Sailing in Croatia: Day 2 of the Hanse Cup Adriatic 2018

From the 21st – 25th April 2018, we attended the Hanse Cup Adriatic; we already gave our account of the opening and first day of racing, now we bring you day 2 of sailing and entertainment.

After an amazing first day of sailing (you can read about the opening of the regatta and day 1 here) and a wonderful, relaxed evening in Šibenik, we woke up fresh on Day 2 for another day of racing.

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The race start was pushed back from 11 am, to try and catch more of the afternoon winds of 8 – 10-knots that were predicted. So, it looked as though we would get a decent day of sailing, with an upwind start and downwind leg, sailing from Šibenik to Vodice.

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Sailing the Sibenik region, truly is something special.

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There was a little more tussling over the start line this time, with more of a breeze, everyone was angling to get the best position, Mahina and Samantha were on the bow trying to get their land bearings for the mark, while the rest of us were on watch. It was in moments like this that having crew with race experience really made a difference.

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Mahina keeping watch

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The tussle

The whistle sounded and once again, we were off. To be honest, everyone had quite a strong start and we found ourselves sitting about 9th or 10th in the fleet just off the mark. With an upwind beat, it was easy sailing with a lot less work – compared to trimming and gybing on the gennaker all day. The self-tacking jib on the Hanse makes light-work of sailing; for charterers, this yacht can essentially be handled one-handed. As the guys from ‘Twist and Shout’ said – “the self-tacking jib makes it easy to sail and drink beer”, another reason the Hanse Cup Adriatic is the perfect combination of sailing and fun.

Looking around the other yachts, everyone was enjoying themselves, the weather was perfect and Hanse yachts really are a pleasure to sail. We also noticed very early on that it was a very male-dominated regatta (which isn’t untypical)

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So, we were happy to be representing women (with a crew of 5:2) and to see a few other women on the course.

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Once everyone got on their course, it was harder to make any gains, but Nick continued his tactics and philosophy of trying to think outside the box and not follow the crowd – which quite frankly, suited our crew to a T. We tacked closer to the coast on a number of occasions, hoping it would follow the pattern of the day before – having stronger winds by the coast and, for the most part, this proved true.

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On the downward leg, we had the videographer for the event – the very talented Bruno Bilonić join us to capture some of the action (I will share his video in the final installment of the Hanse Regatta).

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Then, Nick made a move which would forever solidify his philosophy in our minds (and win the hearts of quite a few in the regatta), while everyone opted to sail around a small island in the last part of the leg, Nick decided to sail directly between the island and the coast, hoping it was acting like a funnel for the breeze. And… it worked! We jumped at least 3 or 4 yachts thanks to that manoeuvre.

“If we follow the crowds, we can only go where they go… if you want a different result, you need to do something different right? It doesn’t always pay off, but it’s worth a shot” – and it really was.

With spirits and energy high, we ‘screamed’ to the finish line on the gennaker. However, we decided not to go straight into port but gybed back out, so we could anchor for a quick swim. However, there was a little-unplanned action before we did this, with all the excitement, we rushed into the manoeuvre of lowering the gennaker and almost lost it to the water… but thanks to quick reactions by the entire crew, we got it under control within a matter of seconds. It’s not a race without a little drama, right? With the gennaker packed safely away, we headed out to anchor so a few of the (brave) crew, could jump in the water for their first swim of 2018.

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Credit" Tash Pericic, our crew taking their first dip of 2018

And it seems we weren’t the only ones - the April sun in Croatia proving a treat!

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Once docked in the port of Vodice, it was almost time for dinner at the Olympia hotel. Vodice is a gorgeous town on the Adriatic coast in the Šibenik county and has a population of around 9,000 people. I have never actually stopped there before but it is very cute and as Mila said “so well-kept and tidy” – she wasn’t wrong, the tiny town was immaculate.

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The Olympia hotel is just off the waterfront and the second we walked through the ballroom doors, we knew we were in for a great night. There were gentlemen cutting pršut straight from the leg and tables lined with food - more than enough to satisfy 170+ hungry sailors. A DJ set the mood with some funky tracks while we were eating dinner, then the real entertainment began.

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Croatia Yachting had organised a series of professional dancers to entertain the crowd, from samba, tango and belly dancers to a cabaret performance of ‘He had it Coming’ from the Broadway show Chicago. The dancers were gorgeous and professional and then, of course, it was time for everyone to hit the dance floor. 

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A brilliant evening of food, music, dancing and drinks. This is what a charter regatta is all about, yes, everybody comes to sail but all participants also come to enjoy. Many of the crews were long-time friends or work colleagues and they all viewed it as a great long weekend and chance to enjoy. Particularly for those who come sailing in Croatia during the season, they saw this as the perfect start to the season, minus the crowds!

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But, I will talk a little more about the impressions from other participants in the next installment – the 3rd and final day of Hanse Cup Adriatic Regatta 2018.

Once again, to see a video account of Day 2 of racing, check-out the vlog below thanks to our skipper.


Unless stated otherwise, all photos courtesy of and copyright to Croatia Yachting Charter