SINJ, 8 August 2021 – Alkar Mihovil Župa has won the 306th Sinjska Alka Knights lancing tournament on Sunday in the southern Croatian town of Sinj.
Župa won the traditional event which has been held since 1715 in his first ever tournament. It was also the first time the horse he was on took part.
After three attempts, Župa accumulated seven points, with a hit on the central circle in last attempt.
The event on Sunday was attended by the president of Croatia, Zoran Milanović and his wife Sanja Musić Milanović.
“Distinguished guests, the people of the Cetina region, the Alkars, the victors, this place was often a rostrum with internal political topics. I want it never to happen again. I am addressing my fellow citizens – these days we are celebrating great Croatian war victories, they all came at the same time, as if fate wanted it,”said President Milanović and recalled the historical path of the famous and rich tradition of Alka, which deeply marked the character, soul and destiny of all the people of this region.
“We live in modern times and I am extremely glad to see all these five thousand people here as in the good old days, as three years ago. And let all these troubles, whatever they may be, whatever really happened to us, and we will just know and understand that, let it never happen again,” said Milanović.
“Emotions, overwhelmed, a boyhood dream came true. Oh my,” said the winner of the 306th alkar Mihovil Župa.
Sinjska Alka sees horsemen attempt to aim their lances at a hanging metal ring, known as the Alka, at full gallop. The ring, or Alka, consists of two concentric iron circles joined by three bars so that the distance between the circles is divided into three equal parts.
The central circle, which is the smallest one, is worth three points (punat), the upper field two points, and two lower fields one point each.
Only men born in Sinj and surrounding villages are eligible to take part in the event and with it comes considerable prestige. The costumes worn by the Alkar men are the same that were worn by the warriors in the 18th century.
Sinjska Alka was inscribed in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2010.