- by Andrea Maslovar
Winners of the 7th Thousand Islands Race are Austrian Christian Phann and his crew onboard of Austrian yacht Vento Cadela. The first leg was slowest among seven editions of Thousand Islands Race. On Thursday 26th September at noon, the second leg started from Porto Montenegro, under 2-3 knots of wind. It was just enough to slowly pull the fleet out of Boka Kotorska Bay, with the hope that wind will strengthen around Dubrovnik. On the entire course the speed of the boat didn’t exceed 6-7 knots. The whole leg required participants patience and skills to find the wind under challenging conditions. During the race Austrian Vento Cadela, Slovenian Macropus and Slovakian Lucia X were neck to neck in the alternating lead, never more than one NM apart and much closer at times.
The thrill of Thousand Islands Race is a variety of courses that participants can choose, among more than a thousand islands. Macropus’ choice to pass south of islands Molat and Ist delivered significant lead, while Lucia X and Vento Cadela passed on the northern side. However, Macroups soon dropped into a lull while Lucia X and Vento Cadela caught up. From then on, all three of them were close together. They were fighting to find the breath of wind, until arrival to the finish line in Rijeka.
In the end, with a light south breeze, all three boats entered Rijeka harbour together. After more than 77 hours of racing, Lucia X first crossed the finish line, only 47 seconds ahead of Macropus while Vento Cadela followed 4 minutes and 20 seconds behind. That was enough for Vento Cadela to win the second leg under corrected time. Since Vento Cadela won the first leg, she was announced the winner of 7th Thousand Islands Race. Macropus, who previously won one second and two third places in previous regatta editions added one more second place to her trophies. Last year’s winner of the regatta Lucia X conquered the third place.
Due to the fact that the wind was especially slow in this leg, Montenegrin crew on the board of Sofia estimated that they wouldn’t be able to cross the finish line in the extended time limit at 04:00 on Monday, 30th September. Therefore, they decided to motor back to Rijeka.
Despite demanding conditions of this year’s regatta, crews did not hide the excitement. They announced that they will come back to the 8th Thousand Islands Race, taking place from 17th to 27th September next year.
Impression from a participant
Thousand Island Race is definitely one of the most beautiful and most challenging regattas of this region. The special thrill is in variety of courses that you can choose among, in these 300 nautical miles and more than 1000 islands. Competitors’ choices are determined by the tactic, experience, wind and meteo conditions.
It was a huge challenge for me, since I only had experience in sheltered areas and shorter courses, like the ones we have here in Montenegro. The special temptation is definitely night sailing, where there are no lights or paths to follow, and your only guide is navigation equipment. At one point, your eyes get used to the darkness and you finally get to relax and enjoy the sail under the stars.
Worth mentioning is the life onboard, in very limited space, where if the rules are not followed and everything placed in order, it can cause a complete chaos in seconds. Also the choice of 8 people that can function in 25 square meters, with no comfort, limited water supply, unusual sleeping shifts and being moist for most of the time, that’s a real challenge as well. TIR, I loved it, it was a great experience, and for sure would recommend it to all sailors and sea lovers. Definitely looking forward to the next one, with the hope that next year brings us calm sea and better winds.
Jelena Prekajski, PMYC Coordinator