While the Croatia Yacht Rally 2011 is primarily about enjoying great sailing in compatible company, the fleet is enjoying the fun races which occur around every second day.
With a fleet comprised of 10 identical Beneteau First 45’s, they completed race three in the five race series on Sunday in a south easterly breeze that topped 20 knots on a couple of occasions. With the course from Lastovo to Korcula at 045 degrees the slippery Firsts bowled along comfortably at an average of 8 knots.
The two stops on Lastovo characterised the island as an out of way sanctuary with only a minimal impact from the vagaries of mass tourism. David Buckland’s crew from Port Lincoln visited the mother of Tony Santich, who owned the mighty Makibe Diva, winner of three consecutive Melbourne Cups. Mrs. Santich lives on Lastovo in the village of the same name and treasures the simplicity of life in the tiny community of her birth after many years in Australia.
The restaurant Porto Rosso on Skrivena Luka put on a great meal for most of the rally participants on the evening before the start of race three at the entrance to this almost land-locked bay.
After three hours of racing Roger Hickman on Hera and Steve Barlow on Carmenta arrived within a boat length of each other and the collective margin between two across three races is still less than a minute. Several other yachts finished within seconds of each other highlighting the benefit of the one design concept. In the handicap fleet the first five yachts are separated by two points after three races so it’s still anybody’s rally.
The intention though is not to have the event become too serious and after tomorrow’s race there will be a toga party and at the end of the series there will be a talent quest between the nine Australian yacht clubs represented in the rally.
The ‘pith helmet' was awarded to Gayle Veal for losing the yacht on the chart plotter by sitting on the GPS antenna.
And so the fun goes on.
The Croatia One Design Yacht Rally will be conducted by Mariner Boating Holidays again in 2012. Mariner Boating Holidays website