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Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon, 11th May 2019

With more and more visitors to Croatia interested in including a bit of activity in their holidays – and more sports events being held – here’s an exciting event taking place near Zadar in May that many of the athletes amongst you may be interested in.

The sixth Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon will take place on 11th May 2019 in a stunning seaside location, with many benefits for the athletes taking part. Whether you’re someone that’s keen on triathlon tourism – as a solo entrant or perhaps even travelling a family – or are looking to take part in a triathlon abroad for the first time, this one is for you. The race is sure to draw in a large number of Croatian and foreign triathletes.

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon

The best thing about this triathlon, however, is that it is based around a beautiful holiday resort. That means that athletes – who will benefit from lower accommodation prices than in full season – can sleep right next to the start line. Your room and breakfast is but a five-minute walk away from the race start. You won’t have to worry about driving to the race location, struggling to find parking or forgetting essential bits of kit – because you only have a short walk from where you are staying. And that’s not to mention that all of this is right next to the gorgeous, crystal clear sea.

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort offers up outstanding design, first-class facilities and Mediterranean flair combined with excellent service and a fantastic location. All athletes will be able to enjoy an exclusive wellness holiday at this luxury resort which not only features two first class hotels but also fine restaurants, comfortable apartments, modern sports facilities and crystal clear waters – not forgetting the wonderful Mediterranean climate.

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort
Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort_aerial

And you’re only a short distance away from the amazing town of Zadar. With Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes, trendy restaurants and interesting museums, Zadar is a must-see and certainly a great place to visit either pre- or post-race. Zadar also has two wonderful modern sights – the Sun Salutation and the Sea Organ, both of which need to be experienced first hand in order to get their full magic. And lets’s not forget Zadar’s epic sunsets! It’s not for nothing that Alfred Hitchcock proclaimed Zadar’s sunsets as being the most beautiful in the world!

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon kicks off triathlon season in Croatia 

As mentioned, this Zadar half triathlon is to be held on Saturday 11 May 2019, which is during the early part of the holiday season. Around this time of year, air temperatures average around 23° C whilst the average sea temperature of 18° C is high enough for swimming with wetsuits.

Triathlon Swimming

The race will start with 1.9 km of swimming in front of the Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora. Swimming is then followed by the bike course of 90k (9 + 4×18 + 9), towards the small Dalmatian fishing village of Petrčane, and then towards Nin, the oldest Croatian royal city and winner of the European destination of excellence, European Best Romantic Destination in 2016.

Triathlon Cycling

The bike route then continues through the picturesque villages of the colourful Zadar hinterland and then back to the Punta Skala Resort. The bike portion takes place on a gently rolling terrain without significant hills, but being a seaside race wind can be a factor. The cycling course is 2m above sea level at its lowest point, and 52m above sea level at its highest; there is a total climb of 430m and descent through 90km. All roads on the course are in excellent condition and traffic will be regulated during the first part of the route (9km), while the section (4 x 18km) will be closed for traffic.

Zadar Half Triathlon

Last, but not least, comes the run of 21k through the enchanting Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort. The run covers 4 laps with a course that is new for 2019 race – it is exactly 5.27km long with 14m altitude difference per lap.

Check out this teaser video to get a feel for the event:

Georg Unterkircher, General Manager of the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort said:

“As great supporters of the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon, we are excited to welcome athletes from all over the Europe on the respective race weekend. Our goal is to ensure that participants enjoy the best possible experience in advance of their race, from our carefully devised menus and ease of access to the start line on the morning of the race. With an exciting atmosphere and scenic course, it makes a memorable all-round experience for visiting athletes with their families.”

Race Director Zlatko Parac, Croatian triathlete himself said:

“Based on the experiences of the previous years and the athletes’ opinions, there will also be improvements on the organisational side, to establish this event both nationally and internationally. Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort is a popular venue for athletes with its fantastic location surrounded by the turquoise blue Adriatic sea, and as hosts they are keen to get involved in triathlon event and join in the spirit of Falkensteiner Triathlon weekend. We already know that there will be a lot of competitors from Croatia joining the competition for the first time and we believe our triathlon will fulfil their expectations. At the same time, we organise this race with the needs of the most demanding professionals in mind and we would prepare an abundance of prizes and other rewards!”

The triathlon will feature the ‘biggest independent prize purses in the Croatian Triathlon Calendar’, with general sponsor prizes in the form of accommodation vouchers for the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort. A total value of €4500 will be allocated to the top five finishers in the male and female categories.

The race has grown steadily but is limited to 400 competitors (single and relay competitors combined). This makes it far from overcrowded, retaining the charm of a small well-organised race that takes place in a fabulous setting.

