Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic won gold in the men's 470 class at the European Championship 2009 which was held at Traunsee Lake, Austria on Sunday.
Fantela and Marenic, both 23, are the youngest of the top five ranked crews. They had their Olympic debut in the 2008 Olympic sailing competition, where they finished in ninth position. As stars of the youth scene, they had won the 470 class Junior World title in 2005 and 2007, and with the European’s title of 2009, the two 23 year olds have scored their first major success on the senior circuit.
“This is the most excellent feeling we’ve had so far in sailing,” Fantela said. “It’s our first major victory. It was extremely difficult this week, but the Race Committee did a fantastic job under this hard conditions. It is far easier for us to sail on the sea. Here on the Traunsee you need a good eye for wind shifts and a lot of routine. We gave our maximum every day and every race. This result is a confirmation for us and our trainers that we are all going in the right direction.”
Thirty nations participated in total in the Open 470 Class European Championships Men/Mixed and Women, and both events were represented by nations from five continents.