Congratulations to the JKU Team representing Croatia! – 2nd place in the Monaco Optimist Team Race

After several months of hard training, Una Krivic (11 years old), Ema Grabar (12 years), Luka Pahljina (14 years old) and Edi Jurman (14 years old), from the JKU sailing club in Pula, Croatia, managed to be selected among the best worldwide Optimist race teams to attend the Monaco Optimist Team race for the first time in club’s history.

The four promising young competitors arrived on Wednesday 12th January in Monaco with their coach Dario Kliba and Petra Kliba as team leader, firmly convinced that missing the podium was not an option!

DEEP Blue had the great pleasure to meet with all of them, discovering a very charming team made of four passionate competitors. Highly motivated to enter this challenging world of sailing competition, Luka has been sailing for already five years, Edi and Ema for four and Una for three years.

Ema and Und are currently Croatian Champions in their division. At the same time, Edi and Ema were part of the Croatian National Team at the Europeans and Worlds and together have won the Croatian Championship in Team racing, while Ema was 4th at the European team Race in 2021.

Before the competition started, the team agreed that the two main elements to ensure great teamwork in the Monaco competition were communication and support. It was surprising to see how mature these four determined competitors could be, with tactics and racing strategy in their small fingers and ready to challenge other teams.

Today DEEP Blue would like to congratulate all of them and their coach for their effort and perseverance in these four days of sailing, teamwork and fun. They have overcome the challenge by finishing in second place, just behind the US National Team, which shows how talented these great kids can be. It is also to be noticed that they were one of the few teams in the race composed of two girls and two boys, ideally in line with the world’s gender equality.

It has been an honour for DEEP Blue to support this fantastic team in this great competition, and we wish them all the best in their following challenges!

Benoit Faure