Days of St Peter in Vrboska – sailing the traditional way

Vrboska has a proud heritage of both fishing and boat-building. Traditional curvy wooden boats, that is, with latin sails. The local Udruga Lantina society hold their annual summer regatta on St Peter’s Day, as they reckon he was a fisherman too! This year was expanded to a two-day event, including a special workshop on boat-design and building for kids, followed by a mini-regatta in the harbour. Much hilarity and excitement as boats would swing efficiently into a random wind gust and head off course!

The second day was the main regatta, which also included a set of kids from Hvar’s sailing school. Boy, were they skillful, and so fearless! There’s the next generation of Croatia’s competitive sailing team right there.

For Vrboska’s traditional latin-rig boats, preparations had been going on for weeks, with painting and polishing, careful adjustments to masts and lantinas (the bar the sail hangs from). Each one, big and small, was looking just beautiful! And despite strong winds on the coast, we also had visiting boats from Opatija, Rovinj and Hvar to join the fun.

What a busy little harbour! Around 3 o’clock we all gradually set off. Some with sail raised, tacking their way into the wind, others motoring out until the bay was wider. The course of the regatta was the same as last year, but with rather different conditions. A year ago, we took hours to sail around the Jelsa buoy, whereas it was a nautical piece of cake this time. On the other hand, however, achieving a circuit of the Soline bouy to finish was beyond some of us!

After most of us had got somewhere close to that elusive buoy, we all headed into the dock at Soline for a celebratory dinner and presentation of awards. The trophies were a real work of art!

At dusk we all headed back onboard the boats for a spectacular finish to the day and my introduction to the use of red flares.  It does kind of look as if we ended up in a sea battle!

Many thanks to the lads and lassies of the Udruga Lantina for a wonderful day’s sailing. And especial thanks to Jure, skipper of the Veli Gira for inviting us to crew for him. Absolutely wonderful day!


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