Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Previous Life of PM Boris Johnson: Brac Cycling Tourism Promoter

July 23, 2019 - Boris Johnson, the former champion of cycling tourism on Brac, is the new British Prime Minister. What does it mean for Brac-UK cycling relations?

So there we go. 

Love him or hate him the British Brexit Mad Cow Disease has delivered its verdict.

Boris Johnson is the new British Prime Minister, effective tomorrow. 

There are lots of people reflecting on Boris' colourful and varied career, and we thought we would add our own tribute. 

Being London Mayor or Foreign Secretary is all very well, but how about being a cycling ambassador for the island of Brac?

A role Boris played with distinction. 

And Brac is open for all, with or without politics. It is just a gorgeous island for cyclists, and those without a bike. 

Check out Boris on Brac in the video below. 

To learn more about the island, check out the Total Croatia Brac in a Page guide

Cycling in Croatia? Here is what you need to know

BIKE FRIENDLY SUTIVAN FEATURING MAYOR BORIS JOHNSON from Hani Salama on Vimeo.

Monday, 24 June 2019

New Summer Timetable for Split-Supetar Ferry Line in Favor of Car Passengers

June 24, 2019 - A new summer timetable has been announced for travelers on the Split-Supetar Jadrolinija ferry line this summer.

The first weekend of summer in Split brought some 112,000 travelers through the airport and ferry port, making it no surprise that we are well and truly into the season - and we have hit the ground running. 

Jelena Ivuljić from Jadrolinija said that from Friday to Sunday, around 65,000 passengers and about 12,000 vehicles traveled through the Split Ferry Port, and the most significant interest among travelers is Brač and Hvar.

“We have 12 regular lines for Brač, though on Friday we added one extra line and on Saturday two extra lines. We are learning from our experience so far, and on Sunday, we will have two extra lines. Apart from Brač, there is also pressure going to the island of Hvar, the Split-Starigrad line, as well as the catamaran line towards the town of Hvar,” Ivuljić said.

And this is just the beginning. 

As a way to ease some of the summer travel stress for locals and tourists, Mayor of Supetar Ivana Marković has announced a new timetable on the Split-Supetar route, which will take effect from Friday, June 28 and continue until September 1. 

Marković announced the news on her official Facebook page on Sunday, emphasizing that the schedule had been changed to give passengers traveling by car more time to load and unload their vehicle on and off the ferry.

“We will soon welcome a new timetable, which disrupts some of the classic times we have all adapted to. The schedule has been changed to give more time to load and unload vehicles on and off the ferry because, with the current timetable, it was not possible to ensure the timely departure of the ferry and caused additional crowding in the harbor and on the roads. The new timetable is only for two months, and then we will return to the old, well-known schedule. The crowds have begun, arm yourself with patience,” said mayor Marković. 

By the new schedule, the ferry from Split will travel every day at 5, 6.30, 8, 9.30, 10.30, 12, 13.30, 15, 15.45, 16.30, 18, 19.30, 21 and 23.59.

From Supetar, the ferry will depart at 5, 6.30, 8, 9.30, 11, 12, 13.30, 15, 16.30, 17.15, 18, 19.30, 20.45 and 22.45.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 10 June 2019

Supetar Mayor Reacts Strongly Against Nationalism-Fueled Violence

It was supposed to be a nice event, a get-together of a group of like-minded people in early summer on a Dalmatian island, a celebration of the football club they've loved for their entire lives. It was never supposed to attract any national attention, let alone a swift reaction by the Supetar mayor, Ivana Marković.

The Torcida Cup is an amateur futsal tournament, in which fans of the Hajduk football club participate (the supporters of Hajduk call themselves Torcida, thus the name of the cup).

After the games were played at the Supetar football field in the centre of town, an incident occurred: 5 seasonal workers that are working on Brač, four men and a woman, were attacked sometime late in the evening, as they were walking home after their shifts. They passed the Torcida Supetar headquarters, and the attackers heard that two of the workers spoke differently then they would've liked, so they stormed out yelling "Where is the Serb?!?", and started hitting the group.

Three of the people from the group are from Slavonia, one is from Varaždin, and one injured person from Brač stood up to the attackers, trying to save the workers who were attacked. The attackers threw punches, kicked the victims on the ground as they fell, they repeatedly hit the girl who was trying to shield her colleague. One of the victims told the Croatian media that the attack was stopped when a taxi driver started honking, after which the attackers withdrew.

The abhorrent (and criminal!) behaviour by the participants of the Torcida Cup provoked a swift and quite stringent response by the Supetar mayor, Ivana Marković, who has already made her stance against any nationalism public.

