After Becoming World Champions, Fantela Brothers take on World Cup Miami

Daniela Rogulj

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Croatia’s World Champions in the 49-er sailing class, the Fantela brothers, are facing new challenges. The World Cup Series Miami finishes on Saturday for medals, and our sailing brothers are after another memorable achievement.

You might have heard about Croatia’s historic 2018 in sports. From the World Cup to the Davis Cup, Croatian athletes achieved the unthinkable – and the Fantela Brothers from Zadar played a part in that story. 

Back in August, Šime and Mihovil Fantela 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 are off to the first World Cup race in Miami. The brothers have already been at the scene of the competition for some time and even conducted a control regatta in their training, reports RTL on January 29, 2019. 

“The training conditions are great, and we have got a new boat that we hope is well prepared for this performance in Miami. We feel great; we’ve been training with our partners from Belgium and France. There is a good forecast for the wind this week, we are happy with the way things are going, and we’ll try to be the best that we can in this regatta.”

What is even better for the Fantela brothers is the fact that they have already secured a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and all of these competitions will serve as excellent preparation for that event.

Stay tuned for the results this weekend!

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page. 


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