About a dozen regattas held in the Croatian part of the Adriatic are international. Most of them are sailed between Italian and Croatian towns, like the famous Rovinj-Pesaro-Rovinj Regatta. There are also dozens of sponsors’ regattas and a unique ladies’ regatta – Teuta – sailed just off of Zadar. If you want to feel like you’re “gone with the wind”, choose one among the widespread offer!
Among such demanding regattas with a long history is also the day-and-night Galijola Race, which sails from the town of Opatija to Galijola, an islet with a lighthouse at the southern end of the Bay of Kvarner. First enjoy the view from the sea and then from the lighthouse!
The Demanding One
Also demanding is the Jabuka Regatta, which is sailed in mid-November from the town of Vodice to the 45-mile distant magical volcanic island of Jabuka – a rocky cone in the middle of the Adriatic, and back. The start of the regatta is before midnight, and the target island must be reached within the ten-hour limit. Sounds like a real challenge, doesn’t it?
If that isn’t enough for you, we have two even more demanding courses that are aimed solely for professional crews, both starting from Split. The first is the Sušac Regatta for two-person crews, who must sail to a small island between Vis and Lastovo and back. The other, regarded by sailors as the most challenging, is the Sv. Nikola (St Nicholas) Singles’ Regatta. In honour of this patron saint of sailors, one-man crews sail on the route to Palagruža, an island closer to the Italian than to the Croatian coast, and then to the near-mythical fishermen’s port of Komiža.
Mr. & Ms. Popularity
Split is also the starting point of the two most popular regattas in Croatia. One is Mrduja, open to all possible types of sailboats. The winner is the boat that first turns around the island of Mrduja in the Gate of Split and gets back to Split. The other most popular race is the Vis Regatta, a 70-year-old race from Split to the island of Vis.
Their popularity and massive participation is only matched by the Fiumanka Regatta of the city of Rijeka. It is a series of smaller introductory regattas lasting for a week in June before the city shoreline, topped by the main race on Saturday, in which over a hundred boats take place. What a view to enjoy from another sailboat, the coast, or the air!
The Rock Stars
Don’t forget about the Lošinj and South Dalmatian regattas and their long histories. The first day of the Lošinj Regatta is a navigation race from the city port to the island of Susak, then to the island of Ilovik and back, while the second day is a race around the ports within the almost two-mile-long port of Mali Lošinj. The South Dalmatian regatta is exclusively navigational and sails in three stages – on the first day from the town of Orebić in the Pelješac Peninsula to the village of Pomena on the island of Mljet, on the second day to Prožura, the southernmost port on the island, and on the third day to the city of Dubrovnik. This tour sounds better than any band tour, if you ask us!
The Best for Last
There are two more regattas that are worth special mention. One is the Easter Regatta, which attracts the best-known Croatian sailors and comprises several races and stages over three days in front of the shoreline of the town of Hvar. The other is the Krčka Jedra Regatta, organized by the oldest sailing club in this part of the Adriatic, the Plav of the town of Krk, founded in 1876. You can literally sail through history with this one!
Now comes the tough question – which one will you choose?