She put out a statement condemning the attack, adding that any act of violence is unacceptable, and especially if it happens just because someone belongs to a different nation or speaks a different language. She finds some solace in the fact that it has been determined that none of the attackers were from Supetar, but the fact remains that it happened there.

And to show her determination to put a stop to such violent occurences, she has decided to discontinue any donations to the Torcida Cup and to withdraw her permission for the field to be used for Torcida Cup matches, as the attackers were participants and/or visitors of the Cup. She adds that the town of Supetar can no longer support any sports events where the participants or visitors behave like this. Supetar mayor Marković added that she will try and get in contact with all of the victims if possible. 

Police reported that they've apprehended the two suspects, one on Brač and one in Split the next morning and that they will be charged for the attack, but also in accordance with the Croatian Anti-discrimination laws, as it was determined that the motive of the attack was the nationality of the victims. 

Monday, 10 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Zidanšek Wins Second Title!

June 10, 2019 - In a wonderful atmosphere, about a thousand and a half spectators came out to watch Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek defend her WTA Croatia Bol Open title against Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo 7:5, 7:5.

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It was an uncertain match where several balls went to the side of the Slovenian tennis player. The spectators were able to enjoy a series of exciting rallies, and a more aggressive and riskier game for the Slovenian tennis player eventually brought her the victory. 

It was nice to finally see the almost filled stands of the Bluesun tennis center at the Central Court, which is proof that, step-by-step, tennis is coming back to Brač.

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Before the start of the match, an excellent concert was held by Nina Badrić, and before the announcement of the winner the song "We are the champions" was performed by the world-famous pianist Lola Astanova. 

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Cristina Romero, the tournament supervisor, gave a special acknowledgment for the promotion of women's tennis to the mayor of Bol, Tihomir Marinković, and Antun Plenković, director of the "old" WTA tournament in Bol, who was never able to receive proper personal recognition.

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“The tournament will grow and we will try to be better, better and better,” said Marinković.

Doris Pinčić then led the announcement of the winner, and Tamara Zidanšek was thrilled with the audience at the tournament.

“Thanks to my team, but first of all to you, who were so wonderful to me,” said Zidanšek nearly in tears.

How does she feel about winning her second consecutive tournament in Bol?

“It is a special feeling, I cannot imagine Nadal winning 12 times at Roland Garros, this is fantastic,” the Slovenian admitted. 

And if she gets up to 12 titles in Bol, she’ll need to buy a place in Bol! 

“Yes, yes, I will have an apartment, it would not be bad,” Zidanšek admitted.

Sara Sorribes Tormo was not too upset about not winning her first WTA title.

“I made too many mistakes, more than usual, I'll wait a bit longer. I believe I will win the tournament soon,” said Sorribes Tormo.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 9 June 2019

SymBol of the Adriatic: Bol Rebranded with New Brochure

June 9, 2019 - The director of the Bol Municipality Tourist Board, Markito Marinković, presented a new brochure of the destination which was issued after nine years, intending to better promote foreign markets through trade fairs and the network of the Croatian National Tourist Board representation abroad. The presentation was held at the Elaphusa hotel in Bol.

"The creation of a new brochure is a continuation of the project to brand Bol through the implementation of a new visual and verbal identity that is extremely well accepted and recognized in the market (SymBol of the Adriatic). The brochure follows new, modern trends of communication, and unifies and promotes the entire tourist destination of Bol,” said Marinkovic.

"The branding of Bol is contemporary; therefore, the modern, geometric form of the layout is used in the design of the brochure, and the strictness of the straight lines is ‘broken’ by hand-written call to action titles, that is, titles that call for activity and reaction. The fact is that Bol as a destination offers a variety of content from culture, to families and outdoor activities and the most famous beaches, allowing each guest to create their own experience of rest and travel. This is why we added an extra note of personality in order to enrich the content and try to interpret individual experiences through the humanistic character of the script. In this way, the balance of modernization and warmth offered by the destination has been achieved,” said Igor Carli from the creative communication studio Carli + Sosa, who authored the branding of Bol, that is, SymBol.

The texts were done by the agency PromoPlan from Split. 

"The texts are written from the position of the guest, not the host, which is often the case with tourist brochures. Our goal was to highlight all the benefits of Bol but also to share our own experience of staying in the destination with potential guests from the target markets,” said Laura Visković, director of the agency.

On this occasion, Đurđa Eterović from TZO Bol presented the project of building Bol as a digital destination, considering that in the past months the tourist location on GoogleMaps was created and new GoogleStreetView surveys were done throughout the municipality, as well as GoogleSeaView.

These activities were done in cooperation with the certified partner Smokvina Travel and resulted in 1,037,537 views on Google search or maps. Furthermore, 11,231 times users clicked on locations to call, retrieve instructions, or visit websites in the past four months, outside of the high season.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 8 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Zidanšek and Sorribes Tormo in the Final!

