By Alexia Lahoud / 49er.org
Where sky meets the sea, just below Velebit mountain in Croatia, Zadar – hometown of Fantela brothers – this is where magic is happening. Sime and Mihovil Fantela, Croatian athletes in sailing 49er reached their record speed with the help of the Bora wind.
Croatian sailors Šime and Mihovil Fantela set their 49er record with a speed of 24 knots, achieved in a strong wind near their hometown of Zadar. Bora wind is the reason that roads going from inland to coastline are often closed during the winter.
While preparing for the new sailing season, Fantela brothers decided to take a challenge and try to tame the strong Croatian northerly wind called Bora, typical for the Adriatic sea.
The bora can cause extreme weather conditions and gusts from 100 km/h, but may reach up to 300 km/h during winter season, making it hurricane kind of wind. It’s dry, changeable, cold, and can reach faster speed in comparison to the other winds. Yet Šime and Mihovil decided to float out from the coast, during a strong bora which caused roads to be closed and locals to prefer staying in their homes.
Even though their equipment sustained some damage, the sailors from Zadar reached their goal and achieved their personal 49er record speed of 24 knots. That was the first time anyone from this class
successfully tamed the bora.
“It took us 15 attempts and in the end, we achieved our record speed of 24 knots, which is rare in our sport. In international competitions, you are not allowed to race in these conditions, because it’s dangerous. So we are proud we could sail successfully in this strong wind,” said Šime Fantela while celebrating their achievement.
After this challenge, Fantela brothers will continue to prepare for the most coveted 49er competitions, with big European regattas coming already in March and April.
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