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tradition represented by the lateen sail

Body and soul regatta - Betina 15.8.2011.


I finally had a chance to attend the regata in Betina. It was starting to be difficult explaining to my friendsfrom Betina why I couldn't make it to their regata. Seeing that the Regata za dusu i tilo was held during the holidays, it was understandable there would be some difficulties finding a free date. The main event follows after days of boat and sea themed plays. Exhibitons are held, as well as recitals and displays of boat equipments. The events are organized together with the neighbouring Murter, as a token of friendship. The same goes with the regata held there. Excitement rules the area as soon as dawn breaks. Guests are greeted on the dock and boats come from all sides.

Boats full of crew and guests fill the docks - a real fest of boats and sea. Boats and seamen from Rab, Zadar, Preko, Pasman and Barotul to Hvar, Zlarin, Sepurina, Vodice, Tribunj and Tisno, while the hosts from Betina and Murter outnumber all. The docks are crowded with people, most of them meeting friends they rarely see, making each regata even more special for them. The panorama above shows barely half of the boats.

Soon the crews get ready to start. Just as we all met and before we could finish our talks, the first sign for start is given and everyone starts rushing.

Seeing that Betina a place famous for their shipyard, it was natural to expect something special, best part being the appearance of new boats. I noticed three-four, but there were probably a few more. A new boat there is like when a family gets a baby. Center of the world and a hope for the future, and this confirms the story that people from Betina and Murter always say, "our boat lives, we need it and use it daily, regata is just a social side-event". Also, having the boats maker, called the "kalafat", on the boat, is a special event event. Master Ciro was on the Cicibela; a renovated boat from 1931, but that's a different story. There was the beautiful and elegant gajet that Zec built before he built his house after returning from Sweden. Then there was the big gajet from Mati Jezerka decorated with greenery, because it was it's first public sailing. The Spaniard from Rab, although out of all categories, always comes, this time with a new boat. Apart from these, there were a lot of other new boats among the croded sea with over fifty boats.

More than fifty crews want to have the best possible start, because in a race like this, it's vital to have a good postion before the first bouyu, which is always the most crowded part. Lead is easy to hold, but every mistake means a big loss of time.

A lot of other boats tag along; organizers, reporters and a lot of onlookers. I was on a beautiful leut built in Betina from which I took most of these photos, for which I express my gartitudes to the captitan.

After the first buoy, the crowd dissipates as the favourites move ahead. After the first turn you can already see the group with the winner, but the tension remains until the very finishline, where most of the duels take place.

The people from Betina held a big event. All that remains is to process the results in the festival atmosphere.


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