On the day Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, 14-year-old Sviatoslav Madonich and his coach Paulo Dontsov were competing in Valencia. Since then, they have not been able to return home. Nor has it been possible for the rest of the Ukrainian expedition led by Sviatoslav's father and consisting of a coach and seven sailors. They all now reside in Molfalcone, in the Italian region of Trieste. His coach, Paulo Dontsov, explains that his pupil is living a normal life with his two brothers and parents, focusing on sailing and studies at home, connecting every day online with his school in Ukraine.
Sviatoslav Madonich is one of the most promising sailors in the world of sailing. And this week he has continued to accumulate attention because at the age of 14, the Ukrainian has been proclaimed champion of the 71st Trofeo Ciutat de Palma, the oldest sporting competition in the Balearic Islands, against more than 300 rivals. In addition, he was sixth in the last Optimist World Championship and is, without a doubt, one of the best child sailors in a class with more than 400,000 sailors around the world. The dream of Sviatoslav, the last winner of the Silver Caravel of the RCNP, is "to represent my country (Ukraine) all over the world and, if possible, in the Olympic Games".
Madonich highlights the great organisation of the 71st Ciutat de Palma, a regatta in which he has participated for the first time. "The first day there was quite a lot of wind and I really enjoyed it. It was a great experience to come to Palma". Dontsov corroborates: "The level of the RCNP Committee is very good, there are high quality regattas here".