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Star European Championship in Split, Croatia - Day 1

by Rachele Vitello 26 May 21:19 BST 24-29 May 2021

Day One of the 2021 Star European Championship in Split, Croatia, was just perfect for the 34 teams coming from 20 different nations.

The sea breeze filled in from the prevalent South-West, and it stabilized at 12-15 knots for perfect champagne sailing conditions. After a 30-minute postponement, two races were completed on the beautifully set course by JK Mornar Yacht Club, the organizing authority with the International Star Class.

Two clear starts and impeccable behavior from the fleet on the four-leg upwind-downwind races. The sea breeze dropped slightly during the second race, but never under 10 knots. The first bullet went to Flavio Favini / Nicolas Seravalle (ITA), followed by Mate Arapov / Ante Sitic (CRO) and Enrico Chieffi / Ferdinando Colanino (ITA), while the second race was won by Star Class President Hubert Merkelbach with Kilian Weise (GER), followed by Juan Kouyoumdjian (ARG) / Enrico Voltolini (ITA) and, third once again, Enrico Chieffi / Ferdinando Colaninno.

In the second race we saw a great comeback of local sailing hero Tonci Stipanovic, sailing with Tudor Bilic, he was aiming for the perfect pin-end start when he realized he was early and did not have enough room between him and the end of the line. He was forced to restart and crossed the line almost a minute later behind the rest of the fleet but was fifth at the downwind gate and finished the race in fourth. He is 12th overall due to a disastrous first race, in which he finished 24th.

"Very nice conditions on the first day of the European Championship, I had a great racing day with Kilian Weise, and I am looking forward to more sailing like this", Hubert Merkelbach commented when he realized he was the best of the day.

"Incredible first day, beautiful sea breeze, everything was perfect, and Split is a wonderful place to sail -- I am very glad I had good results today, but it is a very tough fleet, a lot of fun, but tough fleet", said Enrico Chieffi.

Tomorrow's forecast is for a repeat of today, with the first start scheduled for 13.00 local time and the live streaming tomorrow will be supported by graphic enhancements.

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