150 Sailors at Hvar's New Year Regatta

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The Hvar New Year Regatta remains the most important winter competition for sailors in small classes in Europe for over 40 years

Organised by the Zvir Sailing Club, Hvar saw the 41st edition of the International New Year Regatta for the Laser Standard, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7 and Optimist classes, with 150 sailors from 11 nations participating. The regatta was first held in 1975, prepared by the enthusiast Zdenko Roić, with the intent to prove the sunniest Croatian island is good for sailing in wintertime, at a time when the rest of Europe does not visit the sea. The regatta quickly became a regular New Year stop for the prestigious Europa Cup in the Laser class, and the only winter competition for the Optimist class.

Just ahead of the New Year, sailors from Croatia, Austria, Ukraine, Slovenia, Serbia, Germany, Slovakia, Italy, Latvia and Estonia took part, with four sailors from distant Qatar taking part for the first time in the Laser class. Fierce wind prevented sailing on the first day, but the weather was more benevolent in the next days, so each class had enough sailings to declare winners.

The best in the Optimist class was a sailor from the Šibenik Val club, Edo Fike, while victory in the Laser Standard class went to Valeriy Kudrayashov of Ukraine, the same feat managed by Stipe Gašpić from the Split Sailing Club in the Laser Radial, and Roko Stipanović from the Clivo Sailing Club in the Laser 4.7. The award ceremony was held in the Hvar town square, with the President of the European Laser Class Association Jean-Luc Michon and Hvar Mayor Rikardo Novak. Organisers from the Zvir Sailing Club especially thanked Hvar Town and the Hvar Tourism Board for the financial and logistical support, which helped the Hvar New Year Regatta remain the most important winter competition for sailors in small classes in Europe for over 40 years.

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