Thursday, May 22, 2008

Croatia Online - Split Library Book Promotion

Yesterday we were lucky enough to be invited to present our book – Croatia Cruising Companion – at the new Split library. This is a marvellous new facility for Split and it is staffed by a number of innovative and lovely people who couldn’t do enough to make the evening go professionally and with a swing. See our previous posting - Split's New Library – for a full report. Special thanks to Grozdana Ribičić and her team (Teo and Toma to name but two). The evening was chaired by Sandra Barčot who writes for More magazine, a monthly Croatian glossy about the sea. Mili Razović, President of the Split Tourist Board, then introduced the more formal part of the evening with a report on the importance of nautical tourism to Croatia and was followed by Joško Pilić, President of the Dalmatian Skippers Association and owner of Adriasail Charter ( who, kindly enough, felt that every Croatian Charter Boat that had English speaking guests should have a copy of our book aboard. We then made a ten minute presentation of the book.

We asked Sanctus Domnio (see our earlier posting on Mandolins), an excellent local Mandolin orchestra, to provide background music and they very nearly stole the show with three lovely pieces that held our guests to their seats before they could adjourn to drinks and canapés in the adjacent room. They are off to Imotski today for an annual Mandolin competion which they have had frequent success in previously. Good luck to them this year.

Perhaps the visual highlight of the evening was Rosella Vujević’s fantastic cake, pictured, which as well as being intricately detailed also tasted very good as well.

Thanks also to Ivica Buble of Dalmatia Charter, for his early support of the book and connecting us with Joško Pilić, Nigel Turnbull,, for standing in as Croatia Online’s photographer, Mladen Vušcović for taking the video footage, Keko and family for their much appreciated ongoing support and, particularly, to Ana Brničević of Korenat Point,, who, in her spare time, provided much of the impetus, encouragement and practical assistance needed to make it all happen.

Thanks also to all those that forwent the European Cup Final and the eve of a Croatian Bank holiday to attend, some of whom travelled a long way to do so. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get a complete list of those that attended so apologies for exclusions but below are the websites of just a few of our guests. Anyone reading this who has not been included and would like to be, please send us a comment and we will amend the posting.

Sailing Schools and Charter Companies – based in Split Marina – based in Trogir – based in Kaštela Marina - Sail Croatia based in Kaštela Marina

Marinas and Associated Companies – Kaštela Marina, near Split airport - Le Meridien’s new hotel and marina near Split - marina equipment suppliers and marina advisors based in Kaštela Marina – Šibenik’s rapidly expanding marina – the new marina on Ugljan Island

Tourist Boards – Split County Tourist Board – Osijek County Tourist Board

Travel Agencies

Hotels - Le Meridien Grand Hotel Lav, Podstrana, near Split – Hotel Globo in the centre of Split

We’ll be reporting in more detail on the nautical points raised during the event on our sister site

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Croatia Online - Time Out Visitors' Guide 2008/9

Hot off the press, this year's Time Out is even bigger and better than last year's. Crammed full of features and news of what's hot and happening in Croatia, it's also one of the most up to date and insightful guides to Croatia around. Find out where the best new restaurants, bars and hotels are, investigate the tennis, windsurfing and spa scene, learn how traditional klapa music is going contemporary, find out about sailing in Croatia, and much, much, more.

Now in its third year and, as always, written by locals who really know what's what, Time Out stamps its
quality mark, yet again, on this the definitive guide to Croatia. On sale for a year, internationally and throughout Croatia, this is one guide you can't afford to be without. And of course for nautical tourists looking for more detailed information onshore, it's the perfect partner for our Croatia Cruising Companion!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Croatia Online - Oxford, Cambridge and Split Boat Race

Readers who saw our report on Sunday's "Legends" boat race in Split may be interested to read the full text of the press release kindly supplied to us, together with today's photo, by the media representatives of the organisers, Apostrof Communications. Many thanks to them for their assistance.

The city of Split, a place of natural beauty and ancient walls, a town famous for its sports tradition and spirit, lives for great spectacles... it is a perfect place for acquiring a bit of London tradition, a perfect place for a rematch of The Boat Race...
Last weekend, under the patronage of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and the golden sponsorship of the Le Meridien Lav Hotel, the International Rowing Regatta Sveti Duje took place in Split and welcomed, for the fourth year in a row, the renowned teams of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. As every year, the Regatta consisted of two parts; the University Regatta in which numerous Croatian and international universities participated, and The Legends Race between the Oxford, Cambridge and Split alumni. The first part of the regatta took place on Saturday, May 3, on a 1000 metres long course where the Cambridge boat triumphed over the home crew of Split and Oxford.

