Split Wins Traditional Sv. Duje Legends Regatta of Split, Oxford, and Cambridge

Daniela Rogulj

The 18th edition of the International Rowing Regatta Sveti Duje was completed by the traditional race of the legends of Split, Oxford, and Cambridge, held on Sunday at noon Split. For the second year in a row, the Split team was the fastest, reports Dalmacija Danas on May 5, 2019. 

After Saturday’s university regatta at Spinut, the legends came to life during their 222-meter long regatta on the Split Riva. The dreary weekend weather and rain came to a halt, and the sun came into view, which attracted spectators on the famous waterfront promenade. The spectators witnessed two thrilling but identical races. Split was the fastest both times, although Oxford almost overcame them in the second race. 

The third-placed Cambridge legends had heavy hands, said James Cracknell, the two-time Olympic winner and six-time world champion, who is also the oldest winner of The Boat Race at age 46.  Cracknell also participated in Saturday’s student regatta where Cambridge won the gold medal.

“Rowing two regattas in two days, with the fact that The Boat Race was a month ago, is very demanding. Yesterday we fought with the Germans and Oxford and we managed to win, and today against the very good home team. Unfortunately, we were not able to be the fastest,” Cracknell said. 

The regatta in Split is a beautiful gift to the legend of Cambridge as he celebrates his 47th birthday.

“I think that my birthday celebration last night also reflected on my rowing today. Split is a really fun city and you can expect me in the coming years,” concluded Cracknell with laughter.

The excitement of winning was not hidden by Siniša Skelin, a legendary Split rower who responds to the organizer’s invitation every year.

“This year, we did everything in two races. We did not have much preparation, but these are all experienced rowers, so it’s not a problem to harmonize. I have to admit we’re tired. It is an exhibition regatta and these two hundred meters look like a little, but when you’re rowing against Oxford and Cambridge, you’re tired from 200 meters,” Skelin concluded.

After the race, all the participants came to Peristyle where they were given medals as a reminder of this unique regatta. 

The 18th edition of the famous Sv. Duje regatta is now behind us, and the organizers can be satisfied with yet another stellar event in the books. The people of Split will look forward to celebrating their patron saint, Sv. Duje, on May 7. 

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