Ready, Steady, Split! Melges 24 Fleet Ready to Rock in Croatia
October 26, 2023 - Split, Croatia - After last year's event in Rovinj, the Melges 24 European Sailing Series is again taking place in Croatia. From Friday to Sunday (October 27 to 29), the Split Sailing Club hosts a regatta that counts towards the Melges 24 European Sailing Series and the CRO Melges 24 Cup. There are 21 crews from Croatia, Austria, Italy, and the United Kingdom participating, along with numerous Croatian sailing masters and Olympians such as Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, Karlo Kuret, Ante Botica, Enia Ninčević Dujmović, Tomislav Bašić, and Ante Ćesić, but also currently the third-placed team of the renewed Melges 24 European Sailing Series – Miles Quinton with Geoff Carveth steering his Gill Race Team from UK.
The International Melges 24 Class Association (IM24CA) has voted in favour of the Split Sailing Club to host the 2024 Melges 24 European Championship at the end of next September; this upcoming regatta of the European series presents an excellent opportunity for all crews to become familiar with the racecourse and weather conditions in the Adriatic, as well the club to get more familiar with the Melges 24 fleet and event requirements.
"With 21 registered crews, Split is the largest regatta in this year's European series. This fact speaks to the excellent work of the class, which has become a benchmark in Croatian sailing in just two years. I'm glad that Croatian Melges 24 regattas maintain a high standard of quality and the number of participants. I'm confident that our fleet will continue to grow, especially as the European Championship will be held in Split next year. Universitas Nova from Split is coming with a new boat and a slightly altered crew, so we view this regatta as a preparation for the 2024 European Championship, where we hope to achieve tangible results," said former Croatian Olympic sailor Ivan Kljaković Gašpić, the newest member of the Split Sailing Club.
With only two regattas left (Split and Trogir) in this year's CRO Melges 24 Cup, the competition for the overall series winner has intensified. Just two points separate the Biograd crew Panjić of Luka Šangulin, the 2021 series winner, from Trogir team Mataran 24 steered by Ante Botica, the current Corinthian World and European Champion, promising an exciting finish to Croatia's premier sailing competition.
Current standings of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series, counting in the five best results out of twelve events giving the points to the ranking, see 2022 Corinthian winner of the European Series, Hungarian Chinook of Akos Csolto on top with 114,2 points. A two-point margin separates Chinook from Michael Tarabochia’s White Room from Germany, the two-time Corinthian winner of the series. Miles Quinton’s Gill Race Team from the UK is trailing the leaders – he has 4,7 points to close the gap to the top, having this chance this upcoming weekend as the only team from the Top 3 racing in Split.
The highest-ranked Croatian team in the Melges 24 European Sailing Series is Luka Šangulin’s Panjić, currently sitting in the 8th position, while another above-mentioned Mataran 24, is in the 10th place. The winner of the recent regatta in Mornar, Lukasz Podniesinski’s Razjaren, steered by Ante Cesic, is in the 20th position, the third-ranked Croatian team, and has all chances to climb up since they joined the series with their new boat in June only.
Michael Tarabochia, the Member Europe of the IM24CA Executive Committee and owner of White Room GER677 is very happy on behalf of the international class about the development of the Melges 24 class in Croatia. “The enthusiasm is contagious, and the quality of the racing is impressive! In September next year, the European Championship will be held off Split. We are sure this place is a good choice and expect many participants from all parts of Europe and the US to come there!”
Ready to go on Friday at 11 a.m. with the first warning signal preceding the Skippers’ Meeting at 9 a.m. The series will count on nine races, with a discard to be considered after the end of the fourth race. One race must be completed for the event to be valid.
The CRO Melges 24 Cup is organised in partnership with Angelina Yacht Charter, Sailing Point, North Sails, One Sails, the digital studio Akvarij, the digital agency Raiser, regate.com.hr, and EmergenSea. The Melges 24 European series regatta in Split is supported by the Luki Baustoffe company.
Croatian Melges 24 Class will organise free outdoor storage for the boats between the October regattas and the Croatian Championship in Trogir in November. All Melges 24 teams are very welcome to come and race in Croatia! Boat storage to stay between the two final events of the season is free of charge.
Moreover, the storage options can be easily arranged if you want to stay in Croatia over the winter and start your next season early. Read more here.