The last ten years of the Croatia Yacht Rally have all been good but perfect sailing conditions this year took the 2012 event to a new level.
The westerly Mistral breeze arrived daily, usually at a comfortable 12 – 15 knots, and pushed the one-design Beneteau First 45 fleet along at speeds not normally experienced on yachts from charter yachts…and all across a flat Adriatic Sea with ne’er a wave in sight.
Of course the racing, the sailing and the yachts all came second to Croatia the place; the food, the people, the history and the architecture making for a delicious cocktail of experiences.
Paul Crockett from the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club said to Trevor Joyce from Mariner Boating Holidays, the organiser of the event, 'every one of the places we have been to has been better than the one before it and the sailing has been simply spectacular. You can’t possibly keep it up. If we had come by ourselves', he continued 'we’d have missed half of it and spent a good part of the rest of the time arguing about what we were going to do next'.
Mornington Yacht Club commodore, Tony Donnellan, with his wife Bev, were on their way to Bev’s 50th birthday celebration on Skopelos in Greece. He said, 'Skopelos will have to be really good to be better than this'. About the yacht he said, 'The First 45 is the best all round yacht I have ever sailed on' and he races Shamrock, a Reichel Pugh 46 in Victoria and on the high seas. 'The furniture below decks lets it down a bit but otherwise it is terrific and to have the boats all the same is such a huge plus.'
Jim and Judy Dunstan from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron did their first Croatia Yacht Rally several years ago and commented that Croatia had changed significantly since their last visit, for the better. Similarly, Paul and Pam Wood from the RPAYC did the RPA rally in 2007 and said that Croatia has a completely different feel to it these days.
The Croatia Yacht Rally culminated in two nights of luxury at the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel. The competition then moved from the water to land at the final night dinner as the crews attempted to establish their thespian superiority. No official word yet on the winner but a good time was had by all.
Mariner Boating Holidays are the organisers of the Croatian Yacht Rally. For more information about this event or any of the other adventures they host, please ring them in Sydney at 02 9966 1244.
by Trevor Joyce
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9:32 PM Sun 5 Aug 2012GMT
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