ACI Marina Rovinj
The host of this year’s class RC44 race was the most modern among the ACI marinas, perfect choice for this celebration of yachting skills and exclusive tourism
We all know who influencers are – people or groups wielding their mighty social media swords to advertise, represent or otherwise bring attention to whatever they want. ACI Marina Rovinj may not be a person or a group, but is definitely an influencer. The minds behind the Adriatic yachting hot-spot have been honing its reputation for thirty years, ever since the 1980s, when first ACI marinas started sprouting all along the coast. Right about that time, the ACI team had a vision of annual regattas bringing the biggest yachting talent to the Adriatic. Late Veljko Barbieri, founder of ACI, saw his dream come true in 1987 with the ACI Match Race Cup concept coming to life. Croatia turned into an international racing hot-spot over night, and during the nine years that the marina Rovinj hosted the prestigious race, Istra welcomed the biggest and most famous names in competitive sailing – Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour, Paul Cayard and other big guns readily accepted invitations to race in the ACI Match Race Cup, as the races enjoyed reputation of an impeccably organized event. In addition to that, that part of the Adriatic is known for optimal racing conditions and now legendary after-race parties. All those little bits came together in a perfect event and put the name ACI on the yachting map of the world – not many are aware of this, but ACI regattas in Rovinj, Dubrovnik, Umag and Split were among the very first series regattas that now take place in many exotic locations.
In its 26-race run, ACI Match Race Cup firmly put Croatia on the map, as the place that saw in action winners of America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, winner of Olympic medals and famous international races. In the 21st century, in 2011, 2012 and 2019, ACI Marina Rovinj hosted class RC44 races and proved once again sailing is deeply ingrained in their DNA, but this time with a modern twist on the event. More than just a prestigious sporting event, the races are now part of a wide-ranging and varied tourist menu of the country and a significant factor in promoting its appeal among yachting enthusiasts and tourists in general. After this year’s Adris 44Cup race, hosted with ACI Marina Rovinj as partner, the town of Rovinj and Croatia have confirmed they remain interesting as a yachting destination. ‘The Rovinj race was wonderful, we’ll remember it forever. Those beautiful four days in Croatia gave us a chance to experience a new-generation racing event. These days, regattas are more than just a sporting event: once the competition is over, we all come ashore and mingle, get to know each other and enjoy the accompanying events. Adris and ACI were spectacular hosts. I consider this race the best in the class and I always have – and I say that as someone who has been with the 44Cup for 13 years. You are setting the bar really high. All the other owners are just as delighted as I am, and we will all share this successful yachting story with our business partners and friends. Many yachting legends, yachting influencers ideal for promotion of this type of events, share my opinion’, said Mr. Chris Bake, one of the many successful businessmen who took part in the Rovinj race and president of the 44Cup. The most modern among the ACI marinas – and for many, the most beautiful – ACI Marina Rovinj boasts beautiful and functional design, and advanced technological solutions that put it firmly among the most elite international yachting destinations. The most expensive investment ACI have ever made, the 5-anchor marina combines beauty, luxury, innovation and safety in the pinnacle of yachting excellence.
Photos by Peter Fabijan & Nico Martinez Studio