ZAGREB, 15 Aug (Hina) – The crew from Stablina won the 24th Neretva Boat Marathon, raced on Saturday afternoon down a 22.5 kilometre stretch of the river Neretva from the town of Metković to the seaport of Ploče.
Among the 33 crews racing, rowers from Zagreb came second, while a crew from Metković finished third.
This was the Stablina crew’s fourth gold in this competition, finishing this year’s race in two hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds.
Due to COVID restrictions, the race again took place without spectators and accompanying events in Metković and the finish line in Ploče.
Maraton lađa is a rowing race in traditional vessels, known as lađa, which are native to the Lower Neretva River which flows through Croatia. Lađa were used by the old Neretva pirates, who terrorised the area back in the 10th century.
Each crew consists of ten rowers, a drummer and a cox.
Because of their narrow size, Lađa were able to enter every one of the rivers that flowed into the Neretva as well as the Neretva River itself. It can be said that the lađa to the Neretva represents the same significance as the gondola does to Venice.
To preserve the traditions of the old Lađa, the 22.5 kilometer rowing race from Metković to Ploče was introduced for the first time in 1998.
The start of the race is in Metković under the main bridge. The course runs along the Neretva to the harbour in Ploče.
Approximately at the halfway mark, in the town of Opuzen, an interchange of up to six crew members is permitted (although it is not compulsory to change). The race continues further down the river through the small village of Komin, through the narrow Black River and onto the final destination in Ploče.