9 August 2019 – Gusari Komin (Pirates from Komin) have won the 22nd Maraton lađa rowing race which was held on Saturday on the Neretva River.
Gusari Komin beat 27 other teams in the 22.5 kilometre race which started in Metkovic and ended in the coastal town of Ploce.
A big crowd turned out again today for what is one of the biggest events of the year in the area. 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.
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 Metkovic under the main bridge. The course runs along the Neretva to the harbour in Ploce. 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 Ploce.