The Adriatic Times Sinke

Once again this year, the Krapanj Improvement Association had organized the female rowing regatta, under the title “Towards Our Lady of the Angels”

This unusual and unique regatta is held in memory of all the women from Krapanj, a small island in the Sibenik waters, who raised many a generation of islanders with oars in their hands. You must know that Krapanj is an island famous for diving, with an emphases on diving sea sponges. However, the hard life Krapanj women used to lead while tending to the houses, fields, gardens and taking care of their families, is known only to the people of Krapanj.

One of the goals of this regatta is to introduce the broad public to the plights of Krapanj women. Women who got up at 2am, rowed their boats to fields in Jadrtovac, Grebastica and Donje Polje, worked those fields and rowed back home where they had to take care of children, housework, gardens… Aside from the hard life of Krapanj women, we would also like to inform you about an unusual custom in Krapanj where the traditional practice was for women to row and men to stand on the boat’s prow or stern. Today’s generations consider such a thing as unimaginable and primitive.

For the sixth consecutive year you will experience a story on Krapanj on exceptional women, our grandmothers, mothers, aunts that used to row not even knowing how to swim. The four corners of the house were theirs for the men went searching for sponges and when tehy were home they had to rest for it was not easy to go down to those depths and extract sponges. Some never made it back home. The job needed respect! That respect, that love, that life of hardship deserves our attention even today. This female rowing regatta ā€˛Towards the feast of Our Lady of the Angels is again organized in honour of these women. The participants will be 8 old gajetas, 40 female rowers will participate among which the oldest is Smiljka Milutin(78).

Milena Budimir / The Adriatic Times

Photo by: Nikolina Vukovic Stipanicev / CROPIX