Stipanović and Lulić New Croatian Sailing Champions

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Credit: Hrvoje Duvančić / regate.com.hr

At the Croatian Olympic Class Championship held for the past four days in Split, titles of Croatian champions for seniors were taken by Tonči Stipanović in the Laser Standard class and Sandra Lulić in the Laser Radial class

New state champions in two versions of the Laser class are members of the Split sailing club Mornar, also the host of the championship. Sandra Lulić is also the junior champions, while the junior champion in the Laser class is Stipe Gašpić from the Split Sailing Club. On the last day of the championship, three sailings were held in difficult conditions to make up for the previous day, when stormy southern winds prevented sailing, with a total of six sailings. Tonči Stipanović was confident on domestic turf: in five sailings he scored two first and one second place, so he did not even have to sail in the last sailing.

The silver Olympian from the Games in Rio de Janeiro now holds eight consecutive titles of state champion in Laser class. The second place, trailing by nine points, was taken by another silver Olympian, but from London – Cypriot Pavlos Kontides, while the third place in the national competition was taken by Filip Jurišić, also from the Mornar club.

There were a total of 22 sailors competing in Laser class, 11 from six Croatian clubs and 11 from abroad. In the women’s Olympic Laser Radial competition were 10 sailors, nine from Croatia and Kim Pletikos from Slovenia (second in total). Sandra Lulić was also very convincing in the national championship, winning all six sailings. This Mornar sailor was born in 1998, confirming once again she is the most likely candidate for the Tokyo Olympics, since Tina Mihelić withdrew from Olympic sailing in this cycle.

With a total of 32 participants in only two Olympic classes, this year’s Open Championship of Croatia was one of the more modest ones. It is regretful the dates coincided with the European Finn Class Championship regatta in Cadiz. The three best Croatian Finn class sailors participated, Josip Olujić and Nenad Bugarin from the Labud club and Milan Vujasinović from the Split club. Labud’s sailors led by coach Tonči Antunović did well in Spain: competing against 91 sailors Olujić was eighth in total and fifth in Europe, while Bugarin came in 16th, 12th in Europe, two positions above Milan Vujasinović.

After the state championship and European Finn Class Championship, Croatian sailors are moving on to Palma on Mallorca, where a strong regatta for all Olympic classes will begin at the end of March. Šime and Mihovil Fantela will compete in the 49er class, with high expectations in this Olympic cycle.

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