A new record for Melges 24 in Biograd!
March 10, 2023 - Biograd, Croatia - At the start of this year's second CRO Melges 24 Cup regatta, there will be 18 crews and about 80 sailors in Biograd
Biograd once again raises the bar for CRO Melges 24 Cup regattas. After 10 boats at the premiere two years ago and 14 boats last year, as many as 18 crews from Croatia and Ukraine and about 80 sailors will take part in the Biograd CRO Melges 24 Cup organized by JK Briva this weekend.
‘The first historic regatta in this class was held in Biograd in 2021. Now, in the third season, we have reached an impressive figure of 18 crews at the start. That's more than 80 percent of the Croatian fleet and an indication that Melges 24 on the Adriatic is a project that brings together the best of sailing,' proud is Luka Šangulin, a member of the regatta's organizing committee.
The new season in Dubrovnik was best opened by the crew of Mataran 24, but in the previous two editions of the Biograd CRO Melges 24 Cup, the podium was reserved only for the home crew of Panjić. They do not plan to be hospitable hosts on the regatta field this year either.
"Big surprises are possible in such a large fleet, Mataran 24 arrives as the favorite, but I hope that Panjić will be the one to lift the winner's trophy on Sunday", believes Panjić' member Tomislav Bašić.
At the helm of the Mataran 24 is Ante Botica, whose crew last year won the European title in the Corinthian division in Genoa and the Croatian title in Zadar.
"Panjić was the boss in Biograd for the time being, and Tomislav Bašić also told us that the winner of the regatta pays for everyone's dinner, so we will think about whether we want to spend," jokes Botica and adds: "We are slowly getting used to our new role. We went from being hunters to being hunted in a few months, and everyone started declaring us favorites. We will try to justify that status at sea'.
Among the many Croatian Olympians who entered the Melges 24 class is Enia Ninčević, winner of European silver in the 49er FX class. He returns to the cockpit of Melges exactly one year later.
'Has it been that long since the last regatta in Biograd? To us, Cezibordo is a family project where we combine socializing and good racing. Noa and Ivan are a well-coordinated crew, but without dad there is nothing,' explains Enia.
And dad is Srđan Ninčević who, even in his retirement years, regularly sails in Melges regattas.
'It's a good sailing story. The concentration of quality in one place is huge. Because of the top sailing names, every Melges regatta in Croatia is like a mini World Championship,' says Srđan.
The combination of more experienced sailors and young forces is a successful formula that CRO Melges 24 Cup has been pushing from the very beginning. Some of these 'young lions' will appear on board Universitas Nova, which won the title of overall winner of the CRO Melges 24 Cup last year. In Biograd, they will be without Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, so Marin Golem will take the helm.
"We are coming with a reduced team, without our armatore Ivan, but we will fight for the best possible placement", announced Marin.
Six boats were entered in the Corinthian competition, among them the female crew SHE.
Biograd CRO Melges 24 Cup is held on March 11-12 with the partnership of Angelina Yacht Charter, Sailing Point, North Sails, One Sails, digital studio Akvarij, digital agency Raiser, regate.com.hr and the city of Biograd.
Entrants: Orage, Iggy, Obi-Wan, Amor Wave, Yikes, Cezibordo, Zen, SHE, Palmina, Tutta Forza, Mataran 24, Barmaley, Razjaren, Panjić, Fjonda, PointOne, Universitas Nova, Joyrunner.