Lateen Sails Regatta This Weekend on Murter
Tomorrow, September 29th 2017, marks the day of the Patron Saint Mihovil (Michael) on Murter and also the “Dani Latinskog Idra” (Days of the Lateen Sail).
19 years ago, Dr. Vladimir Skračić came up with an idea that along with the anniversary of the Patron Saint a regatta should be held to recognise the vessels that marked the life of Murter, the idea and event was then spearheaded by a group of enthusiasts led by Željko Jerat who embarked on a journey similar to their ancestors.
The Lateen Sail is a triangular sail mounted at an angle on the mast, running in the fore-and-aft direction. It was a revolutionary design as it allowed sailors to sail in upwind AND downwind conditions, not only downwind. It has been theorised that the first Lateen Sail originated during the early Roman Empire and it became the favourite sail during the Age of Discovery, between the 15th and 18th Century. t was particularly popular in the Mediterranean and soon became the recognisable identity of Kornati. The Lateen Sail was used longer in Murter than any other Adriatic island as a matter of practicality for the ease of manoeuvring to surrounding islands – Kornati, Zut, Sit – making the inhabitants of Murter seamen at heart and by trade.
The Murter Regatta “Latinsko Idro” is organised every year on the day of the Patron Saint Michael in honour of their ancestors, to preserve this tradition and heritage. The Lateen Sail from Murter differs slightly by its sharp upper sail, giving better maneuverability, particularly around smaller islands and islets.
The Regatta has grown over the years in the number of boats and participants and it now has its own association “Udruga Latinsko Idro Murter-Betina” (Association Lateen Sail Murter-Betina), this is chaired by the passionate Zeljko Jerat who was a driving force in getting it started all those years ago. Since 2006 the event has also been accompanied by a rich cultural, educational and entertainment program – which kick-started at the beginning of this month on September 8th, 2017; making 20 days of festivities.
The closing of the 20-day celebrations, is of course, the regatta where participants sail in three categories of traditional boats: leut, kaić and gajeta and they sail the old Murter farmers’ routes. While there are prizes, the main objective of the regatta is a firm nod to tradition and to encourage youth, experience, and pride. All are welcome to participate and it is even encouraged that children should be aboard as this regatta is for education as well as anything.
Tomorrow, Friday 29th September 2017, the Feast of Saint Mihovil begins at 10.45 am with a procession which is followed by the Malo Latinsko Idro Regatta at 4 pm. On Sunday, 1st October a brass orchestra will kickstart the main event at 9.30 am and there will be a welcome speech by the President of Croatia at 10 am, the Latinsko Idro Regatta will begin at 3 pm which will be followed by an award ceremony and entertainment in the evening.
Read the full program of the following days here – good luck and “mirno more” to all competitors!