The main race will also be joined by an aquathlon (time-trial event) with the swim portion in the 25m pool of the Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora and a 5k run event. For anyone that needs a warm up a weekend earlier, you could take part in the official Zadar Half Triathlon Training Camp 2019 (4 – 10 May 2019) by Adriatic Coaching (Croatian Pro triathlete & coach Dejan Patrcevic). Just a few kilometers away, there is also the unique Wings for life World Run Zadar race.

Course finish

Benefits for triathletes

The Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort is able to offer participants top-of-the-line accommodation at extremely affordable rates (special rates on accommodation for competitors with BB service). Middle distance competitors who have booked accommodation at the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort are entitled to the following discounts on the registration fee: 50% discount on entry fee for individuals and the same amount in € for relays, when staying a minimum of one night in Hotel & Spa Iadera 5*, Family Hotel Diadora 4* and Premium Apartments Senia.

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort

More information

Full information about the triathlon can be found on the official website zadarhalf.com.

More information on the Falkensteiner Punta Skala Resort can be found at www.falkensteiner.com/en/hotels-residences/croatia or www.punta-skala.com.

Falkensteiner Punta Skala Triathlon / Zadar Half Triathlon
11th May 2019
Punta Skala Resort, Croatia
zadarhalf.com

England and Croatia - Cup of Tea

England and Croatia – A highly scientific and detailed comparison

England and Croatia may play it out on a football field in Moscow tonight, but who wins if we compare the two countries based on other criteria? Check out our highly scientific comparison below, which we spent ages (definitely more than 5 minutes) putting together.

Beauty of the Country

England – green and pleasant land.

Croatia – millions and millions (actually, 1,246) of islands, eight national parks, Istria, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik… I’m sorry, but just look at this:

England and Croatia

View over Hvar Town

Croatia win

National drinks

England and Croatia - Cup of Tea

A nice combination of England and Croatia in one photo…

England – tea

Croatia – sljivovica

Both very useful for calming nerves. Doling out sljivovica less damaging to the country’s national grid at critical times. But hmmmm, tea.

England win. Hands down.

Not being born yet

England and Croatia - Happy Birthday Croatia

England – Sixteen of the England squad weren’t even born yet when England last played in a semi final at the World Cup.

Croatia – Croatia not even born yet when England last played a semi final.

Croatia win

Despair and triumph at Wimbledon

Tough one, this. To lose three times in a Wimbledon final – twice narrowly – must be heartbreaking. To then win it as a wild card, ranked 120-something in the world, is the stuff of dreams. (And should have been made into a movie, by now.) Step forward Goran Ivanisevic. (Obviously played by Goran Visnjic when the movie comes out.)

But to be the first Brit since 1398 (or thereabouts) to win the glorious title, bettering even Tim Herman’s epic FOUR semi final appearances is absolutely magic. Bravo, Andy Murray!

Draw (And something epic like 4-4)

Football kit

England – white shirt, dark blue shorts, classic. Can’t go wrong. Could wear it to a club, on a date, to work. Whatever, man.

Croatia – red and white checks, nothing else like it. Pros – you can see a Croatian football fan from two miles away; cons – on closer inspection, it sometimes turns out to be a table.

England win

Football Crest

Three Lions on a shirt. No one sings about H N S on a shirt, do they?

🦁🦁🦁

England win

Football songs

No contest. You can’t move in England for hearing Three Lions every two minutes; if it’s not blaring out of someone’s car it’s the tenth version of the meme you’ve seen today. And to have World in Motion as backup (which has surprisingly been under played this time round) surpasses everything else.

England win (Croatia haven’t even entered the stadium)

Passports

England and Croatia - Croatian passport

England – Reverting back to beautiful blue!

Croatia – always have been blue, despite being in the EU. (UK – “Wot??”)

Croatia win

The EU

England – leaving

Croatia – joining (well, in 2013)

Croatia win
(Sorry Brexiters. But you’re probably not reading this anyway.)

Captain Fantastics

England – Harry Kane. Scores without even being involved in a goal. (See his third goal against Panama.)

Croatia – Luka Modric. Ridiculously talented, despite being no taller than Ant or Dec. (Which is weird, considering Croats are officially amongst the tallest people in the world. If they hadn’t counted Modric, Croatia would actually be in first place.)

England win – with a goal scored off Harry Kane’s nose

Best male pundit on UK TV

England – erm…

Croatia – Slaven Bilic. Hands down.

Croatia win

Best World Cup 2018 performance

England – six past (ahem) Panama! Get in!

