Following the well-established VISC tradition, the club organised for the fifth year, a full week of sailing activities in Croatia, making it also the eighth time in succession we have visited the area at this time of year.
As in the previous year, the club chartered a matching fleet of Bavaria 40S at ACI Marina Split via Sail Charter International, who also organised our Adriatic Sailing Week for us and supported us in the operation of the flotilla/regatta during the week, with both Frank Honan and Dominic Candelori coming to join us. This year, 38 sailors competed for the VISC Bob Pitt Memorial Award and the (informal) racing took place under that well known club sailing instruction, Bob’s Rule 11: ‘Don’t take it too seriously!’ We were particularly pleased to welcome several recently qualified skippers taking charge of a boat for the Adriatic Week.
The crews mostly arrived by car from Vienna on Saturday 20th to check-in, be briefed about the yachts and plan for the week ahead, before spending a free evening exploring the hidden treasures of Split old town. We were particularly grateful to our organising sponsors Sail Charter International and their partners (see below) for the amazing and useful goodies welcoming us on board, including dry bags, branded t-shirts, vouchers, etc., and the prizes for the final day’s ceremony and end-celebration. Additionally, SCI organised special photo and video coverage by Nick Hathaway of 45 Degrees Sailing (one of SCI’s partners), who would stay with us for the entire week, aboard different boats, documenting the experience and adventures of the VISC fleet.
CLICK HERE to see the video blog playlist and watch…
The week ahead was looking great!
This 2018 edition of our Adriatic Sailing Week placed a specific emphasis on safe sailing and the first day focused on giving crews an opportunity to practise manoeuvres and techniques aimed at increasing sailing safety, such as Man Overboard and the use of a gybe preventer. A practice start and short practice race teased our appetites for the coming 5 days of racing flotilla fun! In the evening crews gathered for a welcome dinner at a funky local restaurant in Split, where VISC Commodore Peter McNeil officially welcomed everyone and presented the VISC vision behind the event. This year VISC chose to promote causes meaningful to sailing: ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ of the Clean Seas campaign by UN Environment Agency, to fight against marine plastic pollution, and the ‘Blue Heart’ campaign also by the UN, aiming to raise awareness and solidarity with victims of human trafficking.
The next 5 days saw 5 organised regatta/flotilla races, with our committee members taking turns to plan the racing passages and to start/finish each of the races. Each day presented different challenges on our passages from Split, progressing via Vis, Palmiziana, Starigrad, Milna and finally back to Split. We had a spectrum of wind conditions from very light, up to a good F5 (gusting 6), which gave all our skippers interesting conditions in which to casually race each other. There were also added fun challenges through the week, including a treasure hunt-style photo competition with all crews required to provide selfies at all marks, and a yacht cocktail competition taking place one evening with nine different cocktails being presented and judged by crews as the evening gradually found its way into early hours of the morning! We also had a special outing organised one evening to Hora Farms, where we all enjoyed a wonderful evening sampling locally farmed organic delicacies, amid breathtaking scenery of a UNESCO-protected farming area, where little has changed since the ancient Greeks arrived almost 2400 years ago.
On the final evening, to conclude a wonderful week of sailing with friends for the VISC, all the crews gathered for a prize giving dinner in Restaurant Velum in Split marina. The VISC Commodore, Peter, and SCI parter, Frank, summed up the week, its highlights and achievements, and congratulated everyone for their fantastic participation.
After an intensive week of amazing races, Manhattan (skipper: Dario) was announced the winner of the Bob Pitt Memorial Award, B-52 (skipper: Graham) was the runner-up and Hurricane (skipper: Christophe) achieved third place; each of whom won a variety of prizes provided by Sail Charter International, Navionics UK&Ireland, Topsail Insurance and Overboard Waterproof, as well as additional prizes provided by VISC, ourselves. All yachts received participation prize/gifts and huge thanks went out to Frank and Dominic of Sail Charter International for sponsoring the event (with their partners), to Nick Hathaway from 45 Degrees sailing for documenting the week, as well as to John and his team of Race Officers: Jools, Peter and Joep and also to Frank and Liz for all their efforts in making the week so enjoyable and memorable.
31 October 2018
(The full week regatta report is made on the club website)
NOTE: Vienna International Sailing Club – the VISC was established in 1998 to promote sailing amongst the staff of the international organisations and missions in Vienna, including the UN, OSCE, IAEA, and others.