From Friday to Sunday, the first Croatian Championship in the Melges 24 class will be held in Split, with 16 crews. JK Mornar organizes the regatta and is excited to announce that the best Croatian sailors of all generations will compete in front of Split. Thus, for the first time, spectators will have the opportunity to see the showdown of Croatian Olympic medalists Tonči Stipanović and Šime Fantela, and several other great sailors, including Melges 24 class Olympians Tomislav Bašić, Karlo Kuret, Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, Luka Radelić, and Toni Bulaja, reports Dalmacija Danas.
The regatta lasts for three days, and the first races are scheduled for Friday. If the weather conditions allow, the regatta course will be placed just below Sustipan so that the competition can be followed until the end. The regatta is led by Olympian Marko Mišura and the primary judge will be the experienced Alen Kustić.
The flourishing Melges 24 class in Croatia is one of the most beautiful stories of Croatian sailing. Namely, Croatia’s best sailors have always looked for a way to compete on an equal footing, but in the past 30 years in Croatia, a class of identical ships has never been successfully formed that would make this possible. However, things started to change a year ago when at the initiative of sailor Filip Jurišić, and several of Croatia’s top sailors decided to buy the world’s most popular one-design Melges 24 sailboat. As a result, at the end of last year, the Croatian Melges fleet counted seven ships. As things kicked off, many of Croatia’s prominent sailors, from Dubrovnik to Istria, decided to use these faster and smaller sailboats, so the Croatian fleet today has 15 ships, with a tendency to grow further.
One of the unique features of the Melges 24 class is that it brings together celebrated sailors and successful business people for whom sailing is a passion. Luka Šangulin, Miroslav Reljanović, and Matija Longin, among others, regularly take part in the Croatian Melges 24 regattas. All of them will also be sailing at the first Melges 24 Croatian Championship this weekend in Split.
There are 16 crews on the starting list, 15 of which are under the Croatian flag. The international touch to the regatta is brought by the Italian crew, led by Michele Paoletti, a sailor from Trieste who competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in the Soling class. Miroslav Reljanović’s crew will include another international star – Norwegian Peer Moberg, who also sailed at the Sydney Olympics in the Laser class.
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