World Champion Wins With Two Races To Spare
Optimist South American Championships
Sime Fantela of Croatia has won the South American Open Optimist Championship with two races to spare and a perfect 10 points from 10 races.
Sime has an extraordinary talent, evoking memories of Jordi Calafat, Ben Ainslie and Serge Kats. At age 12 in 1998 he took bronze at the Worlds to become one of the youngest medallists ever. After a 12th place in 1999 he came back to win gold last summer. He has now demolished the formidable South American competition including last year's Worlds silver medallist Lucas Calabrese (ARG) and the new "closed" South American champion Bernardo Luz (BRA).
The second discard enabled his compatriot Igor Marenic, 5th at last year's Worlds, to take bronze. Lower down the order mention must be made of Jesse Kirkland from Bermuda. His country only started to compete internationally in Optimists some three years ago and 12th place in this distinguished company is a fine reward for all the effort that has gone in since then.