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Boats marathon on the river Neretva

The Boats Marathon on the river Neretva is long tradition of the local inhabitants, and is performing within tourist summer. It is exclusively amateur sports competition of the traditional local wooden boats. Through the history, these boats have been used as the transport mean from the dwelling place to the market,shop or the agricultural lands along the river Neretva. Marathon as the race is taking place once a year at the begining the August, on the route 22500 metres long, under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Croatia and the river Neretva boatmen association. The race begins at 17 h under the bridge in the town of the Metkovic. The finish is in the town of Ploce, where the Winning Shield and the medals are awarded at 21 h. At the start, the boats and the crews are presenting, some proper ceremony and speach is taking place, and the start signal is given.

The route is strictly defined : The bridge in the town of Metkovic,Kula Norinska,Krvavac, Opuzen,Komin,Crna rijeka,Rogotin,Čeveljusa,Stablin and finally town of Ploce. Along the marathon route and along the river Neretva, about 50000 spectators have been there. At the marathon day any navigation or the use of the fishing tools is forbiten. How important this event is, proves the fact that it is treated as the tourist atraction and the spectacle to be taping and transmiting over the national TV and radio. There is no need to mention the datum that, there is the insreasing traffic by trains,buses,vessels and cars, with only aim to be present there and see the knightly competition in paddling and physical endurance. The river Neretva boatmen association define the rigid rules : Competitors can be only inhabitants or their descendants from the towns along the river Neretva,during the competion, replacement of the 6 paddlers-members of the crew is allowed, crew contains 12-18 members, with 1 drummer and steersman,the boat need to have the traditional shape and dimensions,33 boats are property of the associatition and are participating in the official competion, all the other crews have to provide their own boats and compite out of the competition, the Paddlers must sit at the edge of the boat,the drummer must sit on the bow of in the middle of the boat, and Paddlers replacement during the race is allowed.

The winning crew gets the gold medals,temporary shield of prince Domagoj 27 kilograms of weight, the smaller shield to to the permanent property, and the money prize. How it is interesting for all the participants and guests, all tourist towns in Dalmatia had to insert this Boats Marathon into the offer and tourist program. On July the year 2008. one crew of the river Neretva has participated into the World exposition of the sea,sailors in the town of Brest in France. On 26.06. the year 2009. one crew has paddled across the La Manch channel for 3 hours and 42 minutes. There is one more curiosity which has occured 19.06.2010. through the project «Our grandfathers tracks-over the Adriatic by the boat», where also, one of the river Neretva boat crew has paddled across the Adriatic sea, on the route the town of Metkovic-town of Termoli, 140 nm long, within 35 hours continually.



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