40th Primo Cup sailing regatta

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Credit: Studio Borlenghi

40th Primo Cup: Monegasques victorious in J/70 and Smeralda 888 classes

13 March 2024 • Written by Holly Margerrison

With wind conditions oscillating between 8 to 18 knots, 400 sailors and 10 nations returned to Monaco for the 40th Primo Cup-Trophée UBS on Sunday 10 March. This concluded four days of racing for Act IV of Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series.

The exhilarating event saw the fleet demonstrate their mastery of racing tactics across the J/70, Smeralda 888, Longtze Premier and Cape 31 classes. The sailing yachts battled it out to join the list of 32 winners currently engraved on the coveted Perpetual Trophy, which was made by Buccellati and presented by Yacht Club de Monaco’s president, HSH Prince Albert II, at the opening ceremony.

Credit: Studio Borlenghi

Launched in 1985, the regatta continues to attract big names in sailing like Jean Le Cam, Michel Desjoyeaux, Franck Cammas, John Kostecki, Grant Dalton, Enrico Chieffi, Flavio Favini, Marcus Hutchinson and Will Ryan.

“We have had champions here, sailors from the Vendée Globe, Tour de France à la Voile and the Figaro, not to mention the America’s Cup,” recalled Yact Club de Monaco's general secretary Bernard d’Alessandri. “And with 4,400 boats, 1,100 starts, 200 days of sailing, 20,500 sailors and 44 classes in the last 40 years, the event has become a reference.”

Credit: Studio Borlenghi

Monegasques win out in two J/70 classes

In the J/70, around 50 boats participated with Monaco sailors emerging victorious; Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio (G-Spot) won for the second time after four races. Meanwhile, in the Corinthian (amateur) category, Cesare Gabasio (TinnJ70) came second behind the Swiss on Jerry. In the Smeralda 888, Yacht Club de Monaco's Achille Onorato and his crew on Canard à l’Orange relished in their victory in this class, that holds the record for attendance with 31 editions and counting.

Swiss triumph in Longtze Premier

The Germans on Wetfeet were eyeing first place, yet it was the Swiss on Shensu who stole the show with a win three points ahead of their nearest rival. As the majority of the class was Swiss, it was perhaps not a surprise to see QI in third place.

Cape 31 to compete in Monaco for first time

The Primo Cup-Trophée UBS also puts an emphasis on emerging classes, and this year it was the turn of the Cape 31 – optimised for upwind performance and offshore in a breeze while retaining its capabilities in light airs. The Cape 31 was conceived by Lord Irvine Laidlaw, a seasoned sailor, designed by Mark Mills and built in South Africa.

In this class, Robin Follin (Give me Five) won ahead of Guido Miani (Squirt) and Loïc Pompée (Bellini), both from Yacht Club de Monaco who came fourth and fifth.

Credit: Studio Borlenghi

The final act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series

This 40th edition of the Primo Cup was also the stage for the fourth and final act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of monthly regattas that run from November to March every year.

For this 11th edition of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, of which there were 18 races, Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio (G-Spot) boasted another victory, a healthy 33 points ahead of another Yacht Club de Monaco member, Pierrik Devic (Raph Seven Yacht) and Lorenzo Bortolotti (Black Swan) also from the Club.

In the Corinthian group, the first two steps on the podium were dominated by Yacht Club de Monaco’s Cesare Gabasio (TinnJ70) and Matteo Scandolera (Irruenza). Swiss Lorenz Kausche (Rhubarbe) completed the podium.

Read More/The top superyacht regattas to add to your 2024 calendar

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