Croatia – 3-0 against Messi and Argentina. Ajmo!

Croatia win

Winning a World Cup match on penalties for the first time ever

England – ✔️

Croatia – ✔️ (and then ✔️again)

Draw

Fan parks shown on TV

Croatia – thousands and thousands of people in the main squares of Croatia; letting of flares in Trg ban Jelacic in Zagreb; singing at the top of their lungs by the Riva in Split beside the beautiful Adriatic sea; packing out the gleaming Stradun in Dubrovnik

England – spilling warm beer over each other beside some stairs in Croydon

England win

Result

8-8 after extra time.

It’s going into penalties…

*deep breath*

Dugi Otok Triathlon Long Island in September embraced by nature

The inaugural Triathlon Long Island on the gorgeous Dugi Otok (near Zadar) will take place on September 23rd – surely one of the most picturesque triathlons or sports activities in Croatia this year. Dugi Otok (its name literally means ‘long island’) is known far and wide for its pristine natural environment, although it remains a pleasantly low-profile destination, despite Croatia’s current popularity.

Triathlon Long Island

At 43km long and just 4km wide, Dugi Otok has plenty of relatively untouched natural beauty for everyone to enjoy. With plenty of hidden coves, sheer cliffs, ancient ruins and gorgeous white pebble beaches, the island is the perfect place for travellers seeking unforgettable scenery and historical sites. In particular, the southeastern coast of Dugi Otok is marked by steep hills and cliffs, whilst its northern half is cultivated with vineyards, orchards and sheep pastures. The centre of the islands see a series of karstic hills rising to 338m at Vela Straža, the island’s highest point.

The island is also home to the stunning Telašćica Nature Park, which acquired protected area status in 1980 because of its valuable flora and fauna, geological and geomorphological phenomena, versatile sea bottom life, and interesting archaeological heritage. The Park is also in immediate contact with two other protected areas, National Park Kornati and the significant landscape of the Sit-Žuz Island Group.

Telascica Nature Park

A triathlon is an increasingly popular way of spending your holidays or getting to know a new destination, and Croatia is no exception to this! Dugi Otok itself abounds with numerous bays that are ideal for a triathlon. Telašćica Bay is one of the safest natural harbours on the Adriatic, and therefore one of the potentially most scenic triathlon destinations. The bay itself is protected from winds and waves; part of Telašćica Nature Park, boat speeds are also limited, contributing to the safety of the entire area.

Triathlon Long Island

The swim section of Triathlon Long Island starts at Sakarun bay – one of Croatia’s most loveliest spots, known as a true paradise beach. Shallow waters and a sandy sea bottom are set off by dark green pinewoods on land, shimmering white pebbles on the beach, and a sea that changes hue during the day, depending on the position of the sun.

Sakraun

After a 1900m swimming lap in a counterclockwise direction, triathletes then head south on a 90km long bike ride (1266m elevation ride) towards Telašćica Nature Park on the southeastern part of island. Dugi Otok is perfectly designed for a bike competition such as this, and the course will be closed to public traffic.

With the bike course finishing near Telašćica, the run part of the Triathlon will then cover a 21km course through this Nature Park – one with breathtaking views and a stunning panorama. The Triathlon Long Island finishes in Sali, the municipal and administrative centre of island and the largest settlement with the largest population. Sali is a typical Dalmatian village with thousands of years of fishing tradition and ancient olive groves that surround the village.

Triathlon Long Island

Triathlon Long Island - Dugi otok, Pantera bay and Veli rat

Dugi otok, Pantera bay and Veli rat

Ivan Peri, one of the race organizers and a member of Triathlon Club Zadar, says:

“Dugi Otok is, as its name suggests, the longest island of the Zadar archipelago and offers everything that is needed for organizing a unique triathlon experience: a long road and the beautiful sea. Swimming at the sandy beach of Sakarun, cycling along the length of the breathtaking island of Dugi otok (from Sakarun to Telašćica Nature Park) and continuing with running through the park takes the power of the entire experience to a whole new level, while also stimulating our motivation to be even faster and better. Join us on this beautiful triathlon adventure and see why you’ll never forget Dugi otok.”

Ivana Čari, director of the Tourist Board of Dugi Otok, says:

“We appreciate team from Triathlon Club Zadar recognizing the opportunity this premier triathlon event brings for Dugi Otok in our island’s sports tourism development. All our guests come to tell us not to change anything, to preserve natural beauty and mystery. That’s why our slogan is Dugi otok – undiscovered island. The island is characterized by a dramatic landscape of great contrast, with steep slopes, thick pine forests, numerous sandy beaches, hidden bays, and coves. It is a perfect place for those in search of tranquility and relaxing holidays, swimming in the stunningly turquoise sea, enjoying sea and sun. We do hope all the participants will enjoy our magnificent island as we are delighted to welcome them.”

