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Grand Finale of the CRO Melges 24 Cup 2023 in Trogir - Preview

by International Melges 24 Class Association 17 Nov 13:32 GMT 17-19 November 2023
Melges 24 fleet in Trogir - Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2023, CRO Melges 24 Cup 2023, Trogir May 2023 ©

The grand finale of this year's CRO Melges 24 Cup season will be sailed from November 17 to 19 in Trogir.

As befits the end of the current most substantial Croatian sailing competition, as many as twenty-seven crews from Croatia, Italy, Hungary, and Great Britain entered the Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship.

The closing of the European season in the Melges 24 class, organized by the Yacht Club Trogir, carries with it huge stakes, so it is not surprising that there was a great turnout of sailors at the last regatta, where from Friday to Sunday, three prestigious titles will be decided:

  • the winner of the CRO Melges 24 Cup 2023,
  • the Melges 24 Croatian Champion 2023, and
  • the winner of the Melges 24 European Sailing Series 2023.

"I'm happy that our Croatian class is constantly growing in all directions. This is also shown by the many top foreign crews that arrived at the regatta. The complete start list in Trogir is a real 'All-Star' as far as one design sailing is concerned in Croatia and beyond," explained Croatian sailor Tomislav Bašic.

After six regattas of this year's CRO Melges 24 Cup, the showdown at the O.K. Trogir will be between Biograd's Panjic of Luka Šangulin and Trogir's Mataran 24 with Ante Botica steering the boat. A one-point advantage for Panjic means tension until the very end, as double points are awarded at the last cup regatta.

"We know we have a slight advantage but are not worried about the points. In the nine scheduled races, anything can happen. If we beat Mataran 24 at sea, on their home field, then we deserve the title," said Tomislav Bašic.

The local Mataran 24 crew Mataran 24 won the title at the Open Croatian Championship in Zadar last year. On the eve of this regatta, they received an award from the city of Trogir for numerous sporting successes in the Melges 24 class over the past year. With two golds (WC and EC in the Corinthian division) and silver and bronze in the overall ranking at the Europeans and Worlds, Mataran 24 is the world's most successful crew in one of the most popular one-design classes.

"Only when we watched the video material at the ceremony did we become aware of our successes. Thank you to the city of Trogir for the award! It's always nice when your hard work and medals are recognized at home. On the eve of this last regatta, we have a little bit of positive trepidation because of the home field, but that too will pass as soon as the sailing starts," said the helmsman of Mataran 24, Ante Botica.

Another novelty that CRO Melges 24 Class in Trogir will present for the Croatian regattas are the intelligent electric buoys brought to the Adriatic by Croatian sailor in class ILCA 7, and former Croatian Melges 24 Chairman, Filip Jurišic.

"In the last couple of years, these buoys have made a big step forward for regatta organizers. All major world sailing competitions use them. I am proud that for the first time in the Adriatic, we will present the buoys at the strongest Croatian sailing competition,' emphasized Filip Jurišic.

The Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship will give the final points to the 2023 Melges 24 European Sailing Series ranking. Miles Quinton's Gill Race Team (GBR) is leading the pack with 120.5 points, while the second is Chinook of Akos Csolto (HUN) with 114.2 points, and Michael Tarabochia's White Room (GER) with 112.2 points is third. Mataran 24, with Ante Botica at the helm, is fourth, trailing White Room less than 8 points behind, while Luka Šangulin's Panjic is rounding up the Top 5, less than one point separating from Mataran 24. The winner of the Split regatta, Lukasz Podniesinski's Razjaren, steered by Ante Cesic, is rounding up the Top Ten. It will be interesting to see what the series' final event will bring to the final rankings by Sunday.

Entry List of the Trogir event - 27 entries:

Orage, The Pimp, Makako 24, OBI-WAN, Amor, Cezibordo, Zen, SHE, Palmina, Tutta Forza, Mataran 24, Razjaren 2, Panjic, Fjonda, Point One, Universitas Nova, Joyrunner, Blue Label, Sugar Daddy, Razjaren (all Croatia); Forever G, Strambapapá, Arkanoè by Montura, Zuxu, Daito Nano (all Italy); Chinook (Hungary); Gill Race Team (Great Britain).

CRO Melges 24 Cup is sailed with the partnership of Angelina Yacht Charter, Sailing Point, North Sails, One Sails, digital studio Akvarij, digital agency Raiser, and EmergenSea. At the same time, ACI, Split Airport, Way Point, Sailing Forever, Marina Trogir, Bocel, Lanterna, Wild West, Vilim Halbarth also supported the Melges 24 Croatian Open Championship.

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