Traditionally on Sunday at noon, the major of Rijeka Mr Vojko Obersnel symbolically signalled the start of the 6th Thousand Islands Race outside Rijeka harbour with a long horn sound from the harbour master’s rescue vessel “Vid” used as signalling boat.
In spite of the forecast for the 278 NM long route calling SE at first and then NE (Bura) of 25 knots gusting up to 40 knots, the start has been hit by drifting conditions. Forecasted winds caused several boats among 17 entrants from 10 countries to give up the attempt shortly before the start. However, such a forecast could give possibility to obliterate the existing first leg record that is currently held by the Hungarian Wild Joe of 27:24:25 hours established in 2015. Wild Joe reappeared this year fully renewed with the addition of a Dynamic Stability System that horizontally protrude from the boat’s hull giving extra stability.
Austrian Godspeed Farr 52 owned by Peter Steinkogler is participating for the first time and together with Wild Joe took the lead shortly after starting at the first rounding mark. The biggest boat is the 22 metre long Hungarian Casiopea 68 of Demeter Nobilis arriving straight from Barcelona. Slovakian Lucia X with Croatian crew, members of Sailing Club Plav from nearby island Krk, also winner in its group in the Middle Sea Race last year, has also participated in all the Thousand Islands Races to date. However, first to cut the starting line in Rijeka was Stribor chartered by the Montenegrin crew, members of Sailing Club Delfin from Tivat, so until the end of the first leg we may expect an interesting battle in real time and under corrected time.
Sailing from Rijeka to Tivat means the racing passes literally among thousands of islands, hence the regatta name. The islands Unije, Susak, Premuda, Dugi otok, Kornat, Vis, Lastovo and Sveti Andrija on the first leg shall be left on starboard. Except for the marks at the start and finish lines there are no other course limitations and each crew may choose their fastest course at will and skill.
First boats at finish line in Tivat are expected during Monday 24 September. Race can be followed in real time online via www.thousandislandsrace.com