September 30, 2019 - The Austrian Christian Phann and his crew aboard the sailing ship Vento Cadela are the winners of the 7th Thousand Islands Race. The first stage of the regatta was already the slowest among the seven issues of the competition. According to the forecast, the second promised to be even slower, which happened at the end.
The second leg departed from Porto Montenegro on Thursday, September 26, under 2-3 knots, just enough to slowly pull the fleet out of the Bay of Kotor in the hope that the wind will intensify around Dubrovnik. Along the whole route, the ships did not exceed the speed of 6-7 knots, and the entire stage passed in competing in patience and in the skill to find wind under challenging conditions. The Austrian Vento Cadela, the Slovenian Macropus and the Slovakian Lucia X were alternately leading, no further than one nautical mile along the whole route.
The thrill of the Thousand Islands Race is the variety of courses crews can choose from over a thousand Adriatic islands. Macropus' choice to pass south of the island of Molat initially gave him significant leadership, while Lucia X and Vento Cadela passed from the north. However, after a short while, Macropus broke into the calm, and Lucia X and Vento Cadela overtook him. From there, all three ships fought for every gust of wind until reaching their destination in Rijeka.
Eventually, all three entered the port of Rijeka together with a light southern breeze. Lucia X first crossed the finish line after more than 77 hours of racing, just 47 seconds ahead of Macropus. Vento Cadela followed after 4 minutes and 20 seconds, which was enough to win the second stage of the regatta in the corrected time.
Thus, Vento Cadela is the winner of each stage and the overall winner of the 7th edition of the Thousand Islands Race. Macropus, who had been second and twice third in previous editions of the regatta, added another place to his trophies. Last year's winner of the Lucia X Regatta finished third.
Since the wind was fragile throughout the whole second stage, the Montenegrin crew aboard Sofia realized they would not be able to cross the finish line until the extended time limit on Monday, September 30 at 4 am. So, they have decided to end their sailing to Rijeka by a motor drive.
Despite the demanding conditions of this year's regatta or just because of them, crews did not hide their pleasure and excitement and announced that they would return next year to the 8th Thousand Islands Race, which will be held from September 17 to September 27, 2020.