Primo Cup vintage year culminated this weekend with 450 sailors from 20 countries

Leaders command at season debut

The top winter Primo-Cup Trophée Credit Suisse regatta, that run from February 6-9, 2020, culminated this weekend. Alongside the regular competitors J/70, Smeralda 888, Longtze Premier, Melges 20 the Yacht Club of Monaco welcomed the L30 plus the flying dinghy ONefly exhibition fleet. 

This classic event attracted 450 sailors on some 100 boats divided into six classes, representing 20 countries, who sailed in temperatures of 14oC in 5-15 knots of wind on a flat sea under the Mediterranean sun.   

J/70 — a trial run for everyone

From day one, the Russians on Elf were straight out of the starting blocks with three 2nd places and a 6th in the four races completed by the 65-strong fleet, ensuring them victory. It was not a done deal behind them with Cer Aprotec – Ville de Genève finally clinching 2nd and the YCM’s Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio (G-Spottino) 3rd. In the Corinthian (amateur) category, the British team on Brutus took 1st equal on points with Cesare Gabasio (Tinnj70) followed by Stefano Roberti (Piccinina), both YCM members.

These results give some indication of what could happen at the J/70 World Championship 2021 to be held in Monaco from 18-23 October. “The field at this Primo Cup augurs well for a high level at the Worlds. We are really looking forward to it,” says the G-Spottino helmsman whose goal is a medal at home.

L30 — from offshore to the Primo Cup

As for the L30 fleet, the boat chosen for the first offshore World Championship, they had every reason to be present, with eight boats representing as many nations making their first tacks and gybes on the Monaco race area. Strong from the start, the Belgian Jonas Gerckens fended off Anastasia Kolesnichenko and her crew to win this event, with YCM’s Denis Lankin in 3rd

Developed by Ukrainian Olympic medallist Rodion Luka in collaboration with RC44 designer, Andrej Justin, the 30-footer is a double-hander for those who want to be at the Paris Olympics in 2024, which will host the offshore mixed-doubles class. (Photo insert: L30 @Carlo Borlenghi)

Results as expected

Longtze Premier: There are not enough superlatives to describe the winning form of the Swiss on Shensu for a faultless performance throughout the regatta in the Longtze Premier class. It proved impossible for the equally impressive team on Qi to dislodge them, so 2nd for them, with Steffen Schneider (Outsider) in 3rd.

Smeralda 888: In the Smeralda 888, Timofey Sukhotin (Beda) won the match ahead of Botta Dritta and Black Star. The Primo Cup marks the start of their Championship for the season, currently led by Timofey Sukhotin who temporarily dethrones 2019 title holder, Charles de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles, class president. The fleet will be racing again in Monaco for the Spring Challenge, from March 20-22. (Photo: Smeralda 888 @Carlo Borlenghi)

Melges 20: In the Melges 20, two YCM members, Valentin Zavadnikov (Oleg Reps) and Anatoly Karachinsky (Path) took 1st and 3rd, with Russian Alexander Mikhaylik (Alex Team) in 3rd.

Marine dragonflies debut

In Monaco for the first time was a fleet of Onefly dinghies, a winged and foiled one-design that attracted spectators and competitors alike. These marine dragonflies can take off and quickly get up to speeds of 8 knots and up, even in light airs. (Photo: Onefly @Carlo  Borlenghi)

Although not officially competing in the Primo Cup, the ten boats put on a show at the foot of the Rock, alternating displays and races. Christopher Pratt, skipper of numerous Jacques-Vabre Transats and countless Solitaire du Figaro solo races was one of the headliners who accepted the YCM’s invitation: “It’s great to be back in the Principality and sailing on such an appealing boat as the Onefly. We are here at the foot of the mountains, between two systems – east and west – it’s really exceptional.”

Official boat christenings

As well as the racing, there were two official boat christenings, complete with champagne broken on the hulls to wish them good luck: Nico Poons’ J/70 Charisma and Timofey Sukhotin’s Smeralda 888 Beda. Charles de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles, owner of the Smeralda 888 Vamos mi Amor,  Bernard d’Alessandri, and YCM Board Committee members attend the ceremony.

36th Primo Cup final rankings


  1. Mikhail Sheremetev (Elf) – RUS: 12 points
  2. Nelson Mettraux (CER APROTEC-Ville de Genève) – SUI: 26 points
  3. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio (G-Spottino) – MON: 32 points

J/70 Corinthian

  1. Charles Thompson (Brutus– GBR: 60 points
  2. Cesare Gabasio (Tinnj70) – MON: 60 points
  3. Stefano Roberti (Piccinina) – MON: 67 points

Smeralda 888

  1. Timofey Sukhotin (Beda) – MON: 8 points
  2. Francesco Vauban (Botta Dritta) – MON: 10 points
  3. Paolo Rotelli (Black Star) – MON: 14 points

Longtze Premier

  1. Jarmo Wieland (Shensu) – SUI: 5 points
  2. Franck Beat (Qi) – SUI: 7 points
  3. Steffen Schneider (Outsider) – SUI: 13 points


  1. Jonas Gerckens (Jonas Gerckens) – BEL: 9 points
  2. Anastasia Kolesnichenko (Humphreys Conrad) – GBR: 10 points
  3. Denis Lankin (Maria Naboka) – MON: 11 points

Melges 20

  1. Valentin Zavadnikov (Oleg Reps) – MON: 12 points
  2. Alexander Mikhaylik (Alex Team) – RUS: 13 points
  3. Anatoly Karachinsky (Path) – MON: 14 points


  1. Matisse Pacaud – FRA: 8 points
  2. Nicolas Berenger – FRA: 15 points
  3. Eliot Bourgeois – FRA: 15 points

Mark your calendars

As the curtain fell on this 36th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, many boats left, except for many of the J/70s and Melges 20s who will be back on the water for the fifth and final Act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, from March 5-8, 2020.  

Today’s Quote

“A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.” Webb Chiles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.