Regatta of Jelsa – Sailing Club Split

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From 16 to 18 of June, Sailing club Split traditionally organised a regatta which goes from Split to small town on the north side of island Hvar, Jelsa, and then after two days, back to Split. There are about 30 NM from Split to Jelsa so it is not so long route, but if conditions are not good it may take you a whole day of sailing. Last year, Emil Tomašević with his boat Ultra Figaro, sailed this regatta and finished as a the first and the fastest boat of his group. So you can guess, young crew of Ultra express which represented Ultra sailing school this year, couldn’t allow themselves to finish regatta worse then Emil, to be precise, they wanted to win. Very enthusiastically they did some training the day before regatta started, and were watching a forecast very carefully.

 

The crew members were instructors from Ultra Sailing School and young sailors from club that organised this regata so when they came abroad on Friday morning, they imediatelly started discussing about sailing tactics, which sails they would use, what did the wheather forecast say… Weather forecast predicted a nice breeze, around 10 -15 knots of maestral so our sailors were very happy becouse that would mean fast and interesting sailing downwind to Jelsa. Since in front of SC Split ( Kaštelasnki zaljev) there was not enough wind, race committe decided to move a start of regata to Splitska vrata, becouse there has already been a light breeze. Around noon, Ultra express started its first regata. Fleet was compounded of nearly 40 boats all of them different sizes and crew of Ultra express was mostly watching and sailing against boats from the cathegory from 7 to 8 metars. The start of the regatta was very good, and crew managed to escape from the crowd and get some fresh air into sails of Ultra express. During the race, the wind was geting stronger, Ultra express was getting faster under it’s red gennaker and the level of adrenaline of our crew and skipper Ivan Jurić was getting higher. Concuretion boats were left behind, crew was sinchronysed while jibing, even the dolphines made a quick visit … In the end, Ultra express came in as fourteenth boat overall and second boat in it’s group which was good, but the crew wanted to do better.

 

The rest of the day sailors spent cleaning the boat and helping two main organisers Vedrana Puljiz and Ivan Lampalov to prepare everything for grill which was intended for sailors. Since forecast for that night was Bura, cold and rough wind from NE which is especially troublus in the port of Jelsa, with a little help from a local fishermen, Ultra express was moved to a safer and calmer place. Bura wasn’t as strong as espected, but in the morning as the wind was getting stronger, it was decided that it would be safer to move our boat to Vrboska, small port near Jelsa. Local people told us that even when there is more than 35 knots of Bura in the channel between Hvar and Brač, inside of port of Vrboska, there is no wind. Very soon we witnessed this marvelous story since gusts of Bura outside of port were around 30 knots and in the safety of Vrboska it seemed like it was just another sunny and not very windy day. So while boat was safely tieded down in Vrboska, we were free to explore this small town and have a lunch in Jelsa with the rest of the sailors.

 

On Sunday, when the start of second race was scheduled , Bura was still very strong with guts around 30 knots. Crew made a reef ( shortening of a sail) and made a system that could provide even more reefing if it was neccesary. The start of regatta for Ultra express wasn’t something a crew was proud of: we had to let them go a bit further, so it’s not too easy for us to win… was a sentence with whom crew was half jokingly getting its motivation and focus back. A bit of tacking after the start and then long sailing to the Splitska vrata, where it was espected for bura to be even stronger. While Ultra express was leaving it’s concuretion behind, the wind was getting stronger so the crew had to decide whether to make a second reef. Since the sails were new and the wind was geting stronger and stronger, it was decided to make a second reef in the small bay of Bobovišća where the wind wasn’t as strong as outside. Rapidly and very trained, the crew reefed the sail and got back to the race. Although it was a good decision, making a reef costed Ultra express to get out of competition with another boat from a group. Even some good tactical decisions couldn’t get us in front of this boat which sailed away, but, all in all, the overall result was much better than the first day and after the results for each group were summed, Ultra express finished as a first boat from it’s group, just in front of J-24 whose helmsman was Davorin Righi. After 7 hours of upwind sailing, some good and some bas decisions, the crew was very tired, but also filled with new experiences and happy to have had an opportunity to sail this small regatta with Ultra express.

Thanks Dubravka Pajk for photos :)

 Nađa Tomašević

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