The southwestern waters of Krk Island were recently the location of the already prestigious underwater photography competition: the 3rd Mares Underwater Photo Marathon Cup
The Roniti Se More diving club organized the event, together with the Punat Tourism Board and the support of sponsors (Punat Marina, Punat District, DC Oliga, Olympus, Nautica, Dive In, Subcraft, ILIKE Liveaboards, TR TTL, Franck, Klara, Pivovara Medvedgrad, Terramedia, Scuba life), under the patronage of Mares. It was the largest Photo Marathon Live underwater competition yet. 65 competitors from ten countries (Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Serbia, Switzerland and Croatia) took photos at microlocations of island Cres and Plavnik.
Competitors were mostly representatives of their respective countries and renowned underwater photographers. Some of them had arrived seven days ahead of the competition, training and researching potential locations. This on its own speaks of the seriousness in preparations, but also the quality of the competition. The overall winner of the 3rd Mares UWPM is Slovenian Grega Verč. Second place went to Portuguese Rui Bernardo and the third to Italian Fabio Iardino. The tough competition can be seen in the fact that the Portuguese won the award for best photograph, but it wasn’t enough for the overall title. Best model title went to Elena Piccoli from Italy, trialed by Sonia Bernardo from Portugal and Kristina Ivanuš from Croatia.
Photo by Grega Verč
The three-man international jury composed of Goran Butajla, Milan Tomažin and Gianni Pecchiar did not have an easy task, having to choose the best in categories fish, macro and ambience.
The winners, but also those not so lucky, agreed: the organization and quality of the competition, the Krk waters, hospitality of hosts and the atmosphere are not only on par with European and world championships, but in many ways set new standards in this sport. A very large thank you goes out to over thirty volunteers who were ready to help at any time.
The hosts led by Branko Karabaić realized in time all the advantages of such a promotion of diving tourism and set the foundations for long term cooperation with the Roniti Se Mora diving club. Diving is a form of tourism active for 365 days a year and attractive to guests with higher income, while authors of underwater photographs are the best promoters of such tourism.
Photo by Evgen Suban
As part of this Cup a ceremony was held to announce the winners of the online competition, the 6th Mares Photo Marathon. Unlike the live competition, the online one allows photographers to send in their works created anywhere in the world. This competition was also recognized for its quality and is certainly among the five most prestigious ones of its kind in the world. Each year it grows in numbers, while the quality of the photographs has been very high for a while now. This year the competition saw 350 competitors from 46 countries. The Toš gallery in Punat hosted an exhibition of the winning photographs from the online competition.