Slovakian Lucia X, owned by Milan Fabian with Croatian crew onboard and Mladen Kraljić at the helm, is the winner of 6th Thousand Islands Race. The second leg from Tivat to Rijeka changed only the course direction among more than 1000 islands of Croatian coast, but NE winds (bura) stayed constant throughout both legs and will be talked about long after.
After five boats retired on the first leg, four races started in Porto Montenegro on Thursday 27 September and only two of them finished. The first retired was the Hungarian Wild Joe due to battery problems and powering its newly installed Dynamic Stability System that needed looking after before they participate at the Middle Sea Race in Malta in three weeks. They stopped half way up the second leg in their home Marina Kremik near Primošten. This left Godspeed 52 helmed by Peter Steinkogler, Lucia X helmed by Mladen Kraljić and the SY under Montenegrin flag - Stribor helmed by Jeremija Kurbanović in the contest for the overall win. All of them had a chance to win the regatta at the time.
Austrian Godspeed 52 pulled out in the elapsed time ahead of Lucia X and Stribor. The only question was: Would Godspeed 52 make enough time difference for a win under corrected time? However, Lucia X managed to reduce Godspeed's advantage down to 12 NM distance leaving Stribor further back in her wake. When Godspeed 52 cut the finish line in the Rijeka harbor after 56:38:50 hours racing, Lucia X needed to finish by 00:45 on Sunday 30 September to be the winner of the second leg and overall as well. It was easily achievable given the elapsed time delay and existing NE wind that led them to the very finish - and they did it on Saturday 29 September at 21:03:50 hours.
Stribor remained the only boat still racing and also had a chance to win the overall race, provided she finished before 04:07 on Sunday. However, the wind strengthened again and showed her real bite after so many times in this year's regatta, forcing Stribor, considering the safety of the boat and the crew, to seek shelter to the south of Pag island where they spent the night from Saturday to Sunday. It became apparent that they would not be able to finish the regatta so they decided to retire and motor to Rijeka. They kept their place overall. They deserve recognition for their project that included chartering a boat in Šibenik, sailing to Rijeka, completed the first leg to Tivat, almost completed the second leg and at the end, returned to Šibenik.
For the runner-up, Austrian Godspeed 52, the Thousand Islands Race is the first stop in the best known offshore regattas and their next stop is the Middle Sea Race in Malta where Wild Joe will also take part for the eight time.
The winner Lucia X is the only boat that participated in every single Thousand Islands Race to date. With last year's win in the ORC Group 3 at Middle Sea Race, the crew demonstrated they are well prepared for the high winds that marked this edition of Thousand Islands Race. Lucia X's crew constitutes Mladen Kraljić, Karlo Kraljić, Mladen Kvasić, Dinko Petrov, Neven Cuculić, Vlado Grego, Martin Tvrdon and Alen Mrakovčić.