August 21, 2020 - Montenegrin sailing now has another ambassador, who will most likely be among the top ranked in Europe and the world for the Laser class in years to come. His name is Nikola Golubović, a 15 year-old who these days is among the best European competitors in the Laser 4.7 class, with an excellent performance in Vilamoura, where he managed to place in the gold group among 107 competitors. The competition lasts until Friday, and Nikola's coach, Ilko Klakor, hopes that Nikola will be among the 20 best in Europe.
The current champion of the Balkans and Montenegro, Nikola Golubović, managed to take the 35th place during the three qualifying days, achieving his primary goal and, together with 54 other sailors, continued the fight in the gold group for the best ranking in Europe.
"He is a competitor with an exceptional character, a guy who has been dedicated to sailing since early childhood. We saw best what talent he had last year in Tivat when Nikola managed to overcome rivals from 12 Balkan countries and take the podium without major competition," head coach of the Delfin Sailing Club, Ilija Ilko Klakor, proudly points out.
"Nikola achieved our primary goal at the European Championships - he managed to place in the gold group and continue in the competition, which is a great success for a young sailor whose time is yet to come. I have every reason to believe that in the coming days, he will be able to improve his ranking and become one of the top 20 European sailors in the Laser 4.7 class," says Klakor from Vilamoura.
"All national teams in the strongest lineup come to the European and world championships because these are the most important regattas of the year. Nikola Golubović is competing with the best-ranked names from the EURILCA rankings. Initially, over 400 sailors registered for the competition. That number was halved due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and about 100 male and about 80 female competitors finally gathered in Portugal. So, our Nikola has ahieved notable success among the best," explains Klakor, who has been working as the head coach of the most trophy-winning Montenegrin sailing club for years.
Although Nikola's competitors have had an advantage because, unlike competitors from Montenegro, they have had freedom of movement and this season already have several big competitions behind them, Klakor believes that the hopes for success he has for his young competitor are not unrealistic.
The first day in the gold group brought unstable conditions on the regatta field, and Nikola showed character. After a bad race in the first regatta, he managed to take 16th place in the second, and ended the day 35th. He has two more days, four more regattas ahead of him, and enough opportunities to break close to the European top in the powerful competition.
For a young competitor who has gained most of his sailing experience in the Bay of Kotor's peaceful waters, sailing conditions are an additional challenge. According to Ilko Klakor, the conditions are very dynamic. The wind is constantly changing direction from 30 to 40 degrees, which is exciting for observers, but very demanding for competitors, says Klakor.
Golubović won the ninth and 12th place in the competition of 107 sailors from Europe on the first day, added the third place and one penalty on the second day, which was deleted as the weakest result, while on the third day he did not do well on the required regatta field and ended at 39th place, so dropped from 14th place to 35th.
The European Championship in the Laser 4.7 class continues tomorrow. Currently, Premislav Mahovski from Poland is in first place, second is Jason Kefalonitis from Greece, and Marcos Altariba from Spain is in third.