To really get a feel for the island, check out this Triathlon Long Island teaser clip:

Dugi Otok is the perfect destination for those who want to combine racing triathlon and relaxation; ‘switch off’ from the world and take a break from your routine. It’s still an undiscovered Croatian island of adventure and peace at the same time, providing a unique low-cost late season island race destination in the European triathlon calendar, on an island abundant in nature and perfect for outdoor activities. At the race finish, you’ll also be able to experience the island fair featuring crafted products and festivities common to this small community.

Registering for Triathlon Long Island

Registration for the event is currently open. Fees for registering for Triathlon Long Island until 15 July are:

  • Licensed athletes – €70
  • For non licensed athletes there is additional fee of €10
  • Relay race (licensed & non licenced) – €90

Registration fees from 15 July until 1 September:

  • Licensed athletes – €100
  • For non licensed athletes there is additional fee of €10
  • Relay race (licensed & non licenced) – €120

All athletes from Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia have a 40% discount on the price.

All participants who book their accommodation with a partner of the event are entitled to a discount on 20% on accommodation.

For a code name, go to the website contact.

Go to www.triathlonlongisland.com/register to register your place!

Telascica

How to get to Dugi Otok?

The closest airport to the island is Zadar Airport – see our page on Getting to North Dalmatia to see who flies there, and Getting to Zadar for other transport connections to the town.

Zadar is also a key transport hub with ferry connections to the surrounding islands. From Zadar, Dugi Otok is served by regular Croatian Jadrolinija ferries to Brbinj, 12km south of Božava. A high-speed passenger shipping line and a ferry line connect Dugi Otok island (Sali village) with Zadar (peninsula) daily through four round trips; journey time is 1 hour 20 mins; cars are permitted. Brbinj village has a connection with Zadar through a ferry boat line. The departure point of the line is the ferry port Gaženica in Zadar. Božava village also has a connection to Zadar (peninsula) through a high-speed passenger shipping line with one trip a day.

More on Triathlon Long Island and Dugi Otok

Please see  www.triathlonlongisland.com for full details on the event.

For more on Dugi Otok, see the Dugi Otok Tourist Board website, or the Nature Park Telascica website.

With thanks to Jurica Cvjetko for content and images on Triathlon Long Island.

Triathlon Long Island
Dugi Otok, Croatia
23rd September 2018

Triathlon Long Island

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in Croatia – sign up now!

If you’re looking for something a little different from your holiday to Croatia this summer how about…an ultimate frisbee tournament?! A game without referees, age or gender restrictions, the Spinning Paradise tournament will take place on the Croatian islands of Rab and Hvar this summer. And the tournament organisers are inviting you to take part!

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

Now in its fifth year, Spinning Paradise Hvar (played on grass) will take place from 30th July to 6th August 2016 whilst the newer Spinning Paradise Rab – in only its second year – will take place on the famous sandy Paradise Beach in Lopar from 26th to 28th August 2016.

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

But why should you take part this Ultimate Frisbee tournament? Open to all levels – whether you’ve plenty of experience or are a complete novice, Spinning Paradise isn’t just about the game. What makes it unique is the atmosphere and the importance of social events too! That’s what Croatian national team member and tournament organizer Vinko Anzulovic says, who is Hvar-born. He also proudly points out that Hvar is often mentioned as one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and with one game in the morning and one in the evening, there’s also plenty of ‘downtime’ for participants to explore the gorgeous island. This year, Spinning Paradise Hvar will also offer slackline workshops, Playstation tournaments and excursions; there’s plenty to do besides play ultimate frisbee!

Teams will be drawn from a hat which means this is a great opportunity to make friends from all around the world. And in case any of you complete beginners are nervous about taking part, there will even be the Coca-Cola training camp (offered for the third year) that’s run by highly experienced British coach Sion ‘Brummie’ Scone.

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

Spinning Paradise Rab will take place on the sandy beach of Lopar on the island, often described in the media as one of the best sandy beaches in the country. (Remember, sandy beaches are few and far between in Croatia!) This tournament will also see workshops and other activities take place alongside the main sporting event.