June 8, 2019 - Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek and Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo will play on Sunday in the big final of the WTA Croatia Bol Open. The final begins at 8 pm, and the crowd will be warmed up an hour earlier with a performance by Nina Badrić’. After the final, the world-famous pianist Lola Astanova will perform as part of the closing ceremony.

Zidansek defeated her young fellow countrywoman Kaja Juvan 2:6, 7:5, 7:5 in a real thriller in the semifinals. Juvan was near the victory in the third set and led 5:2, but failed to withstand Zidanšek’s comeback. 

"Since the first round, all matches have been difficult, and I expected that against Kaja. This is the first time we’ve played each other, and it is not easy to play against a girl from Slovenia knowing that we are so little,” said Zidanšek.

Where did Zidanšek get the power to turn the game around after Kaja led in the third set? “I had nothing to lose; I relaxed and succeeded."

Can Zidanšek defend the title? "I hope I will succeed," she said.

Kaja Juvan missed an excellent opportunity to get into the final. 

"I had a lot of opportunities, and I was close. Tamara started playing great tennis after my 5:2 lead, played a lot of winners and decided the result. It's great that we have a lot of good Slovenians in tennis, and Tamara showed me that I could do even more,” said Juvan.

Many spectators cheered for Kaja. 

"Yes, thank you to all those who supported me, they lifted me up, and in the end, even Tamara applauded. It was a pleasure to play here,” Kaja said.

There was not too much uncertainty in the second semifinal. Sara Sorribes Tormo played excellent, safe, and calm and defeated Anna-Karolina Schmiedelova 6:4, 6:0. 

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"I had a lot of chances in the first set to seal the game, but in the end, I managed it all, and that was the key, that first set. My key is that I tried to mix up my play so that she did not feel comfortable on the court. I’m good friends with Tamara, this is my first WTA final, and I will fight until the last drop of sweat to win. I'm here with my mother, I am enjoying it and will even more if I win the tournament,” said Sorribes Tormo.

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Mandy Minella and Timea Bacsinszky celebrated in the doubles final 0:6, 7:6 (3), 10:4 against Renata Vorac and Cornelia Lister.

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You can read more about the tournament here

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 7 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Zidanšek Only Former Winner in Semi-final

June 7, 2019 - Of the three winners of the WTA Croatia Bol Open, only one - Slovenian Tamara Zidanšek - made it to the semifinals. In the first round, Tamara eliminated the first winner, Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella, and in the quarterfinals, she beat Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky 7: 6 (5), 6:4, who remains without a title in Bol. The second winner, Serbian Aleksandra Krunić, was kicked out in the quarters by the young Slovenian Kaja Juvan with a score of 7:5, 6:3. Juvan has confirmed her great potential with another stellar performance. She will play in the semifinals against her fellow countrywoman, Zidanšek.

"Today was not an easy match; in the end, I was happy to leave the court. When I got the first set, it was easier,” Zidanšek said.

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Bol is a special tournament for Zidanšek:

"It’s beautiful here, close to the sea, swimming ... It's so special," she added.

Kaja Juvan could be the "next big thing".

"I did not know what to expect from this tournament, which had a lot of good players in the top 100. I did not play the best today, but I passed. I was nervous against Krunić, but I succeeded."

And the semi-finals against Zidanšek?

"I know her; we play the FED Cup together. I know how she plays, good and constant. It's hard to play against someone from the same country. We're waiting for a fight, and I hope I win. My advantage is that I'm more aggressive, and Tamara has consistency in her game,” Kaja added.

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Slovakian Anna-Karolina Schmiedlova did not have any major problems against Switzerland's Jil Teichmann, who she defeated 6:3, 6:4. 

"It was a bit hot, but I was happy with the game. I’ve been here three times, I hope to win the tournament, if not this year, I'll be back again,” Schmiedlova said.

Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo and Germany's Laura Siegmund met in the final match of the day. 

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“She changed tactics throughout the match, but I was focused, I tried to play well, and I'm in the semi-finals," Tormo said after finishing the match 6:1, 6:0.

At 1 pm on Saturday, the doubles final will be held: C. Lister (SWE) / R. Voracova (CZE) - T. Bacsinszky (SUI) / M. Minella (LUX).

The semi-finals in the singles competition begin on Saturday at 2:30 pm on the central court of the Bluesun tennis center in Zlatni rat. The first to play is Zidanšek and Juvan.

You can read more about the tournament here

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 6 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Mrdeža Out in Second Round

June 6, 2019 - After the second round of the WTA Croatia Bol Open, Croatia no longer has a representative in the tournament. Namely, the last remaining Croatian, Tereza Mrdeža, was kicked by German Laura Siegmund in an exhausting match that lasted two hours and 45 minutes. The final result was 3:6, 7:6 (5) 1 for Siegmund.

