The Fantela Brothers have won the gold in Denmark!
August 11, 2018 – Šime and Mihovil Fantela have sensationally won the gold medal at the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark in the 49er class.
The duo from Zadar already secured the medal before the final sail on Saturday. Tactically, they sailed perfectly for the gold medal, leaving behind German competitors Tim Fischer and Fabian Graf, and Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel in second and third place.
The Fantela Brothers came to Denmark as 17th in the world-class rankings, a team that aimed to reach the final gold group and simply qualify for Tokyo, but they have conquered so much more. In the two days of the final gold group, they sailed out with confidence, even though they sailed under extreme conditions, with 25-knot winds. In recent years, Šime sailed in the 470, and his brother Mihovil had only surfed!
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 took the gold.
“It’s unbelievable to be on a boat with my brother, and this is a new challenge because I’ve changed my class. And winning the World Championship is something I could have never dreamed of. We knew that we were good, we knew that we could be competitive if we had the permission to show what we knew,” said Šime Fantela and added, “This is crazy! The goal was to qualify, and we won gold, nobody could have dreamed of this.”
His brother Mihovil chimed in: “This week we gave everything of ourselves and became world champions!”
They accomplished their main goal and secured for the Olympic Games.
“Since we changed our class, our goal is a medal at the Tokyo Olympics and that’s why this gold is just another good competitive week for us. We know very well how many hundreds of hours we have to spend on the boat to get to it. The number on our boat is 10,000, and that’s just symbolic, that is how many hours we have to spend on training to win the medal. It goes hand in hand and I know how much hard work we need to have that opportunity,” concluded Šime Fantela.