Ladja Marathon on Neretva 2019 – Event Insight by Bolt Travel
Ladja Marathon on Neretva
The Ladja Marathon on Neretva is an amateur boat race where contestants row in their boats on the river Neretva between the towns of Metković and Ploće. It is annually held on the second Saturday of August where thousands of people line up along the river to follow the race and their favourite team. This year, the marathon starts on the 10th of August at 5:00 PM.
The boats in the race are called ladja (lađa) which are vessels native to the Lower Neretva River in Croatia. The ladjas are used in the race as a way of preserving the history of lađas where for centuries, they were used as a way of transporting goods and people along the Neretva River. Also, they were used by Neretva pirates who terrorised the whole Neretva region.
According to the rules of the marathon, the competing ladja must be wooden, comprised of a traditional shape that is within the required dimensions (length: 7-8,2 metres, width: 2,45-2,8 metres, depth: 70 cm and 23 wooden spokes).
The whole race is 22,5 km long. It starts from the town of Metković under the main bridge, runs along the river Neretva passing through Opuzen and a small village called Komin and finishes in Ploće.
Each crew in the boat can have between 12 and 18 people which consist of 10 rowers, a drummer and a cox or oarsman.
The most exciting parts of the race are at the start when the crews with their custom-made lađa impatiently line up to start the race, combined with the rhythmic beating of the drums and at the end where the crowd celebrates the winning team as it enters in Ploče with fireworks, music and food which makes the whole competition a one of a kind event in Croatia.
Therefore, if you are somewhere near the Neretva River, come down and enjoy this spectacular event this region has to offer.