As every year in February, hundreds of sailors unpacked their bags in the Principality for the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, organised in collaboration with Slam. Some 300 sailors in five classes descended on Monaco to compete in eight races in beautiful sailing conditions.
With 12 nations represented on 80 boats, there was no downtime for the bay of Monaco.
For Yacht Club de Monaco General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri, there was satisfaction: “It’s amazing to see how this regatta has not aged, that it continues to attract a new generation of sailors as evidenced by the five Corinthian teams among the top 10 in the J/70 class fleet of 40 entrants.” This 34th edition delighted competitors including the 2008 Laser Olympic champion Paul Goodison: “It’s great to be able to come here in the middle of winter and enjoy back-to-back races in ideal conditions against a high-level field.”
J/70: a full house (41 registered)
In this flagship class of the Yacht Club de Monaco, which boasts the biggest concentration of J/70s in the Mediterranean with 20 boats, the competition redoubled its efforts to overtake the season’s leader. The big absentee this weekend was Valeria Kovalenko and her team on Art Tube who left the field free for the rest of the fleet. Three boats managed to widen the gap over the eight races. The near-flawless Swiss team on CDE.CH helmed by Guillaume Girod was rewarded with 1st place just ahead of the YCM’s Vincenzo Onorato (Mascalzone Latino) who pulled off a superb comeback on the last day of racing. The Brazilians on Mandachuva, winners of the previous edition, completed the podium. Note, too, a fine win in the Corinthian category for Nicolas Bouchet, coached by the YCM’s Sports Section, on Ponante who finished 4th in the final overall ranking.
Melges 20: finale of the season (11 registered)
The stakes were high in the Melges 20 fleet, competing here in their final Act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, monthly regattas held from October to March and launched in 2013. The Primo Cup was doubled-edged for those keen to perform well one last time this season.
At the end of four Acts and 28 races, victory went to the Russians on Alex Team, who also win this 34th Primo Cup. They pipped the stage’s local, Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda), to the post who finished 2nd for the season and 4th this weekend. Pavel Grachev on Medyza came 3rd while Maxim Titarenko (Leviathan) snatched 3rd for the 2017/2018 season.
Timofey Sukhotin remains king of the Smeralda 888 class (9 registered)
The YCM’s Timofey Sukhotin once again stamped his mark on the Primo Cup with victory. The helmsman on Beda has a string of successes after winning for the second year in a row the annual championship. But the battle was fierce at the back between class president Charles de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles who finished 2nd on equal points with Marco Favale (Smeralda 6).
Star: stars of the class put on a show (8 registered)
For the Stars, the Primo Cup is the third stage of their European winter circuit. It is a must on the calendar for teams competing in this former Olympic class which attracts great champions like Christian Nehammer from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. From the start, the Austrian could not touch former World Champion Roberto Benamati, who grabbed victory with both hands. “The organisation both on land and on the water was fantastic and I would love to see this regatta become a classic for our class,” concluded the winner. Steffen Rutz on Squalo Bianco VII was 3rd, with the YCM’s Filippo Orlando in 5th.
Return of the Longtze Premier (7 registered)
A lively, reactive little boat recognisable by its colourful sails, the Longtze Premier made a welcome return to the Monaco race area. Steffen Schneider on Outsider won four of the seven races to win the event, followed by another Swiss Jarmo Wieland (Shensu) in 2nd with the German Thomas Begher completing the podium.
Whole team recognised at prize-giving
Another special feature of the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse is that it rewards team-work. All crew members in the first three boats in each class receive clothing from SLAM’s Advanced Technology Sportswear.
The next regatta in Monaco is the final Act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, 9-11 March.
Overall Results: (top three in each class)
1st: Guillaume Girod (CDE.CH) – (SUI) – 24 points
2nd: Vincenzo Onorato (Mascalzone Latino) – (ITA) – 38 points
3rd: Mario Garcia Soerensen (Mandachuva) – (BRA) – 42 points
J/70 – Corinthians
1st: Nicolas Bouchet (Ponante) – (MON) – 45 points
2nd: Emanuel Muller (Attaque) – (SUI) – 47 points
3rd: Amaury Berger (Sirocco) – (MON) – 52 points
1st: Alexander Mikhaylik (Alex Team) – (RUS) – 12 points
2nd: Manfredi Vianini Tolomei (Maolca) – (ITA) – 17 points
3rd: Pavel Grachev (Medyza) – (RUS) – 17 points
Melges 20 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series after 4 Acts
1st: Alexander Mikhaylik (Alex Team) – (RUS) – 47 points
2nd: Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda) – (MON) – 59 points
3rd: Maxim Titarenko (Leviathan) – (RUS) – 83 points
Longzte Premier– Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse 1st: Steffen Schneider (Outsider) – (SUI) – 8 points 2nd: Jarmo Wieland (Shensu) – (SUI) – 14 points 3rd: Thomas Begher (Corvus) – (GER) – 18 points
1st: Timofey Sukhotin (Beda) – (MON) – 12 points
2nd: Charles de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles (Vamos mi Amor) – (MON) – 17 points
3rd: Marco Favale (Smeralda 6) – (MON) – 17 points
1st: Roberto Benamati (BestWind) – (ITA) – 9 points
2nd: Christian Nehammer (8423) – (AUT) – 15 points
3rd: Steffen Rutz (Squalo Bianco VII) – (SUI) – 19 points
by Isabelle Andrieux