The best skier and one of the best Croatian athletes of all time rewrote history and became the first Croatian to participate in the Transatlantic regatta Transat Jacques Vabre

Ivica Kostelic, once one of the world’s best skiers, and today a passionate sailor, participated in the Transat Jacques Vabre sailing race and became the first Croatian to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean as a participant in this regatta. Ivica finished this race in the popular Class 40 in the company of his French partner Calliste Antoine, and the duo took an impressive 17th place in a fight with really strong competition. During this venture, they also had significant logistical support from ACI, which followed them vigilantly until the very end.

An endeavour for the most enduring

The Transat Jacques Vabre race is traditionally held in November and covers an extremely demanding route from western Europe all the way to South America. The 22-day voyage from Le Havre in France to the Caribbean island of Martinique was extremely physically and mentally demanding for the participants, and everything was further spiced up by the competitive character. Such an effort can only be withstood by experienced participants in top form, which was not a problem for Ivica, who has been dedicated to sports and demanding training all his life. As Ivica says, although the race was a great challenge for him, he is extremely proud of himself, but also of the whole team of people behind his valuable achievement. However, Ivica achieved his dreams with this feat, which in the end is the most important thing and what makes the whole ACI extremely happy, which is indescribably proud of this achievement of one of our best athletes of all time.
“Emotions are reciprocal to the effort, it is 22 days of not sleeping and driving a ship 100 per hour non-stop. It is first and foremost a continuous mental tension that I would compare to feeling like you have been playing chess for 22 days. It is called the “insomnia project” for a reason !. As for the overall ranking, we are very satisfied. My goal was to be in the first half of the fleet, ie in the first 20. We fulfilled the goal. We have a boat such that when we come to the horse race with new boats, we have no chance, so our advantage was brave sailing and good tactics, “said Ivica.

Historical success

Out of a total of 45 crews that were part of this year’s overseas race, the Croatian-French crew in the sailboat “Croatia Full of Life” sailed to the finish in the port of Fort de France in a high 17th place. . Among other things, Ivica attributes the credit for this top result to the cooperation and support of ACI, which has been a member of his sailing family for a long time. Ivica sailed a total of 7,100 kilometers in this regatta, which is not only time-consuming, but also one of the longest races in which he has participated so far. The tradition of holding a race in which competitors follow the routes of coffee traders has been going on for 28 years, and Ivica entered his name and the name of our country among the world legends of this sport by participating and successfully completing the competition.

Photos: Lean-Louis Carli / Alea


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