Saturday, February 7, 2015

J/70 Primo Cup Preview

J/70s sailing off Monte Carlo, Monaco in Primo Cup regatta (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- Tripling the fleet size in twelve months!?  Impossible! Yet, that is exactly what has happened at Yacht Club de Monaco’s famous Primo Cup- Trophee Credit Suisse that will take place this coming weekend from February 6th to 8th.

The J/70s have gained enormous popularity in the Principality of Monaco because the J/70 really is easy-to-handle, fun-to-sail, and brings an enormous “cheshire-cat-eating” grin to everyone’s face as they fly off the rolling seas that often run off Hercules Bay in front of the famous Monagesque waterfront.

Last year, the twelve boat J/70 fleet encountered very challenging sailing conditions.  Sunday was a spectacular day of sailing with WNW winds of 15-25 kts with clear skies and enormous waves! The J/70s had wild, exhilarating rides whistling across the magnificent Monagesque shoreline (like this fabulous Carlo Borlenghi “flying J/70” photo here).

“It’s great to come across and race against America’s Cup helmsmen who got us dreaming in the first place,” commented a young sailor from the YC Monaco, Edward Albert-Davie. It’s true that since it was launched in 1985 on the initiative of YC Monaco President Prince Albert II (sailing his J/24), the Primo Cup has hosted many of the great names, be they Olympic or offshore sailors, who come to Monaco to kick-start the Mediterranean summer circuit alongside highly skilled amateurs.

As the largest fleet in this year’s Primo Cup, the J/70’s have 37 teams from across Europe representing seven countries (Monaco, France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain, Spain & Russia). Introduced last year in the Principality of Monaco, the J/70 has won over many YC Monaco members- seventeen local teams are sailing this year!

Will Frenchman Ludovic Sénéchal, sailing LULU LA NANTAISE, continue his streak and repeat his win in 2014?  Or, will top Monegasque sailor Jacopo Carrain, skippering CARPE DIEM, triumph in the end?  They will be up against a formidable new crop of sailors who are rapidly becoming familiar with the J/70 in a wide variety of conditions, whether they’re German, Italian, Russian, British, or Spanish.

Other than last year’s top two players, Frenchman Senechal or Monagesque Carrain, they will be facing a formidable German contingent that are accustomed to tight, “college-style” short course racing, including recent Monaco Winter Series winner LED ZEPPELIN and Klaas Lehman’s BLANKER HANS.  Adding in top UK teams like Ian Wilson’s JOYRIDE and Simon Cavey’s JUST4PLAY, and a strong local contingent of YC Monaco one-design champions like Ian Isley’s ST ANDREWS Team, you have a remarkably even playground for all protagonists involved in this Shakespearean drama.  Sailing Photo Credit- YC Monaco/ Carlo Borlenghi.  For more J/70 Primo Cup sailing information.