Croatia’s world champion sailors from Zadar, the Fantela brothers, competed in the first World Cup regatta of the sailing season in Miami over the weekend.
Šime and Mihovil Fantela are no strangers to success. Back in August, the brothers sensationally won the gold medal at the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark in the 49er class – and even secured the gold medal before the final sail. Tactically, the duo sailed perfectly for the gold, leaving behind German competitors Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf, and Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel in second and third place.
What made the win even sweeter was that the brothers came to Denmark as 17th in the world-class rankings, and hoped to only do well enough to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Interestingly enough, Šime and Mihovil assumed they wouldn’t be ready for a feat like this until the following World Championships, which is due in late 2019, because they had only sailed this discipline for a year. But, contrary to all the forecasts, these two became World Champions.
Fast forward to the end of January 2019, and the Zadar brothers set off to compete in the first World Cup Series race in Miami – and even brought home a competitive result., reports HRT on February 4, 2019.
Namely, the Fantela brothers achieved another great success in the 49-er class, finishing in third place in the season opener.
“This past week we had a gentle wind up to 10 knots in Miami but with strong changing directions. Every boat was a new fight. We had to fight from the start to the end constantly. We’re a little sad because we could have taken the silver or the gold, but we are delighted on the international level. In the medal race we started from fourth place and we got to bronze which is really a great success. We are happy, this means a lot to us and is a big motive is for us,” said Mihovil Fantela in Miami.
What’s next for the 2018 world champions?
“We will be in Zadar soon,but then we leave again to Portugal, where we have had all of our equipment since December. There we will have one control regatta. We’ll be there for around ten days. And then we’re off again in search of a strong wind that we will look for all the way to Tokyo, haha.”
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