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12 April 2005, 03:43 pm
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Croatian Match Race Championship 2005
Split, Croatia

Olympian Mate ARAPOV (CRO) swept to victory in Split at the weekend in the ISAF Grade 3 Croatian Match Race Championship. ARAPOV remained undefeated in the final round robin to take the title.
Better known as a sailor in the Laser fleet and recently seen here in the ISAF Grade 3 Split Olympic Sailing Week where he finished second, ARAPOV was able to transfer his fleet racing skills into the match race arena. He lost just once during the competition, going down to Bojan VRSCAJ (CRO) in the initial round robin, to come away from Split with an impressive victory.

However it was not easy for ARAPOV. In the first stage round robin Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2004 Laser silver medallist, Tonci STIPANOVIC (CRO) finished level on points with him. However, the young sailors went on to have a disappointing final day losing four of his five flights.

After scraping through the first round robin on Saturday, Darko HAJDINJAK found his form in yesterday's second stage. Something had to give when he and ARAPOV met with perfect records in the penultimate flight, in a race that would decide the outcome of the title. It was experience that won out, with ARAPOV taking the race and title and leaving HAJDINJAK second overall. After being the only sailor unbeaten after the first stage, Tonci ANTUNOVIC (CRO) lost to both ARAPOV and HAJDINJAK in the second stage round robin but did enough to finish third overall.

ISAF. Image, Action from the first round robin:© YC Croatia
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