In the year 2000, after 175 years, the Rowing Association of Dalmatia renewed the tradition of the Regatta Sveti Duje which has been taking place every year since. Along with Croatian rowers, some foreign teams participated in that first regatta in Spinut in 2000, thus turning it into an international event. St. Domnius Day, also considered the Day of the City that is the cradle of Croatian rowing, has since been established as the opening day of both the university regatta and the competition season. A greater number of Croatian and international universities take part in the International Rowing Regatta Sveti Duje every year. In the last three years the increase in the competition culminated in the participation of the most renowned names in the rowing world, the crews with the greatest tradition of sports in general; Oxford and Cambridge!
This year's participation – for the fourth consecutive time - of Oxford and Cambridge crews, definitely layed the foundations of a new tradition; the tradition of The Boat Race rematch – in honour of St. Domnius. The course length of the University Rowing Regatta Sveti Duje is 1000 metres, and the programme of the Spinut regatta is divided, due to the large number of crews, and for equality and the appeal of the race, into two parts: the race of the faculties' eights and the race of the universities' eights.

At the International Student Regatta Sveti Duje 2008 after the qualification races of the favourites, the Oxford crew outrowed the excellent Cambridge team by 00:02:15 while University of Budapest came third. In the faculties' race the FESB eight came first and in the women faculties' race the University of Budapest came first. Thirty-four university and faculty eights, male and female, participated in the Regatta, which makes it one of the largest university sports events of these parts.

Students of the aforementioned elite English universities try very hard throughout the year to get into the Blue Boat crew for The Boat Race, and the competition is none the less fierce for the plane tickets to Split and the Regatta Sveti Duje, now in its fourth consecutive year. After four years of having Oxford and Cambridge crews at the Split Regatta, an even higher quality event has been announced for 2009.

The Legends Race is a rowing spectacle that takes place on the Riva in Split and features the alumni crews or legends of Oxford, Cambridge and Split. The Oxford and Cambridge legends are the rowers that have participated in The Boat Race in the last 10 years, and most of them are Olympic and World Championship medallists. These legends are challenged and confronted by the Split Olympians defending the colours and honour of their town. This ceremonial race first took place in 2005 drawing the attention of the entire Croatian public and resounding loudly in the world of sports.
The crews, consisting of Oxford, Cambridge and Split legends are to compete in a royal discipline – eights. The rules are simple: on a 220 metres long course the winner is the crew that comes first twice. Fast, energetic, attractive – the Formula 1 of rowing. The race is scheduled just before the traditional Split bingo and the spectacle is guaranteed by over 30 Olympic and World medals in just 3 boats!

For the fourth year in a row, Split port saw the clash of Split and London legends with numerous medals from the world's greatest sports competitions. The atmosphere, in front of a vast audience, was more than sportslike. The rowing treat under the golden sponsorship of the Le Meridien Lav Hotel started at noon.
Three races were rowed on the 220 metres long course because the winner, according to the rules, is the eight with two victories. Cambridge won, Split Legends were second, and Oxford were third. After the race, the winners ceremony took place in the Perestil. It was once again a true sports manifestation of a royal discipline, in the city port of Split where public rowing, originating from practical needs of everyday life, became a form of entertainment on ceremonial occasions and a demonstration of strength and skill in the races of ordinary boats that we can find in our coastal area even today...


Croatia Online - Croatia Cruising Companion

Just a quick reminder to nautical readers to check out our sister blog for the latest news on Croatia's nautical tourism industry and sailing destinations. In particular we've just come across a travel blog that gives a detailed account of a sailing trip around the Dalmatian coast and what to expect. It's also put the Croatia Cruising Companion to the test and, happily, it seems to have passed! Read all about this and more on

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Croatia Online - Split's Saint's Day

Split always celebrates it's Saint's day, Sv Duje, in style, and today was the seventh year that it held a weekend international rowing regatta. The grand finale is a showcase race that can be viewed from the riva, featuring Oxford and Cambridge rowing legends. Together with roving reporters Sarah Cattrall and Penelope Bell, on an all to brief visit to Split from England, we were lucky enough to view the race from the press boat in perfect weather. In a rowing boat that could have been weighed down by 20 olympic medals, had the team chosen to bring them, Cambridge were a convincing first followed by Split and then Oxford. Full marks to the organisers for making this a great start to the Sv Duje celebrations.
For those that want to participate in the week's events, there's a funfair for children in the grand Venetian square at the west end of the Riva, we're told that the saint's coffin is opened in the cathedral on the eve of his saint's day, and, on the day itself, Wednesday, there's a full program of processions and festivities.
Talking of our roving reporters, it's interesting to have a look at Croatia through enlightened and vivacious 20 something eyes. Great that they can see past the pre season and prolific roadworks and construction sites and still find something to appreciate around the next corner. A breath of fresh air!