Monegasque sailors claim double victory at 40th Primo Cup

primo cup

Over the weekend, 400 brave sailors battled against strong winds to compete in the 40th Primo Cup, which was held in the waters off the Principality of Monaco between 7th and 10th March.  

This 40th edition of the Primo Cup, an important milestone for the event, was the fourth and final act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of monthly regattas that runs from November to March every year. 

Launched by Prince Albert II of Monaco back in 1985, when he became President of the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM), the competition is a major international season-opener and has long attracted big names in the sport. 

Prince Albert and Bernard d’Alessandri unveil the 40th Primo Cup Perpetual Trophy. Photo credit: YCM

“We have had champions here, sailors from the Vendée Globe, Tour de France à la Voile and the Figaro, not to mention America’s Cup,”says YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri. “And with 4,400 boats, 1,100 starts, 200 days of sailing, 20,500 sailors and 44 classes in the last 40 years, the event has become a reference.” 

Before the sailing got underway at the end of last week, Prince Albert was on hand to greet the eager competitors at the opening ceremony and personally unveiled the coveted Buccellati-designed Perpetual Trophy that is engraved with the names of the winners from the last four decades. The winners of this year’s edition may well have been watching on.  


In the J/70, YCM member Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio aboard G-Spot took his second victory in four races, while the Smeralda 888 class was won by the YCM’s Achille Onorato and his crew on Canard à l’Orange.

This Monegasque passion for high-level competition has clearly been passed down from generation to generation, as evidenced by the presence of the YCM’S Sports Section’s 11-year-old Roman Lampert, 14-year-old Ludovica Bonelli, nine-year-old Louis Pompée and 10-year-old Joséphine Dobbelaere at the J/70 event.

“They are used to start lines of 90 Optimists, so they were not phased and stayed calm,” said their coach, Margaux Meslin, who sailed with them on Team Optimist. “I’ve seen them win starts next to the big names or surf downwind, spinnaker up, [with] big smiles on their faces. It was a fantastic experience for them.” 


The Swiss team on Shensu achieved a victory three points ahead of the second-placed German crew on Wetfeet in the Longtze Premier while the Cape 31 was dominated by Give me Five.  


The next major event to take place at the YCM will be the 13th Environmental Symposium, which comes under the banner of the Monaco Ocean Week programme. Also being held at the Club during this time will be the Monaco Smart Yacht Rendezvous and the YCM Explorer Awards – La Belle Classe.  

Read related:

Monaco Ocean Week 2024: A quest for viable and achievable solutions


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Main photo credit: YCM / Studio Borlenghi