Report from the Adriatic Race 28-30.04.2011.

On the 27th April the team navigated over from Kremik to Vis, the starting place of the race. Navigating is a better word in this case then sailing since we did this voyage with the engine without any wind. But even this time wasn’t useless. The team spent it with the accurate checking of the winches (disassembling, assembling and proper greasing), instruments and the toolbox and with replacing the worn-out labels.

Despite the 10-15 knot forecast for the previous days only a 5-8 knot wind was predicted for the next two days during the race. The low wind speed favours Joe because of its relatively small weight and briskness so although we had to prepare for the long and overtiring wind-hunt we were hopeful about the start of the race.


The team: Márton Józsa, Tibor Palatinus, Marcell Goszleth, András D’Albini, Áron Németh, Zsolt Magyary-Kossa, Csaba Lukáts, Csaba Adorján, András Aklan, Zsolt Király, Tamás Galgóczi, István Pál, István Józsa, Krisztián Palkovics, Ante Vanjaka (CRO), Stjepan Marinovic (CRO)

Next day. On the morning of the start the meteorological centres were not promising any good and the situation wasn’t looking any better in the Vis bay. We selected the sails and clothing accordingly. What we didn’t need stayed on the shore and after a quick check we set sail – fix the setting, a few turns, fixing the signals in the navigation software, getting ready for the start.

Already when arriving the day before there were suspiciously few ships by the cliff. There were only 8 contestants so we didn’t have to expect any crowd by the start set to 11 am. The opponents of Joe got ready for the start: the 60 feet Slovenian Veliki Viharnik with the legendary Dusan Puh at its wheel (who is the two times title defender of the race) and the Austrian 70 feet Ericsson (which at last year’s regatta at Malta passed us after the Messina-straight and finished as 4th just before us). They are both Volvo Ocean Race boats so we could expect some serious challenge.


The course: installed start at the exit of the Vis bay towards the port, buoy in the port of Vis, then sailing from Vis in the direction of Korcula towards Dubrovnik. From the mark of St. Andrija Island in front of Dubrovnik back to Vis by-passing the island of Palagruza.


Due to our good positioning we had a great start in the low, 5-6 knots south-eastern wind, managed to take the lead and after a switch from quick genua to code 0 (although this sail is not really for such a course) we could hold our position. After leaving the buoy in the port as the first one the three maxis took their course towards the exit of the Vis bay in the order of Wild Joe, E1 and Viharnik. We switched to genua as from sailing into the bay earlier we could expect an eastern wind. We also had to set it at the entrance of the bay but after leaving the bay the wind started to take a more southern direction. E1 switched to genua too, and then back to top genua, only Viharnik used top genua the whole time.


ADRIATIC-RACE022Approching Korcula the three ships were together, with E1 a little bit to the north. Viharnik put a psychological pressure on us with the fact that it could almost keep our sharpness, although it was a bit slower. This type of low-wind headsail called „top genua” or also known as „drifter” is missing from the sail-selection of Wild Joe because as the biggest headsail it means a remarkable handicap in the calculation of IRC rating. Of course such a sail in low speed wind „open” races as the Adriatic Race may become very handy.

The earlier 7-8 knot wind started to decrease and gradually turned to a south-south-western direction. Finally before Korcula the 70 feet E1 managed to pass and leave us behind and by reaching the island the 60 feet Viharnik passed us too. Luckily because of the new south-western wind we could use gennaker and so pass the still nearby Viharnik. We started to get closer to the E1 while sailing a deeper angle. E1 tried to react but by every bearing away it lost more and more speed and in the 6-7 knot wind we were steadily approaching it while also winning some depth. During this time Viharnik gibed towards Korcula.

When approaching the end of the island Wild Joe came into line with Ericsson and we could win back our leading position. After two gibings E1 gradually dropped behind while Viharnik already had about 4-5 kms distance from us. When reaching the island of Mljet we decided to head towards the side of the island closer to the sea based on the weather forecasts and previous experience while our rivals targeted the channel between the island and mainland. Soon it got dark and from then on we couldn’t see the two VOR boats but knowing their last position we didn’t give them a fair chance that they followed us. In the night we found an 8 knot wind strip which we sailed with gennaker towards St Andrija island. We passed the island at 4 a.m. and later, during the morning position-report it turned out the two VORs were behind us by about 16 miles.

The wind stopped almost completely in the early morning and what remained was also blowing from the direction of Palagrusa. So we tried to proceed with genua from wind trail to wind trail. Finally, in a couple of hours after the sunrise the wind began to blow and Wild Joe was cruising proudly in the 8 knots wind towards the next mark. Our opponents were in an 8 miles distance from us (due to the low wind without drifter in the morning, this distance decreased a bit) but according to the weather forecast the wind was about to turn in a western direction so we had to look out for them.

By the evening the wind decreased and stopped and fresher from the East at night. Switching to gennaker we moved towards Paragruza and we reached it at 21:40 and after a gibing we headed to Vis. The opponents were approaching but the lost distance was not considerable. The East wind turned into South slowly and fresher to 6-7 knots. Wild Joe was advancing with 7-8 knots after a gibing. The opponents were expecting the forecasted Western wind and they were moving a bit sharper so it was very important for us to be in a good position. We had to find the right angle where the speed and the approach of the end was optimal compared to our competitors. The wind started to decrease at the presumably last guard switch and a calm period followed.


At dawn after two gibing while keeping a moderate distance from Vis Island (where less wind was excepted due to the cover of the island) we moved towards the Vis bay with gennaker while our opponents were more than 4 miles behind us. When we reached the bay the boat slipped into the windless calm with 9 knots so we changed to genau and after a very long cruise at 05:38:55 we crossed the finish line as first and so we won the first regatta of the year.

The Ericsson finished at 6:16 with a lag of 40 minutes. In the third place arrived the defending champion Velike Viharnik one hour later. The two experienced Croatian sailors who joined our team for the championship undoubtly contributed to the success with their knowledge of the area.

After a refreshing shower the team sailed back to Kermik so they could return to the awards ceremony which was celebrated by our Croatian friends in a very homely mood. The awards were accompanied with many appreciations about our team’s performance while the other teams cheered us loudly as real sportsmen.

After returning home next morning the boys prepared the boat for shipping for the next race at Capri in May.

More information and details are available at the official webpage of the organiser Yacht Club HOST:

Csaba Adorján