).

“The building’s new facilities are exceptional for sailing and training for upcoming major events. We were there for Act 3 of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series and the level continues to rise with 15 new teams for the Primo,” said the delighted winner.

Platu 25 : consistency pays off

The Swiss Markus Sigrist (Ursa Minor), third last year, won with two race wins ahead of a German armada led by Wolfgang Renz (Spirit of 25) and Michael Haacke (Amica). There was everything to play for up to the last race as evidenced by the four points separating the first from fourth.

IRC : in anticipation of the Yacht Clubs Cup

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 (Team Vision Future) on 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 (Esparlica 4), with Walter Pirinoli on tactics took 2nd, ahead of Vadim Iakimenko (Amber Miles).

The next IRC meeting from 28th to 31st August is the Yacht Clubs Cup, a team event where each club puts together a team of three boats (Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3).

However, before that the Yacht Club de Monaco is organising from 6th to 8th March the final act of its second Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series season, a programme of high level regattas starting October and reserved for Melges 20, J/70 and SB20.

Voir en ligne : Info presse

Classement Général Final (avant décision du jury)

Longtze Premier après 5 courses (4 retenues)

  • 1. Petit dragon (Marc Mallaret, 5 pts)
  • 2. Shensu (Jarno Wieland, 9 pts)
  • 3. Tendrisse (Laurent Abignoli, 12 pts)

Melges 20 après 4 courses (3 retenues)

  • 1. Customly (Corrado Agusta, 4 pts)
  • 2. Peccere (Mirko De Falco, 8 pts)
  • 3. Bronenesec (Polina Liubomirova, 9 pts)

J/70 après 4 courses (3 retenues)

  • 1. Blanker Hans (Claus Lehmann, 7 pts)
  • 2. Uji Uji (Alesio Marinelli, 8 pts)
  • 3. Lulu la Nantaise (Ludovic Sénéchal, 9 pts)

Platu 25 après 4 courses (3 retenues)

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

IRC après 4 courses (3 retenues)

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

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