31 May, 2015
Adriatic Lagoon Regatta 2015
Year four, grade A
This year’s edition of the race was filled with French flair, thanks to its joining the Rendez-vous event, lifting the bar to another level – in particular the level of enjoyment of this year’s regatta, won by the crew of ‘Mala’, a catamaran with Dario Marjan at the helm
The Adriatic Lagoon Regatta 2015 again took place at the very beginning of May. The contestants took their old route, across Maslinica to Pakleni Otoci and Hvar during two days of races and a one day competition-free program. We did however notice a number of new features to this competition which, due to its successful blend of socializing, hedonism and sailing, is quickly turning into one of the most significant nautical events in the Adriatic. The race has entered the event list at the Rendez-vous, a French-Croatian friendship happening, from May to October in Croatia, as the first event of this type in Split-Dalmatia County, a few days before revealing Rodin’s ‘Meditation’ in the Meštrović Gallery in Split. The regatta was visited by a very dear guest, the French Ambassador Mrs Michèle Boccoz, and as a special treat for the visitors, there was the young French chef Vivien Durand on the second night of the race. On the terrace of the Martinis Marchi castle the competitors enjoyed fine French delicacies, masterfully prepared by Chef Durand using Croatian ingredients and pairing them with Croatian wines. It was clear from the very entree all the way to the dessert why Chef Durand has been winning Michelin stars for two consecutive years, with the ambition of increasing the number of stars in the near future. This most pleasant evening was enriched by Ana Opačak, a young Croatian musician, adding 80’s and 90’s hits to French chancon. The sailing on that first day was not nearly as lovely as the evening gastronomic experience, but the race took place nevertheless. A good strength Sirocco was blowing, but could not break through the Brac Channel, where the catamarans had been waiting to start. The race course was therefore moved towards Maslinica, and the start was accompanied by a very light wind, with moderate Sirocco starting near the end of the day, so the sailboats crossed the finish line with a 15 to 18 knot wind. The winner of the day, and a surprise to everybody, was the crew of Lagoon 400 Bay Dreamer, owned by Igor Žunković, taking the overall win on corrected time. The second day offered excellent sailing conditions, despite the forecast. A light east wind was blowing along the Šolta coastline at the beginning of the race, and the catamarans again caught the moderate Sirocco, which due to the sun has weakened a little and turned to the right, but the sailing boats managed to arrive to the finish line just in front of Pakleni Otoci. This time the win went to the crew of ‘Mala’ with skipper Dario Marjan, strengthened by our famous racing yachtsman Karlo Kuret. Exceptional sailing on that day brought ‘Mala’ the overall win of the regatta. The sailboats then left for ACI Marina in Palmižana, and the evening program continued in a slightly refurbished restaurant of Toto’s with Đenko Meneghello. The yachtsmen surrendered to the delicacies prepared by Đenko and his team, enjoying the spectacular views of the Vinogradišće bay. The official award ceremony was held that evening, as well as a raffle, and the guests were entertained by DJ Feđa of Split until early morning hours. To conclude this very successful event there was a brunch at the Gariful restaurant in Hvar, and the walk through the streets of Hvar town, probably the most popular Croatian nautical tourist destination. Although it was hard to top the past editions of this extremely successful race, the organizer did it again, and we congratulate them on all the effort and perfect performance. We are looking forward to the next year and the first jubilee of this splendid happening – the fifth anniversary of the unique party under the catamaran sails – one of a kind worldwide.