Ultimate frisbee is a sport that was first established in the U.S. in the 1960s, and is growing in popularity in Croatia as well. There are currently seven Ultimate Frisbee clubs in Croatia, in Zagreb, Rijeka and Zadar. If played on grass there’s seven players on each of the two teams; played on sand it’s five. Teams represent a complete mix of ages and have both men and women competing. Each game ends with a group hug which is part of Ultimate Frisbee’s core ‘Spirit of the Game’ principle and one of the foundations of the sport.

Spinning Paradise Ultimate Frisbee

Credit: Damir Kvajo

It’s the fastest growing sport in the U.S. and one that’s recognised by the International Olympic Committee; Croatia has recently participated in both the European and World Championships.

Sign up now to take part in Spinning Paradise

To compete in the tournament in Croatia, head over to spinning-paradise.com for an application form. You’ll also find plenty more on the tournament there too, as well as on the Facebook page. Don’t wait too long to sign up as there’s not many spaces left!

Tournament organizers Vinko Anzulovic and Sanela Vucelic are aiming to introduce this fun and fascinating sport to a wider audience. They’re also trying to spread the important ‘Spirit of the Game’ principle – something that’s often missing from many other sports these days.

Sign up now for this amazingly fun way to spend your summer in Croatia!

Croatian Football

Visit Croatia match report: Croatia v. South Korea in London

The last time Croatia played an international in London it was a truly memorable night (regardless of who you were rooting for) – there was a torrential downpour for much of the game; a wally with a brolly; a rude interpretation of the national anthem; and a highly surprising 3-2 victory for Croatia at Wembley against England, meaning Croatia topped their Euro 2008 qualifying group…and England finished third in the group, meaning they missed the tournament!

This time round, it was a much less dramatic affair, not least because it was a less pressurised match (a friendly) in a much more low-key setting (Fulham FC’s Craven Cottage – sorry if that offends any Fulham fans but really, wooden seats?) against weaker opposition (as the scoreline suggests).

The 2pm kick-off was certainly unusual for a Wednesday afternoon, but I assume this may have been scheduled in this way for television in South Korea, where it would have been 11pm. There must have only been a few thousand fans in the stadium, where only two stands were open – although different areas had been designated for South Korean and Croatian fans. In fact, I don’t believe there was any “neutral” seating, so I did hear a number of English voices (without any hint of an accent!) sitting in the Croatian side.

The South Korean fans – which, to me, seemed mainly to be young students (there must be plenty of them in London and I suppose who else would be free on a Wednesday afternoon?!) – had brought plenty of home-made banners and  signs to wave about at their players. I’m sure I’m not the only one to remark on this – now or before – but the South Korean fans also tend to scream during the match in a very high-pitched fashion when their team advances forward or they do anything remotely exciting…it’s almost like they’re at a pop concert! It’s definitely unusual for a football match where you’re generally expecting to hear loud, manly chanting most of the time – but it’s actually rather endearing.

The Croatian fans brought their usual collection of red-and-white checkered clothing and memorabilia – hats, scarfs, baseball caps, waterpolo caps (really – hey, we’re Olympian champions!) as well as plenty of flags…and yes, they participated in loud, manly chanting.

The match itself turned into a rather one-sided affair after the initial stages, with Croatia largely coasting through much of it. Certainly the 4-0 scoreline – and being able to see the top stars – made it worth attending the game despite the freezing conditions (although nothing that a cup of Bovril didn’t fix). The match also marked the hundredth appearance for Croatia for a trio of their players – Darijo Srna, Josip Simunic and Stipe Pletikosa.

I wonder if some of the English fans were pleased to see Luka Modric on an English pitch again – the Tottenham fan I attended the game with didn’t seem so happy to see him again, it has to be said…

Scorers for Croatia were Mario Mandzukic (32 min); Darijo Srna (38 min); Everton’s Nikica Jelavic (58 min); and “home-boy” (i.e. Fulham player) Mladen Petric (85 min).

Take a look at some of our match photos below, or here’s a fre of “proper” match reports! Croatia outclass South Korea in London friendly (Reuters) and Jelavic gives Moyes food for thought as Croatia ease past South Korea (Daily Mail)

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Modric points AND runs with the ball – that’s skill!

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

100th cap man, Stipe Pletikosa – nice to see the crowds out in force for him (I joke, that stand was actually closed) – taking this photo made me miss Croatia’s first goal

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Not a bad view for £15 seats

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Ivan Strinic

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

See – wooden seats!

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Off for half time

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Back on for the second half

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Vedran Corluka

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

A bit of midfield action

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Celebrating the third goal

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Lining up for a free kick

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Celebrating the fourth goal

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Full time

Croatia - South Korea, 6th February 2013

Croatian players – including number 3, Josip Simunic – applauding the fans