The annual early season opener for European racing, the Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse in Monaco suffered some less than clement February conditions, but was still an enjoyable SB20 event.
On the first day an official warning of strong winds gusting over 40 knots. Given the conditions, the Yacht Club de Monaco’s Race Committee took the decision to cancel the day’s racing. This gave sailors the chance to enjoy the YCM’s incredibly smart new facilities, with a €150m clubhouse designed by Lord Norman Foster that includes a sports bar and gym, as well as an observation terrace on the fifth floor with a 180-degree view of the race area.
The SB20 fleet promised to be a hard-fought contest, between Class President Ed Russo (Black Magic) and Nicolas Honor (Bartaba). Both the YCM, and French Federation also supports young teams in the class with their own entries.
For Day 2 there was blazing sunshine and an unpredictable 6 knot south-westerly for the 92 teams racing in six classes, including a separate start for the SB20s.
Sadly after three general recalls the SB20s were not able to finish their race. Class President Ed Russo (Black Magic) commented: “The conditions were not in our favour today, but we are confident for tomorrow. It is always important for our class to race here in Monaco in February. The level is high and it’s a good opportunity to fine-tune our tactics before the big meetings in 2015, particularly the World Championship with will take place on Lake Garda in July.”
Fortunately Day 3 allowed three races. First home was John Pollard’s Xcellent (Royal Torbay YC), who won the first and took a second and sixth for the win. Second went to the FFV Jeunes Talents team with sailors from Antibes and Porticcio, who won t he last two races but had to count an 11th for second overall. Third went to the Russian Melstrom team of Kirill Frolov. Fourth was Ed Russo;s Black Magic, and fifth an Italian entry Un Altra Claudia. The 25-boat fleet also included entries from Monaco, Holland and Switzerland for a truly international event.