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35th Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse at Yacht Club de Monaco

by Isabelle Andrieux 10 Feb 12:14 PST 7-10 February 2019
35th Primo Cup Trophee Credit Suisse © Carlo Borlenghi

Over 400 sailors on 93 one-designs in five classes made the trip to Monaco for a long week-end (7-10 February) of racing in the 35th Primo Cup, awarded by Credit Suisse with garments from SLAM for the top three teams in every class.

Launched in 1985, at the instigation of HSH Prince Albert II, a year after becoming the Yacht Club de Monaco's president, the Primo Cup has established itself as the big meeting that opens the season in the Mediterranean for Europe's one-design elite.

With eight races completed in the J/70 and Melges 20, and seven for the Longtze Premier, H22 and Smeralda 888, the 35th edition lived up to its reputation as a demanding quality event that every year draws sailors from all over the world (12 nationalities) to kick-off the season.

J/70: consistency wins

With the J/70 World Championship set to descend on the Principality in October 2021, nearly 60 teams in this class turned out for the Primo Cup.

Lying in 3rd place from day one, Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda Banca Sempione) created the event's surprise to grace the top step of the podium, without having won a race but having been the most consistent.

"I am delighted for two reasons: first because I had the chance to race with fantastic friends, and then what a joy to win at home," said Ludovico Fassitelli.

He beat Irishman and J/70 International Class President Ian Wilson (Soak Sailing), who was 2nd and winner in the Corinthian category. The Swiss Thomas Studer (Jerry) finished 3rd.

Melges 20: Synergy on top form

Having won five of the eight races, Valentin Zavadnikov's Synergy swept the board this weekend. Against a Russian armada, another Yacht Club de Monaco member Orel Kalomeni (Team Arcora) put in a fine performance, thanks to invaluable coaching from Sébastien Col, to take 2nd ahead of Alexander Mikhaylik (Alex Team).

Having a Monegasque one-two on the podium in this highly competitive class shows that all the hard work put in since 2013, during the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series run from October to March every year and initiated by Valentin Zavadnikov, is making a difference.

Smeralda 888: neck and neck

As predicted, a battle between seasoned sailors went down to the wire in the Smeralda 888 fleet between three YCM members. Vincenzo Onorato (Mascalzone Latino), a newcomer to this class where the helm is always taken by the owner, topped the ranking ahead of Class President Prince Charles de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles (Vamos mi amor), with 2018 trophy holder Timofey Sukhotin (Beda) completing the podium.

H22: a notable return

Despite three wins and four second places out of seven races, Benedetto di Venosa (Adreanalina) only pipped to the post by one point his compatriot in the H22 Roberto Iorio (Splinter), a sure sign of tough battles in this class, returning to the Monaco race area for the first time since 2007.

Longtze Premier: perseverance pays off

It was a case of mission accomplished thanks to winning the last two races for the Swiss Jarmo Wieland (Shensu), 2nd last year in the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse and determined to take the title this time round. He beat the German Thomas Begher (Corvus), with 2018 title holder Steffen Schneider (Outsider) completing the podium.

A date has already been set for 2020 (6-9 February) for the 36th Primo Cup Trophee Credit Suisse. Registrations for one-design classes that want to take part are now open.

Results can be found at www.yacht-club-monaco.mc/en/regattas-events/20-19/primo-cup-trophee-credit-suisse

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