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36th Primo Cup - Trophee Credit Suisse at Yacht Club de Monaco - Day 1

by Isabelle Andrieux 7 Feb 2020 18:48 GMT 6-9 February 2020

This will be a day to remember for the 450 sailors competing in the 36th Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse. "It's exceptional to have a hundred boats in February," says a delighted Bernard d'Alessandri, the Yacht Club de Monaco's General Secretary. "Coming to the Primo Cup has become a reflex for crews from all over the world." And indeed, there are nearly 20 nations out there on the race area.

At sea it was like a postcard, with beautiful conditions: a steady 10-15 knot south-westerly on a flat sea in brilliant sunshine which saw three fiercely fought races completed for the whole fleet.

J/70 dress rehearsal before the Worlds

The meeting is proving a tailormade prelude to the J/70 World Championship due to be held in Monaco from 18-23 October 2021, with 15 nations and 61 teams having answered the call to this winter classic.

Title holder Ludovico Fassitelli (Junda) had the bit between his teeth from the start commenting: "You have to be constantly on the alert, always on the lookout without ever lowering your guard". The YCM helmsman is taking full advantage of this event to fine tune his preparations: "Obviously we want to win, but at the same time we are trialling new sails to decide which to use for the Worlds".

It's this level of professionalism that has taken him to the top echelons of the leaderboard this evening where he is currently lying 5th, two points behind another YCM member, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio (G-Spottino). The Monegasques are pulling out all the stops as evidenced by Cesare Gabasio (Tinnj70) comfortably installed in 7th place and top of the Corinthian (amateurs) category.

The provisional podium reflects competitors internationality with the Russians on Elf in 1st place closely followed by the Americans on Furio and the Swiss on Cer Aprotec - Ville de Genève.

Masterclass in determination

For the Swiss on Shensu in the Longtze Premier it was a masterclass in sheer combative determination who swept the board today, leaving no chance for the competition to battle their way to victory. Difficult to destabilise such a well-oiled machine even if the men on Qi did everything in their power to disrupt the established order.

A taste for success is also shared by the YCM's Francesco Vauban (Botta Dritta) who had the course under control to take 1st place this evening in the provisional ranking for the Smeralda 888 fleet. Only two points separate them from Timofey Sukhotin (Beda). Meanwhile in the Melges 20 fleet, it's still too early to make any predictions as the first three are all equal on points!

With eight teams from all four corners of the world, the L30 fleet are enjoying their first tacks and gybes in the Principality. Again, the contest is tight for these 30-footers, recently chosen to be the boat for the first offshore World Championship. The only helmswoman in this fleet, Anastasia Kolesnichenko is at the top of the ranking ahead of the Belgian team. The Monegasque team led by Denis Lankin is in 3rd place - but there is everything to play for in this class.

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