by Maggie Joyce
Croatia Yacht Rally 2011 meandered toward its conclusion in Dubrovnik last week with a race from Korcula to Mljet, a distance of just 12 miles.
Start of Race Three to Korcula - Croatia One Design Yacht Rally 2011
Six yachts finish in the same minute on the water!
The south westerly course and the prevailing 12 knot mistral produced a wind angle of 90 degrees for the first part of the race and five boats ran each other off to the left side of the course while the eventual winner Alan Woodward stuck to the rum line with the other four yachts of the ten identical Beneteau First 45’s. The fleet eventually came together as the finish line approached and in the end six of the ten yachts finished in the same minute on the water. The match racing hot shots filled the last five placings.
The post-race dinner at the Bourbon restaurant in Polace set the scene for a Roman style party, appropriate because Polace boasts the remains of a Roman villa.
Toga party at Bourbon on Mjlet - The Croatia Yacht Rally 08 June - 24 June 2012
The whole of the northern end of Mljet is a national park and the lay day was spent walking through the luxuriant pine forests that surround Lake Jezero.
The next and last race was set on a course across to Kobas on the mainland but dawn broke on a glassy sea with very little prospect of wind. Around twelve, however, and to everyone’s surprise, a 12 knot south easterly filled in around 1pm and the fleet worked across the passage on a flat sea in perfect summer conditions. Once again the fleet split and those who stayed to sea caught the yachts seeking non-existent lifts along the shore. After a run to the finish the yachts again finished in a 'heap'.
The wily Alan Woodward of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club stayed out of the match racing frays between Roger Hickman, Steve Barlow from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and David Buckman from the Port Lincoln Yacht Club. Alan eventually won the day on handicap from Alan Hare, a racing novice who revelled in leading the famous Roger Hickman for a big part of the last race.
The final two nights at the luxurious Dubrovnik Palace Hotel saw a gradual wind down from an outstanding rally sailed in perfect conditions.
Race finish Korcula to Mjlet - The Croatia Yacht Rally 08 June - 24 June 2012
Scratch finish of race in Stonski Canal with roger Hickman just in front of Alan Woodwood - The Croatia Yacht Rally 08 June - 24 June 2012
Moored in Okuklje on Mjle - The Croatia Yacht Rally 08 June - 24 June 2012
The fleet in a sailpast of the old city of Dubrovnik - The Croatia Yacht Rally 08 June - 24 June 2012
The 2012 Croatia Yacht Rally will be run by Mariner Boating during the same two weeks of 2012 and will be augments by a new event in Croatia to the north of Split in the Kornati Islands. The Croatia Kornati Yacht Rally will be sailed in the first two weeks of September. Again a matched fleet of yachts will be used, all with battened mains, triple spreader rigs, folding propellers and deep keels. Three double cabins will provide spacious accommodation and a fourth twin cabin will offer storage for baggage.
Details of the 2012 Croatia Yacht Rally are available online and details of the Croatia Kornati Yacht Rally will soon be available.
Mariner Boating website