The whole week before the Seascape27 fleet would again join the famous regatta Jabuka was marked by the anticipation of what comes next.
One of public Croatian TV stations stated that only chaos theory could describe weather coming over the weekend. Our renowned meteorologist and a dedicated Seascaper Jure could not agree more. He was both advising us and race organisers. As strong Jugo (SE) wind howled outside, the suspense built over Friday afternoon. Race organisers didn’t want to announce any decisions before final skippers meeting at 7 pm. Half past 6 Port Authority declared an official order that all boats are forbidden to leave port. That immediately delayed skippers meeting for a least another hour to buy time and find a solution. Only when race organisers put to ease Port Authorities concerns and declared that the shorter route would be sailed the order was lifted. They also decided to postpone until next morning and not to go with a night start. The new route went: Vodice, island Tijat on starboard, – island Zmajan on port – rock Mala Mare on port, island Blitvenica on port – rock Mulo on port – Vodice. With only 49 NM that is almost half of the original route. Knowing all that we went to sleep quite pleased, pouring rain and far but constant thunder outside.
We woke up before dawn, and when we arrived at the marina, our drowsiness or what was left of it was quickly removed by brisk morning air that is an omen to the coming of gusty and cold wind Bora (NE). 8 Seascape27s joined by 4 Minies who all share same DNA were the smallest of total 92 boats on the starting line of the 14. regatta Jabuka. With the largest beeing a VOR 70 and an old IMOCA. The first downwind leg proved to favour our light boats, and we soon left behind the majority fleet. Non-planing turned out to be a big set back. We didn’t have to worry thou. We set the fractional gennaker, moved all the way to the stern and tried to hide our grin when the occasional wave broke over the bow. The setting was perfect with the rising morning sun and the horizon littered with sails to our back.
The fastest from Seascape27s turned out to be Escapade owned and helmed by Swiss Philipp Lenzlinger with his crew Jure Jerman, Dejan Presen and Deni Szilagyi they managed to turn island Blitvenica in the company of “maxis”. After Blitvenica the second positioned Seascape AUT58 (skipper: Tit Plevnik and crew: Damijan Vuk, Gerald Kerschbaumer, Draško Andrić, Vid Slapničar) lost its place to Vera with half Danish and half Croatian team (skipper: Sven Møller and crew: Per Cederberg, Ratko Štibrić Nina Popovac). When the route turned upwind, and Bora picked up to almost 30 and gusts well over 35 knots the larger rest of the fleet finally caught up and as expected faired a bit better in those conditions. The first three places didn’t change for the Seascapes, but guys and girl on Vera came close, finishing only seconds behind the Escapade, as is becoming a common thing for Seascape Signature events. Czech Emotion (skipper: Petr Sladecek and crew: Vojta Sladecek, Petr Stejskal, Roman Knizektook) decided for a brave tactic and took a canal between islands closer to shore. Their tracker watching fans probably lost all the fingernails. It paid out in the end, and they finished fourth.
The good seamanship and seaworthiness of crews and Seascape27s proved that even in those challenging conditions we can all deal with them. The Croatian team Ora Blu (skipper: Tomislav Gomerčić and crew: Mato Mužević, Vedran Šimunović, Matko Perharić) had to make a short stop in a shelter of a Maslinovik island to repair some damage. But they still finished with just a few hours behind the first Seascape27. The whole event showed the tightness of the Seascape family and with the highest number of crews tells that the original Seascape Signature event is still a challenge worth taking and will remain so!