Grand finale in Zadar: European Vice Champions triumphed at Croatian Championship, Ivan Kljaković Gašpić won CRO Melges 24 Cup series 2022
November 28, 2022 - Zadar, Croatia - Trogir's Mataran 24 crew consisting Ante Botica, Ivo Matić, Mario Škrlj, Damir Civadelić and Bruna Princivali is the winner of the Croatian Open Championship in the Melges 24 class, which was sailed from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th November in Zadar, organized by the Uskok Sailing Club and with the partnership of Medico Special Hospital, OneSails, Sailing Point, Digital Aquarium, Urban Ideas and the Zadar Tourist Board.
A total of 21 crews with 93 sailors from Croatia and Ukraine took part in the Zadar CRO Melges 24 Cup, and after seven races the European vice champions and Corinthian champions from the recently held championship in Genoa won the gold of this competitive one-design class ahead of teams Razjaren and Strilica Zuxu.
“At the beginning of the year when we started the Melges 24 project, we were a group of friends who wanted to sail and have a good time at regattas, and at the end of the season, we return home with our hands full of trophies. Of course, we are happy because of all the titles we have won, but we are also tired because all these successes raise adrenaline and stress at the same time. The regatta in Zadar was completely uncertain until the very end, we fought with several crews for the title. Ante Ćesić, Filip Jurišić and Ivan Kljaković Gašpić could have reached the gold, but in the end, several small nuances decided that Mataran 24 climbed to the highest step on the podium,” said Mario Škrlj, tactician of the Trogir crew Mataran 24.
Former junior world champion in the 470 class Ante Ćesić stayed in the game for the title until the very end. In seven races, his worst ranking was seventh place, and at the end, he was four points behind the Mataran 24.
“Silver is a great success for the Razjaren. Altogether we have 25 days in the boat, so the podium in this kind of competition is a great result. The top regatta organized by Uskok was a sailing holiday,” explained Ante Ćesić.
Filip Jurišić and Strilica Zuxu finished the first day of the competition as the leader. Then on Sunday, with the victory in the sixth race, they came within a point of Mataran 24, but in the last race of the championship in which the 'winner took all,' they reached the finish line as 11th.
“We had a very high-quality regatta, uncertain until the very end. It is a real fact for my crew and me that without any preparation and training, we were in the fight for the gold until the very end and that is the reason to be very satisfied with the result. The competition was significantly better compared to last year's championship, and this is a confirmation that the Melges24 class is developing in the right direction,” emphasized Filip Jurišić, winner of the world bronze and European silver in the ILCA7 class.
Zadar was also the last stop of the CRO Melges 24 Cup series 2022, which had seven regattas in the calendar this year (Dubrovnik, Biograd, Opatija, Rovinj, Split (two events) and Zadar). The winner of the prestigious title of the current best sailing series in Croatia is the Universitas Nova crew consisting of Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, Marin Golem, Filip Miroić, Šime Markić and Mia Kljaković Gašpić, while in the Corinthian competition another gold was won by Mataran 24.
“We deservedly won the title, we had constant sailing throughout the season, the only regret is that we did not win a medal at the Croatian Championship in Zadar. This is our challenge for next year. As for the whole series, I am very happy that we gathered a lot of sailors, from the youngest to the oldest, who regularly sail the Melges regattas. In my opinion, this is the greatest value of the entire project. CRO Melges 24 united all sailing enthusiasts who enjoy the knightly battle at sea,” commented Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, former Croatian Olympian in the Finn class.
Final results (7 races): 1. Mataran 24 17, 2. Razjaren 21, 3. Strilica Zuxu 23, 4. Universitas Nova 23, 5. Panjić 30, 6. Fjonda 31, 7. PointOne 40, 8. Amor Wave 49, 9. Obi-Wan 54, 10. Blue Label 56, 11. Joyrunner 60, 12. Yikes 65, 13. Cezibordo 68, 14. Tutta Forza 73, 15. Iggy 74, 16. Barmaley 83, 17. Zen 84, 18. ONA 98, 19. Lero 103, 20. Orage 113, 21. Palmina 115.
Top 3 overall: 1. Mataran 24, 2. Razjaren, 3. Strilica Zuxu.
Top 3 Corinthian: 1. Mataran 24, 2. Iggy, 3. Zen.