ZAGREB, August 12, 2018 – The winner of the 21st edition of the 22.5-kilometre-long Boat Marathon, which was held on the Neretva river on Saturday, was the 10-member team from Stablina in the environs of the town of Ploče.
The team called Argo from the town of Bjelovar was the second and the “Gusari” (Pirates) from the village of Komin won the third place in this regatta which began in Metković and finished in the Bay of Ploče.
In attendance at the competition were President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, under whose auspices the regatta was staged, as well as some other senior officials, including lawmakers and cabinet ministers.
The winner of the race was presented with the Domagoj Shield in Ploče. The trophy is in the form of a shield used by the Duke of Domagoj who ruled Croatia from 864 until his death in 876.
The total of 26 teams participated in this year’s event in which groups of 10 rowers in traditional vessels row down a 22.5-kilometre-long stretch from Metković to the Bay of Ploče.
In her opening address, President Grabar-Kitarović praised the participants for embracing the national heritage stemming from the first Croatian rulers in the 9th century. She also said underscored the recent success of the national football team, and said that the example of the footballers led by coach Zlatko Dalić should be followed in the race when it came to stamina and competitive spirit.
Lawmaker Branko Bačić, who was the parliament speaker’s envoy, thanked the local authorities and residents for the organisation of the regatta. “I especially thank the organisers of the Neretva Boat Marathon for placing Neretva vessels in the focus of interest of the entire Croatia, and this race is becoming more and more important sporting and cultural event,” Bačić said.
Addressing the event on behalf of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Defence Minister Damir Krstičević said that he was happy to see a rising number of foreign and local visitors attending the regatta. “Our people has survived and managed to preserve their identity through centuries, and this event, launched 20 years ago, is becoming a part of our tradition and heritage as well as an important tourist attraction,” the minister said. He said that a team of Croatian marine corps would participate in the race next year.