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...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great article about rowing in Croatia. People are not acquainted that Split is the town which has many famous rowing teams. We support some rowing teams in Split, and would love to see more rowing regattas and game. Camping Split

12:29 am  

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