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Orjen Marathon, The Youth regatta

ImageAlthough weather conditions in the whole of Europe are not what we havecome to expect at this time of year, the tourist preseason is in full swing. At this moment 2771 guests are holidaying on the Herceg Novi Riviera, which is twenty five per cent more than at this time last year, according to the Tourist Centre. In the opinion of representatives of the tourist industry this trend will continue and this year is expected to be one of the best in the past decade. For this reason preparations and additions to the range of attractions on offer are under way when the inventiveness of people connected with the tourist industry comes to the fore. ImageOne group of people who have always been strong on inventiveness are surely the members of the Subra mountaineering association who are the organizers of the Orjen Marathon which is being held for the fifth time, as a non-competitivemountain event, and a real magnet for lovers of activity holidays.ImageThis year the Orjen marathon again attracted fifty or so lovers of nature, and it aim to offer, in the words of the organisers, an encounter with the mountain and an opportunity to demonstrate and to exploit the natural potential of the hinterland of the Montenegrin coast. Image As the members of the Subra mountaineering association emphasize, the Orjen massif with its moretham four hundred square kilometers, the highest point on the East coast of the Adriatic and a most interesting part of the coastal Dinaric chain is still somewhat neglected and inadequately exploited as a tourist destination. ImageWith this in mind Montenegrin mountaineers have begun to take steps to make this natural Montenegrin resource a part of what tourism organizations have on offer, with the result that besides mountaineers and recreational hikers from Niksic, Kotor, Tivat and Herecg Novi eight mountaineering societies from countries which were formerly Yugoslavia republics took part in the marathon. Amongst them was Mosor from Split whose members came to Orjen for thesecond time: "Once again all the participants were more than satisfied and they all said they would be back. This is what confirms to us that such projects are a good idea, proven by the fact that majority of people who have already seen Orjen come back again. Image The Orjen marathon is an event on the official calendar of the Montenegrin Mountaineering Association and we can now say that it has become a tradition. We do of course endeavor to attract more participants each year and to offer all of them as enjoyable experience as possible. ImageThis year the event was in two stages. On the first day the route followed the marathon course around the very summit of Orjen, while on the second day the half marathon course went round Subra a well known and probably most the beautiful summit of Orjen,which is fairly inaccessible so that we had to place safety ropes at certain points on the course, which helped to make the whole event more challenging and more attractive", said Zeljko Starcevio chairman of the Subra Mountaineering Society.ImageThe aim of the Monenegrin mountaineers is for this event to appear as prominently as possible in the programs of tour operators, in order to enrich the choice of activities that Montenegro has to offer. ImageWhile we are dealing with the events on offer, a regatta is to be held in the Bay of Kotor for Crusader class yacht and vintage sailing vessels, when the course will start from Herceg Novi and go to Tivat, around the Island of St. Mark, back to Igalo, finishing at Meljine.ImageThe Youth regatta is being organized by the "Sail" sailing club from Meljine and the Consulate of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviain Tivat, in honor and in memory of Youth Day, the relay race and Josip Broz Tito In the words of the organizers twenty five boats are expected to take part and it will mark the beginning of the summer sailing season in the Bay of Kotor: "We aim to make the Youth regatta a tradition although we believe that with a little support from all directions it could become something much bigger. My crew and I will use this sailing event as training for a big regatta which is coming up on the 15th June from Brindisi to Corfu, which we will be taking part in again and hope to repeat our result from last year when we were second in our class over the course of about 150 fifty miles", said Sasa Kekovic a member of the Meljine sailing club and one of the organizers of the Youth regatta from Herceg Novi to Tivat.

----------------------- A regular annual event in the old socialist Yugoslavia held on Tito's birthday.
Nebojša Mandic
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