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Monaco Primo Cup: Battle commences tomorrow

by Isabelle Andrieux 7 Feb 06:39 PST 8-10 February 2019
Monaco Primo Cup © YCM / Studio Borlenghi / Stefano Gattini

It was the dance of the trailers this morning at Port Hercule as nearly a hundred one-designs jostled for launching ready to compete in the 35th Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco. A warm-up race was scheduled today at 2.30pm.

Launched in 1985 at the instigation of YCM President Prince Albert II, the Primo Cup has established itself as the opening meeting of the season in the Mediterranean for the European one-design.

With some 500 sailors from 12 nationalities again this year, the event attracts many of the best European sailors, including Laser star Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, with three Olympic preparations under his belt, Sébastien Col, former America's Cup helmsman, Roberto Spata, renowned one-design specialist with six European Champion and five World titles to his name, and a host of amateurs who love sailing and racing. Both the YCM's quays and Monaco bay will be buzzing with activity on and off the water between races and the after-race parties.

The Yacht Club de Monaco has established its position as a winter training base, particularly for the Melges 20 and J/70 classes who compete in the high-level monthly regattas of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series between November and March every year.

J/70s in the starting blocks in run-up to World Championship

With almost 60 entrants, the J/70 is the biggest fleet at the event. The growing popularity of the Monegasque race area for this class bodes well for a record participation when Monaco hosts the World Championship in 2021 (18-23 October).

Against a Monegasque armada, one of the largest fleets in the Mediterranean with 17 boats in the J/70 Monaco Class presided by Michel Broussard, the many seasoned teams from Italy, Switzerland, northern Europe and even Brazil have their work cut out.

H22s are back

This light yet extremely stable boat designed by Rob Humphreys in 1997 returns, like the Longtze Premier did last year, to Hercules bay after their first outing in Monaco in 2007. They will not go unnoticed with their multi-coloured sails celebrating Warner Bros famous Looney Toons characters.

Alongside is the Longtze Premier class, lively and quick in all wind conditions, a favourite with the Swiss as they fly downwind while remaining stable; Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse regulars Melges 20; and the enduring Smeralda 888 class, designed by German Frers and always helmed by "gentlemen" amateur sailors.

Prize-giving: recognition for all the crew

A popular feature of the Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse is that it rewards team-work, with every crew member on the top three boats for each class receiving a garment from SLAM's Advanced Technology Sportswear range.

Rendezvous tomorrow Friday at 11.00am for the first official races.

Programme (subject to change):

Friday 8th February

9.30am: Skipper Briefing
11.00am: First warning signal for all classes
After Race Welcome Cocktail for participants

Saturday 9th February

11.00am: First warning signal for all classes
After Race Crew Party

Sunday 10th February

11.00am: First warning signal for all classes
3.00pm: Final warning signal possible
Prize-giving: one hour after finish line closes

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