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19 March 2006, 07:11 pm
Five Golds To Croatia
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Split Olympic Sailing Week 2006
Split, Croatia

Hosting six of the Olympic events, the ISAF Grade 2 Split Olympic Week has seen the home stars shine to claim five gold medals. With 10 nations competing, the Olympic Week has seen a varied weather system challenging the sailors.
Having upgraded itself from an ISAF Grade 3 in 2005 to Grade 2 this year, increased ranking points have been on offer to the top performing sailors.

49er

Noa NINČEVIĆ and Noa TOPIĆ took victory in the three-boat fleet, with 8 bullets from the 9 race series. In an all Croatian line-up, Bojan VRŠĆAJ and Sven FORENSE were second, with bothers Marko and Ivo MATIĆ in third.

470 Men

Croatia claimed the top 5 places in the men's event, in what was a very closely fought competition. But as would be expected it was the top ranked sailors in the fleet, Šime FANTELA and Igor MARENIĆ, who with a world ranking of 24 took victory.

470 Women

Only a three-boat fleet challenged this event, with the first place going to the unchallenged sisters, Teja and Alja ČERNE. A string of first places across the 7 races, gave them a points total of 6.

Finn

Closer than close for first and second place, with 14 points apiece for Croatia's Ivan KLJAKOVIĆ GAŠPIĆ and Marin MIŠURA, with GAŠPIĆ taking victory on countback. MIŠURA had led the series from the start and sailed an outstanding series, but victory was not to be his, with the discard wiping out the 17th place scored by GAŠPIĆ in race 4, to put the duo level.

Laser Radial

A great performance by Tina MIHELIĆ (CRO) accords her a first victory at an ISAF Graded event. She sailed a consistent and solid series, maintaining her lead from start to finish. An excellent result for Croatia who claimed the 1, 2 and 3 for the home nation.

Laser

The world's number three, Andreas GERITZER (AUT) certainly didn't have it all his own way in Split being fiercely challenged by Milan VUJASINOVIĆ (CRO) and Maciej GRABOWSKI (POL). The Croatian got off to an early lead, and held his cool with two bullets and a sixth giving him a five point lead in a top class fleet, which included three of the World's top five and Olympic silver and bronze medallists, and managed to maintain this position throughout.

There was all to play for in the final race, and VUJASINOVIĆ etched his name on the first place by a mere point , with GRABOWSKI and GERITZERon a tie which fell in favour of GRABOWSKI on countback.

Not such an impressive performance for the Olympic Silver medallist Vasilij ŽBOGAR who placed 9, in what was a very close fleet.

Equal disappointment for world ranked number 5, Mate ARAPOV (CRO) who got off to an excellent start in the first three races to sit in second overall, only to conclude his event with DNC in races 4, 5, 6, and 7 to place in 22 overall.

ISAF. Image, The 470s in action:© Stipe MARINOVIĆ
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