Traditions & Cultures
Life Style

Sailing activities

The oldest document in the Liber Comisae manuscript contains a description of a regatta from Komiža to Palagruža. In the town of Hvar, which was then the communal centre in administrative charge of Vis, 74 owners of falkuša were officially registered on May 9, 1593, so they could take part in the next regatta during the new moon. The gajeta falkuša boat is a focal point in the unique fishermen regatta from Komiza to Palagruza, which is the longest rowing marathon in the world. During calm seas the rowers had to row continuously from sunrise to sunset, so they could reach the 42-mile remote Palagruža on their heavily loaded boats. It was a race among fishermen to catch the best fishing spot and feed your family. Obviously, Palagruža is an important element in the story about Komiža’s fishing boat – the amazing falkuša – designed for specific conditions of extreme weather in the open-sea islands around Vis. Sailing to distant island of Palagruža is the oldest known off-shore regatta in the Mediterranean. Nowadays, every June as part of a week-long Festival of the Sea, the spectacular regatta called ‘Rota Palagruzona’ features traditional wooden sailboats that take off for Palagruža island, honouring the tradition of Komiža’s fishermen sailing to the remote archipelago that used to be rich with shoals of sardines. The shore of Palagruža also hosts the so-called Papal dinner on Friday evening, to mark the historic event from 1177 when a papal fleet composed of 12 galleys sought shelter from storm in Palagruža waters. The fishermen of Komiža prepared a delicious meal for the Pope and his entourage, and the organisers of ‘Rota Palagruzona’ carry on the tradition by greeting their guests with a celebratory dinner.

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