ZAGREB, 14 Aug (Hina/CW) – A crew from Zagreb, the current title holders, won the 26th Neretva Boat Marathon (Maraton lađa), raced on Saturday afternoon down a 22.5 kilometre stretch of the river Neretva from the town of Metković to the seaport of Ploče.
Participating in this year’s race were 29 teams from Croatia and abroad.
The Slivno crew finished the race second and the Gusari crew from Komin third.
The Neretva Boat Marathon is an amateur sporting competition between rowers in traditional boats, known as lađa. Each crew consists of ten rowers, a drummer and a cox.
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.
The race is one of the most important tourist events in southern Croatia.
Attending the race was, among others, President Zoran Milanović.
Before the start of the race, President Milanović stated in Metković that he likes the Boat Marathon because of the gathering of people and the non-political atmosphere. ‘The gathering of people, the atmosphere, and the joy, which are not political, are important,’ said President Milanović.