Tereza Mrdeža had a good chance to qualify in the quarterfinals after taking the first set, in the second led 3:1, and had three breaks for 4:1 which she did not use. Siegmund then led 6:5, but Mrdeža reached a tie-break. In the decisive 13th game of the second set, Mrdeža led 5:4 and took two of Siegmund’s services. Siegmund, however, turned the game around to her advantage, and with 7:5 had a tie-break and equalized to 1:1 in sets.

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In the third set, the experienced German picked up her game, and Mrdeža did not have the strength for a real fight.

"In the last games, this has happened a lot. It’s almost over and I need to play to the end, and then I miss it," Mrdeža said, adding: “She picked up her game when it was the most critical, I knew she would not give me cheap points in this match, I knew how to play and in the end I let her dictate it. I probably also need to believe in myself, that I can really do it,” she concluded.

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Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky won 6:2, 6:4 against Japan's Nao Hibino.

"I did not have a light month and it has tortured me. My level of play has not been good, but today, I was pleased. I hope I can keep it up, I had good tactics and I’m happy. Hibino played well, and now I have to keep it up,” Bacsinszky said.

Last year's winner Tamara Zidanšek suffered, but managed to beat Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele 3:6, 6:2, 6:3.

Also convincing was Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo who beat Varvara Flink 6:3, 6:2, while Aleksandra Krunić, the 2017 winner, defeated Ana Bogdan 6:2, 6:1. Switzerland's Jill Teichman beat Belgium's Ysaline Bonaventure 6:2, 6:2.

The real drama was seen in the match between Germany's Anne-Lena Friedsam and Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. After losing the first set 4:6, Schmiedlova won the second 6:0. In the final set, the decision fell into a tie-break, where Schmiedlova won 7:6.

DAY THREE

S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) - V. Flink (RUS) 6:3, 6:2
A. Krunic (SRB) - A. Bogdan (ROU) 6:2, 6:1
L. Siegemund (GER) - T. Mrdeza (CRO) 3:6, 7:6 (5), 6:1
K. Juvan (SLO) - [5] A. Sharma (AUS) 6:1, 6:0
T. Zidansek (SLO) - S. Voegele (SUI) 3:6, 6:2, 6:3
A. Friedsam (GER) - [4] A. Schmiedlova (SVK) 6:4, 0:6, 6:7 

T. Bacsinszky (SUI) - N. Hibino (JPN) 6:2, 6:4

J. Teichmann (SUI) - Y. Bonaventure (BEL) 6:2, 6:2

You can read more about the tournament here.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 6 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Kids Day Held at Bluesun Tennis Courts (PHOTOS)

June 6, 2019 - On Thursday on the Bluesun tennis courts, about 70 boys and girls aged 7 or 12 from the elementary schools in Supetar and Bol attended Kid’s Day at the WTA Croatia Bol Open. 

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On the other side of the net was WTA stars Timea Bacsinszky, Cornelia Lister and Tena Lukas, who immediately warmed up the group up by hitting balls. 

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Following the warm-up came tennis lessons where the group practiced hitting balls over the net. Furthermore, ex-tennis player Tanja Lukas and volleyball player Lorena Šipić rewarded the kids with sweets made by Kraš because "With Kraš and sweets, kid’s day is worth even more!”

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You can find more information on the WTA Croatia Bol Open here.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 6 June 2019

WTA Croatia Bol Open: Spend the First 'Summer' Weekend in Bol!

June 6, 2019 - According to the weather forecast, the weekend ahead will be the first warm, summer weekend this season, and we suggest you head to the island, or rather to the town of Bol. The WTA Croatia Bol Open weekend begins on Friday, with the traditional klapa performances in the center of the city from 21:00, where Klapa Šufit and Klapa Cambi will perform.

The semi-final matches will be played on Saturday at the Bluesun tennis center in Zlatni rat at 2 pm, and the star of Saturday night will be Niki Belucci, a world-renowned DJ who will perform at the Varadero cocktail bar at 23:00!

On the day of the final, the program begins at 19:00 at the central court with a concert by the real diva of local music, Nina Badrić. At the end of the match, as part of the closing ceremony, guests will enjoy the performance of top pianist Lola Astanova. The 34-year-old Lola was born in Uzbekistan, and since 2003 has lived in the United States. She is famous for her brilliant performances of Chopin, Liszt, and Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, as well as contemporary composers and performers such as Rihanna and Queen.

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For everyone who wants to enjoy Bol, top sports and great fun, tickets for the WTA Croatia Bol Open are available at www.ticketshop.com.

You can read more about the WTA Croatia Bol Open here

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

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