Michele Paoletti Wins Melges 24 Open Croatian Championship, Luka Šangulin Takes the 2023 CRO Melges 24 Cup Title
November 20, 2023 - Trogir, Croatia - It was the phenomenal end of the CRO Melges 24 Cup in Trogir, where the Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship was held last weekend with 27 boats from Croatia, Italy, Hungary and Great Britain.
This year's most numerous Melges 24 regatta in Europe, after the World Championship in Denmark, organized by the Sailing Club of Trogir, was a true 'happy end' of the third season of the most substantial Croatian sailing competition.
The first two days of the regatta were sailed under ‘epic’ conditions of strong Tramuntana and Bora wind; the sea was heated from fierce sailing duels, while on Sunday, there was no sailing due to the lack of wind. In the end, five races were held, where as many as four different crews celebrated their success, which best speaks of the fierce competition at the Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship.
In the Melges 24 Open Croatian Championship, a great battle was fought between the Italian crew Strambapapá and the Croatian crew Razjaren. Eventually, Michele Paoletti won ahead of Ante Ćesić & Razjaren by one point margin only. Phenomenal Triestine sailor, reigning Melges 24 European Champion, loves Croatia very much. He won the 2021 Croatian Open Championship in Split, then the European Sailing Series Regatta in Rovinj in 2022, and now he has gold in Trogir.
“We are proud to have sailed in Trogir with such a strong fleet. Strambapapá loves the Croatian standard. So competitive in the water and so friendly on shore,” said Michele Paoletti.
The overall podium of the Melges 24 Open Croatian Championship was completed by another Italian crew – Sergio Caramel’s Arkanoe by Montura.
The third Italian crew, Forever G, with Andrea Totis at the helm, celebrated success in the Corinthian division, ahead of the Blue Label team of Davor Jelaca with Hrvoje Petrovic at the helm, and Tutta Forza of Niko Jakovcev.
Croatian Melges 24 Champions are Razjaren and Blue Label, respectively, in overall and Corinthian rankings.
Panjić and Luka Šangulin take the title of the CRO Melges 24 Cup 2023
The overall winner of the CRO Melges 24 Cup 2023 is the Panjić crew with helmsman Luka Šangulin, who showed the most consistent sailing during this series’ seven regattas. It is the second title for the crew from Biograd, after winning the CRO Melges 24 Cup’s inaugural edition in 2021. In the Corinthian division, the title went to Zadar's Tutta Forza.
“Every year, our series is getting better and more uncertain, so our victory is sweeter because, as a crew, we know that we had to 'plough and dig' all season long. In Trogir, we won all three places on the podium: bronze in the Croatian Championship, silver in the Melges 24 European Sailing Series and gold in the CRO Melges 24 Cup,” explained Tomislav Bašić, a member of the Panjić crew.
In the autumn part of the CRO Melges 24 Cup season, the Razjaren crew was elusive to the rest of the Croatian fleet. The proof of their strength was the title of the Croatian Championship won in Trogir.
“The weather was kind to us in Trogir; we had excellent conditions at sea, and our hosts at JK Trogir took care of a warm and friendly atmosphere. As a crew, we set out to win the title of national champion, and we achieved it. We missed that one highest step in the Open Championship, but that is our motivation for the next season. With so many boats, it was a real pleasure to sail. As for the team from Strambapapá - kudos to them! Every race, we were neck-to-neck boats; it was a fight until the last moment, and I'm sorry that there was no sailing on the last day. We expected a lighter wind and hoped that at least one race would be held to squeeze Strambapapá a bit, but we didn't get that chance,” admitted Ante Ćesić, skipper of the Razjaren crew.
The final ranking results of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series will be announced on Wednesday, November 22.
CRO Melges 24 Cup is sailed with the partnership of Angelina Yacht Charter, Sailing Point, North Sails, One Sails, digital studio Akvarij, digital agency Raiser, regate.com.hr and EmergenSea. At the same time, ACI, Split Airport, Way Point, Sailing Forever, Marina Trogir, Bocel, Lanterna, Wild West, Vilim Halbarth also supported the Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship.
Top 3 of the Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship 2023:
1. Strambapapá ITA – Michele Paoletti – 6
2. Razjaren CRO (Croatian champion) – Ante Cesic – 7
3. Arkanoè by Montura ITA – Sergio Caramel – 12...
Top 3 of the Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship 2023 (Corinthian):
1. Forever G ITA – Andrea Totis – 36
2. Blue Label CRO (Croatian champion) – Hrvoje Petrovic – 38
3. Tutta Forza CRO – Niko Jakovcev – 41...
Top 3 of the CRO Melges 24 Cup 2023 results (7 events):
1. Panjić – Luka Sangulin – 22
2. Mataran 24 – Ante Botica – 27
3. Razjaren – Ante Cesic – 33...
Top 3 of the CRO Melges 24 Cup 2023 results (7 events) in the Corinthian division:
1. Tutta Forza – Niko Jakovcev – 64
2. Zen – Kolja Dumanic – 87
3. Blue Label – Hrvoje Petrovic – 95...