Monday, February 13, 2017

Brazilians Samba To PRIMO CUP XXXIII Win!

J/70s sailing off Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- This year’s Primo Cup– Trophée Credit Suisse regatta, hosted by the YC Monaco in Monte Carlo, Monaco was full of surprises.  For one, no one expected so many shocking performances at the top of the J/70 class leaderboard.  French, Polish, Swiss, Russian, Italian, German, Monaco and Brazilian sailors in the top ten of the J/70 fleet? What?! Is this a “politically correct” United Nations sailing event?  Not! It’s just the natural evolution of the world’s largest and fastest growing sportsboat class; a class that could be defined as one famous British journalist labeled the J/24 class in its infancy in 1978- “the Laser with a lid”!  Everyone and anyone can get up to speed fast!  For the world’s top sailors and tacticians, that’s a scary scenario.  But, also a fun one.  That means top amateur crews can be competitive in a short period of time.  In Europe, that evolution has been turbo-charged by the J/70 sailing leagues pioneered by the Germans and led by SAP Sports and Oliver Schwall’s marketing crew in Hamburg, Germany.

J/70 Manachuva from BrazilIt was time for a “samba pa ti” at YC Monaco for the awards celebration! The hot "Ipanema-like" tempo for this year’s regatta was set on the first day for the fleet of fifty (50) J/70s sailing in the famous Hercules Bay.  From day one, the Brazilian team from YC Rio de Janeiro on MANDACHUVA, skippered by Mario Soerensen Garcia, with Mauricio Santa Cruz calling tactics (a 4x J/24 World Champion), simply smoked the fleet, posting two bullets over the star-struck fleet.  They never looked back, posting two more bullets on the final day to win by a significant margin.  The famous beaches and streets of Rio were celebrating well into the night; Brazil had yet another feather in their cap, besides other sailing and soccer (futbol) World Cups (and Olympic Gold Medals) to their credit!

J/70 sailing off MonacoThe first day produced the best the Monegasque club’s PRO could offer to the incredibly competitive J/70 fleet.  The sailors enjoyed a brisk 20-knot southwesterly with a light chop, giving everyone a chance to prove their tactical prowess.  Of the twelve nations participating, no one expected a bunch of samba-crazed Brazilians to lead the fleet with such a dominating performance.  Hot on their heels, and learning frighteningly fast, were the French team of GIVE ME FIVE from CN Sainte-Maxime, led by Adrien Follin.  The GIVE ME FIVE team posted an equally blistering tally of 3-2 to be within striking distance of the lead. Lying in third after day one was Poland’s EWA, skippered by Krzysztof Krempec from YC Pologne with a 2-4. They were followed in fourth place by a local Monegasque crew, Ludovico Fassitelli’s crew on JUNDA BANCA DEL SEMPIONE with a 4-8 and in fifth was the Swiss Lake Geneva crew of CER APROTEC skippered by Nelson Mettraux from Societe Nautique de Geneve.  Just behind them was the German team of SANNA R skippered by Gerd Knospe from VSaW.

On the final day, rain tried to delay playtime, but it was not enough to cool the ardor of those on the water, delighted to be in the thick of the action. For YC Monaco General Secretary, Bernard d’Alessandro, there was satisfaction in the scene unfolding before their magnificent club on the Mediterranean Riviera, “It is always a pleasure to see so many seasoned and amateur sailors racing in the Principality. It was an excellent turnout and we had ideal conditions every day, so I am delighted it has been a success.”

J/70 Primo Cup winnersClean starts, masterful mark roundings, impeccable control on downwind maneuvers, and smiles from ear-to-ear at the finish!  Yes, the Brazilians on MANDACHUVA really enjoyed themselves at this year’s Primo Cup–Trophée Credit Suisse.  “It was a wonderful regatta. The level was high and there was everything to play for,” said helmsman, Mario Soerensen Garcia. The team blew away their rivals on the downwind legs, keeping the boat flat and exploiting the waves for surfing (remember images of those massive waves at the Rio 2016 Olympics sailing venue offshore?  They sail in that stuff for “beer can” races!  No wonder).  By winning every race, they left Frenchman Adrien Follin’s crew on GIVE ME FIVE no chance but 2nd in the final ranking, 9 points adrift.  As for locals, Ludovico Fassitelli’s JUNDA BANCA DEL SEMPIONE, European Vice-Champion and Yacht Club de Monaco member, made a spectacular comeback to clinch 3rd place.

Rounding out the top five were Krempec’s Polish crew on EWA in 4th place and Mettraux’s Swiss crew on CER APROTEC in fifth place.  In fact, there were eight nations represented in the top nine teams!  Sixth place was Knospe’s German team on SANNA R, seventh was Germano Scarpa’s Italian crew on SPORT CUBE from YC Costa Smeralda (host of the 2017 J/70 Worlds), eighth was Alain Stettler’s German contingent on QUARTER 2 ELEVEN from Regatta Club Oberhofen, and ninth was Dmitry Shunin’s Russian crew from Moscow on GOLDEN WINGS, a Konakovo Sailing Club team.

Another special feature of the Primo Cup - Trophée Credit Suisse was that all crew members in the first three boats in the J/70 class received clothing from SLAM’s Advanced Technology Sportswear!

The grand finale for the YC Monaco J/70 Winter Sportsboat Series is set for 3-5 March in Monaco!  Perhaps one of those top teams on the podium for the series may be Russia’s top woman sailor, Valerya Kovalenko on Team ARTTUBE from Moscow, Russia.   Watch a nice Primo Cup- Credit Suisse sailing video summary here.   For more J/70 Primo Cup/ Winter Series sailing information