Ivan Kljaković Gašpić – King of the Kvarner Bora
March 21, 2022 - Opatija, Croatia - A record number of 15 crews from Croatia and Slovenia, great sailing in a mighty Bora wind and the victory of the Universitas Nova crew of Ivan Kljaković Gašpić with Mia Kljaković Gašpić, Marin Golem, Šime Markić and Filip Miroić highlighted the third regatta of this year's CRO Melges 24 series sailing in Opatija.
The sailing 'serenade of Opatija' with the excellent hosting of YC Croatia in the ACI marina Opatija will remain in the fond memories of all participants because it was combined with the most demanding sailing conditions so far.
The first day was absolutely controlled by the crew of Universitas Nova, which took the title of Queen of the Kvarner Bora with three bullets. Ivan Kljaković Gašpić masterfully danced the regatta field in front of the winner of the first two regattas of this year's CRO Melges 24 series, Luka Šangulin’s Panjić, and Point One, led by Karlo Kuret.
On the second day the storm intensified, in the fourth race the victory went to the Mataran 24 crew of Ante Botica, and in the final race, which was shortened with the call of the Race Committee due to too strong wind, the crew of Panjić was the best.
In the end, Universitas Nova, where Ivan Kljaković Gašpić sails with students of the Faculty of Maritime Studies from Split, secured the overall victory of the regatta.
'We had excellent conditions at sea in Opatija, this bora really tested all our sailing knowledge and crew readiness, and we are especially happy because this is our first overall victory in the CRO Melges series”, said the former celebrated sailor in Finn class and project ACI Sail manager Ivan Kljaković Gašpić.
In the Corinthian group, the best was Mataran 24, who is making constant progress. Fifth at the first regatta in Dubrovnik, fourth at the regatta in Biograd and now in Opatija for the first time on the podium.
'We enjoyed fighting with the best Croatian sailors under such demanding conditions. We are especially proud of the victory in the fourth race, where we fought with Ivan Kljaković Gašpić until the very end. The real test of our possibilities will be the regatta in Rovinj in the international competition', said Mataran 24 member Ivo Matić.
The Croatian sailing 'champions league' brings together the best of the best in Croatian sailing, and the impressive list of top sailors in Opatija was joined by former Croatian Olympians Ivan Bulaja and Siniša Mikuličić.
'We enjoyed these two days of sailing in Opatija. In the first race of the second day, we had a little bad luck. We took off in the start and it cost us a better rank, but I am satisfied because we sailed for the first time in a new lineup with five sailors on board. We are looking forward to a new challenge in Rovinj at the first event of the European Sailing Series', said former Croatian Olympian and America's Cup participant Karlo Kuret.
‘We are extremely pleased and proud to have hosted the best Croatian sailors and to have exceptional sailing conditions on both days of the regatta. Once again, a big thank you to the sponsors: ACI Marinas, the City of Opatija, Liburnia Riviera hotels, TZG Opatija, TZ Ičići, Blocoutdoor, Solbris multisport Coaching and all others who stood by us and helped in the realization of Opatija CRO Melges 24 CUP', said Mladen Babac, president of Yacht Club Croatia.
The CRO Melges24 Cup is sailed in partnership with the Special Hospital Medico, Sailing Point and One Sails, and the next race will be sailed in Rovinj from 1st to 3rd April, which hosts the first event of the 2022 Melges 24 European Sailing Series.