Thursday, February 21, 2013

FREMITO D'ARJA Wins J/70 Primo Cup

J/70 fleet in Monaco Primo CupJ/111s Enjoy Windy IRC Racing
(Monte Carlo, Monaco)- “It’s been a long time since I had so much fun on the water” said a competitor at the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse about their full weekend of racing on the water in "fresh to frightening" breeze conditions, rather epic 4-8 ft Mediterranean seas sweeping into the bay and the mountainous principality swept by a combination of snow flurries and sun-kissed by the soft winter Mediterranean sun.

Monaco’s bay again delivered a varied regatta full of surprises. From bright blue skies on Friday to the scattering of snow on Saturday, not to mention the tail end of a Mistral, the weather conditions delighted the IRCs and the one-design fleets, including the enthusiastic J/70 class.  Note that for the J/70s, voted “European Boat of the Year 2013” by the international press in the “Special Yacht” category, the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse was the first official regatta in the Med for this young class, which has only been available in Europe for six months.

J/111s starting IRC at Primo Cup MonacoEven though conditions were not quite good enough to race on the Sunday, due to the centre of a depression in the Gulf of Genoa changing tack, five very enjoyable races were started over this second weekend compared to six last weekend.  With fourteen nationalities present and a high level of competition, the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse confirmed its demanding reputation and quality for all yachts and hundreds of sailors.

A special note must also be made that makes the Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse unique in its prize-giving for regattas around the world-- Credit Suisse Bank, appropriately enough, offers a 24 carat 99.999% Gold 1 oz. ingot to the winner of a drawing amongst the winners (a 1 in 6 chance)!!  Plus, Slam Advanced Technology Sportswear is awarded to the first three J/70 crews and to the top three in IRC Class.

J70s sailing off start line at Primo Cup MonacoThe first day of sailing was fabulous.  It started with a steady 10 knots south-westerly wind, with beaming sunshine and calm sea, reaching 30 knots by the end of the day.  Three races were started for the J/70s while the IRC class sailed two races.  The J/70s had fun and fast sailing and this 7-meter keelboat has delivered on all its promises on the Monegasque bay. On the results side, the Italian crew of FREMITO D'ARJA sailed by Dario Levi, lead the day's race by two wins out of the three races, followed very closely by the Italian SPIN ONE team sailed by Pietro Saccomani and the Dutch HENRI LLOYD team sailed by Wouter Kolllmann, the three top crews only 5 points away from each others.

For the second day of the regattas, the early starts of the morning saw spring sailing conditions.  Then the weather Gods got a bit chaotic!  Later races were replaced by snow falls and wind gusts reaching up to 20 - 25 knots of wind towards the end of the races, challenging the nerves and physical skills of the racing crews on their last legs.  Two races were completed Saturday, allowing the Race Committee to count five races in total for the J/70 one-designs and four for the IRCs.

J/111 sailing at Primo Cup Monaco upwindIn the IRCs, the J/111s were sailing against 14 boats in a massively competitive fleet. Loving the conditions was the J/111 ESPRIT SUD sailed by Thierry Bouchard, finishing a well-deserved 4th place overall with a 7-5-3-3 scoreline and only missing the podium bronze by just two points.  The other J/111, MERLIN sailed by Michel Buffet and Gilles Conte, finished in the top ten by gathering a record of 9-6-10-8 to finish 8th overall.

In the end, the J/70s were swept by the Italian armada.  The Italian crew on FREMITO D'ARJA dominated throughout, ahead of fellow countrymen aboard SPIN ONE and the HENRI LLOYD Dutch team.  The winners received the J/70 Class Challenge Trophy awarded by J/Boats Italy, which from now on will be awarding the best in this series at future Primo Cups.

We received a great report from Paolo Boido, Chief of J/Boats Italy:

J/70s parked at Monte Carlo, Monaco yacht harbour"We made it! Thank goodness. The J/70s were getting ready for the first European regatta in Monaco, mooring at "Quai d'Honneur" at Yacht Club Monaco.  A total of seven teams have showed up for their first Primo Cup, it's a great honour for J/70 to be admitted at this prestigious event-- its attendance is generating a great interest for this lovely boat.  Four Italian Teams, one Dutch, one Russian and one representing the YC Monaco burgee, an amazing international attendance for such a new class.

Dario Levi with Andrea Casale from Quantum Italy playing tactician dominated all the races, winning the Credit Suisse Trophy and J/Boats Italy Challenge Trophy.  Second was Piero Saccomanni with Nevio Sabadin as trimmer and tactician.  Third was the Dutchman Wouter Kollmann, who was able to reach Monaco in a heavy snow storm across all of France!

The experienced Race Committee, with Thierry Leret Chairman, did a great job adjusting the sailing course according to frequent wind changes, from medium light up to strong blast over 30 knots in shifty conditions.  The J/70s put on a great show in all weather conditions, sailing fast in light with big left-over storm waves on Friday and on Saturday surfing/planing full speed at 15.0+ kts and with great stability with puffs over 30+ kts.

J/70 family sailing with kids in Primo Cup Monte CarloBoat handling has been perfect and easy in all conditions. All the teams sailed four-up. One of those was a family team, Vittorio di Mauro who sailed with Filippo Domenicali and his two kids 7 & 10 years old!! They were quite competitive even in heavy air; but most importantly, this team shows the great stability of the J/70 and how safe it is boat-handling even with two kids on board!!

J/70 going 17.8 kts!It’s always a pleasure for boat designers and dealers to watch their owner's smile when they show happiness for their performances achieved with their boats. Here (pictured at right) Dario Levi’s smile showing his Velocitek displaying 17.8 kts reaching downwind in winds less than 20-23 kts!

Championat Monégasque 2013- The J/70 Fleet has been invited to sail again in Monaco, sailing March 16-17 for the YC Monaco Championship!  That is quite an honor for the new "baby J"! Therefore, in the next weeks J/Boats Italy will be offering demo sails of the J/70 in Monaco leading up to the up-coming event!

By the way, the new trailer design is working out quite nicely.  Balbi Rimorchi & J/Boats Italy engineered and set-up the new trailer Model BD-1500.  It's easy and light to tow with medium-size cars, this trailer is very stable thanks to the well proportioned body and wide axle. Independent suspension system and brakes.  A custom-made GRP front hull support with GRP flat supports aft allow easy hauling/launching from a ramp."  Thanks for Paolo's contribution.  For more J/70 Italy/ Monaco information, please contact Paolo at "".

Finally, the Primo Cup- Credit Suisse has already been set for the 30th edition which will take place February 7-9, 2014. Significantly, the regatta will have both J/70s and J/24s and will be the IRC Mediterranean Championship.

In the meantime, the YCM will soon host from 8th to 10th March 2013, a new Team Racing event in J/24s as well as the J/24 European Championship, organized from the 6th to 12th October 2013.

Sailing photo credits- YCM/ Carlo Borlenghi.  For more Yacht Club Monaco and Primo Cup- Credit Suisse sailing information