The idea of competitive yachting and sailing for pleasure was established amongst English gentlemen in the early 19th century and this pastime soon spread overseas. Today, the International Sailing Federation has more then 120 countries under membership, each with their own organisation for the management and development of the sport.
For the sailing fraternity, Europe offers some of the world’s premier sailing destinations, attracting the crème de la crème of this popular sport. The region’s most well established waters in this sense remain the French Riviera, Italy, Corsica and Greece.
The Adriatic region is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity however, not just in terms of its ever-expanding marina offer and comparatively unexploited coastline but also for its sailing events.
The most popular regattas of the Adriatic are Barcolana in Trieste which welcomes more than 2000 participants, Mrdulja in Croatia, Terra di Mare from Bari to Herceg Novi (Montenegro) and the Thousand Island Race that will be held from September 20th-30th, racing between Rijeka to Tivat (Porto Montenegro).
Montenegro itself boasts 295km of dramatic coastline — including the Bay of Kotor — a region blessed with favorable winds, mountainous backdrops and the emerging hub of Porto Montenegro.
Local races include the Fasinada Cup, an annual homage to Our Lady of Skrpelj and her man-made island opposite the Venetian town of Perast. In June, Porto Montenegro hosted its 2nd annual International Match Race on its Blu 26 boats and for the first time this year hosted its own Tofinou Race.
The very first Thousand Island Race will launch this September. The first leg will begin on the 19th from Rijeka with the second leg starting from Porto Montenegro on September 25th. Commentators are already marking it as potentially the biggest event in the region within the next few years and the Adriatic’s sailing scene certainly shows no signs of slowing down yet.