A few years ago, some ambassadors had the idea of competing on a "diplomatic regatta" off the Adriatic coast of Slovenia and of course also "diplomatically" exchanging ideas. It didn't stop there. For the third time this year, on September 10th, the “regatta that is probably unique in the world” will take place - according to Viktor Barraga, the well-traveled Slovenian honorary consul of Australia.
Barrag must know. Together with the ambassadors of the Netherlands and England in Slovenia at the time, Jan Hennemann and Hugh Mortimer, the idea quickly took shape two years ago and found enthusiastic followers, especially in Marinvon Izola, one of the most beautiful Slovenian coastal towns.
The organizing committee this year includes the Swedish Ambassador John Hagard, the Polish Ambassador Janusz Jesionek, the Ambassador of the United States of America Thomas B. Robertson and the Chief of Protocol of the Slovenian Foreign Ministry Tomaz Kunstelj, who also manages the registrations.
The organizer is the “Jadralni Klub Veter (Sailing Club Wind)”. In an interview with YACHT, its president, the active Branko Augustin, proudly refers to the figures from last year: 100 participating yachts under the Italian, Austrian, German, Croatian, even Polish and, of course, Slovenian flags, three boats with diplomats as owners. A total of around 1,100 participants, including 120 people with diplomatic passports, led by 25 ambassadors. And then of course representatives from politics, business and VIPs of all kinds from the host country: “A sporty, but also a first-rate social event,” says Branko Augustin, who suspects. "The numbers will probably increase this year."
The money for the large tent in the Marinvon Izol and the festive final dinner with award ceremony (Branko: "Almost everyone can win, we have almost a hundred trophies!") Comes from sponsors who like to present themselves here internationally.
The sporty side. The European ISAF standard is used for sailing: twelve classes each for racers and cruisers, followed by special classes for historic boats, among other things. Branko Augustin: "The regatta is open to everyone, we are happy to welcome new participants from German-speaking countries." Registration is possible via the Internet: www.veter-klub.com (from the end of August).
The diplomats and their family members will be ceremonially distributed to the participating yachts before the start of the regatta raffle. Really exciting: Nobody knows beforehand which boat they will land on. If you're lucky, you can ride on one of the racing yachts, which usually clear everything here.
Not entirely uninteresting: the registration fee of 15,000 SIT (around 65 euros) is reduced according to the number of guests accepted. But there is also excitement and experiences on the slower boats, which are then hotly debated at the evening final dinner under the tent roof: Last year, the Croatian ambassador to Slovenia hardly left the galley of a historic boat from Piran because it tasted so good, and the Austrian one Ambassador Dr. Grünbühel-Mayrhofer brought all of the experience of a mountaineer used to heights to the Nauticat 43 of a Slovenian entrepreneur when he let himself be lifted into the mast to untangle the twisted spinnaker.