16th St. Nicholas Regatta Kicks off Tomorrow
The 16th St. Nicholas Regatta begins Sunday 3rd December. Here to tell us about it is Lari Lulić – the newest member to the growing TCN team. Lari is a professional journalist holding a Master’s degree in journalism; for the last 10 years, he has been ‘learning the ropes’ in the sailing world, covering sailing events, the boating industry and all manner of topics related to the yachting world and tourism. Lari was so keen to get cracking with a story, that we received his first article before his author bio, you can look forward to more from Lari over the coming months, in the meantime, on to the St. Nicholas Regatta…
Six duos and one single have so far applied to participate in the St. Nicholas regatta that’s about to kick off on Sunday at 10 am. The regatta is organised by the sailing club Mornar from Split and is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors and of Komiža town.
The 160-nautical mile regatta starts in Split and will first take the contenders to Stipanska islet near Šolta, then to Glavat reef near Lastovo and around Palagruža to the finish line in Komiža. Considering the forecast calls for slight to moderate wind, it’s estimated it will take anywhere from 24 to 36 hours for the sailors to complete the challenging route.
This is the 16th edition of the St. Nicholas regatta, which used to be a solo-sailing race up until three years ago and the single one of its kind on the Adriatic. Organisers have since decided to allow two-member crews to participate as well, to attract more potential contenders and to enforce better safety measures. At the same time, the route was modified to make for a more challenging race. Since the regatta takes place in winter conditions and at the open sea, while the boats only have one or two people at the helm, organisers will pay special attention to the participants’ safety and equip all boats with a tracking system that will enable their individual locations to be tracked in real time. The fleet will also have accompanying safety boats on their voyage from Split to Komiža.
The only solo-sailor about to depart from Split on Sunday is Miha Dolinar from Slovenia (Muca Maca), a regular when it comes to the St. Nicholas regatta. Sailing duos include last year’s winners Toni Mulaja and Krešimir Đakulović (Ola), Duško Tomić and Bruno Gjidera (Munjek), Mario Hrvoj and Frane Brate (Toto Travel), Tomislav Gomerčić and Mato Mužević (Svibor), Lamjana Jurčec and Matko Perharić (Fangac), and Ante Rnjak and Nikola Barić (Abracadabra). Owing to its superior performance and the experienced crew, the Ola boat stands out as this year’s favourite.
Credit: JK Mornar, Ola yacht
The regatta saw six solo sailors last year, including three contenders of this year’s Mini Transat: Croats Slobodan Velikić and Vedran Kabalin were joined by Pavel Roubal from the Czech Republic. It’s also worth noting that Šime Stipaničev, the first Croatian sailor to complete the Mini Transat ten years ago,
carried out his first solo sailing attempts at the St. Nicholas regatta.
On Saint Nicholas’ Day, December 6, all sailors will take part in a procession honouring their patron saint. As tradition dictates, the procession will end in a ceremonial event of a wooden ship getting set ablaze in front of the St. Nicholas church in Komiža.
Author: Lari Lulic, Photo credit: JK Mornar