A great sailing weekend in Opatija brought together a record 24 crews and brought together two of the most numerous Melges 24 European nations – Croats and Italians
On the first weekend of April, ACI marina Opatija in cooperation with Yacht Club Croatia hosted the third edition of the Opatija CRO Melges 24 Cup. The last in a series of regattas from the strongest and most competitive series in Croatia brought together a record 24 crews, among which the largest number of vessels were from Croatia, followed by Italy, Hungary and Slovenia. The most successful in both competitions at this year’s Opatija regatta was the Hungarian Chinook crew, the current winner of the European Melgesa 24 series in the Corinthian division. The best placed Croatian crews won second place – Panjić in the overall order and Zen in the Corinthian division.
Excellent results of the Croatian crews at the most numerous Croatian Melges regatta to date
Ideal weather conditions in Kvarner on April 1 and 2 brought together 13 Croatian, nine Italian and one Hungarian and Slovenian boat. Along with top Croatian sailors and former and current Olympians such as Karl Kuret, Enia Ninčević and Tomislav Bašić, the current European champion in Melges 24 – Trogir’s Mataran 24 with helmsman Anto Botica and the current winner of the European Series in Melges 24 were also present at the start of the regatta. and the winner of this regatta, the Hungarian Chinook. The best-ranked Croatian crew was second, and it is the Panjić crew, led by Luka Šangulin in the overall standings, while Zen, under the helm of Koljo Dumanić, also took second place in the Corinthian division. “With the Hungarians and Slovenians, who are also coming, we have become a real international regatta, a real “League of Champions” as the Croatian Melgesa regatta is often called,” said Petar Smojver, one of the organizers from YC Croatia, and at the same time sent special thanks to ACI .
Ideal conditions worthy of the Champions League
After Biograd, which gathered 18 sailing crews, the third edition of the Opatija CRO Melges 24 Cup broke all records for the number of boats in one regatta. During the two days that the regatta lasted, five sailings were held, and the early morning departure from the ACI marina Opatija in order to make the best possible use of the Tramuntana from Volosca earned special sympathy among the sailors. “The sports part of the regatta was phenomenal. From the competition, the race committee to the weather conditions, everything worked perfectly, and I think that sailing at the crack of dawn was an absolute experience. As a sailor, I am particularly pleased that Croatia has started to exploit its potential for organizing top-class regattas”, said Tomislav Bašić, a member of the Panjić crew, thereby once again confirming the high level of competitiveness of the sailing races in which ACI participates as co-organizer and host.
In addition to Croatian crews, which are increasing in number every year, the Opatija regatta attracts an increasing number of foreign sailors. “Opatija CRO Melges 24 Cup in its third edition was a real sailing spectacle. Melges 24, as one of the world’s most popular one-design classes, attracts numerous foreign crews and promotes our Riviera in a beautiful way,” said Davor Jelača, one of the organizers from Yacht Club Croatia, who on this occasion thanked ACI and all friends and sponsors. of this event.
The continuation of the Croatian sailing “League of Champions”, the CRO Melges 24 Cup, will be hosted by ACI Marina Trogir from May 5 to 7.
Photos: Hrvoje Duvančić / regate.com.hr