Women’s Ladja Marathon
In 2004., exactly seven years after the first Ladja Marathon, public display of women’s will and spite manifested itself in one all-female crew competing alongside men and completing the entire Marathon course. The crew that pulled this off were Gusarice from the University of Zagreb and it took them 2:58.03 hours to reach the finish line in Ploče. Noteworthy, women’s team Gusarke from Opuzen took part in the same edition of the Marathon, but not competitively; they rowed from Metković to their hometown.
Three non-competing women’s crews took part in the 8th Ladja Marathon in 2005: Gusarke from Opuzen (marking their final appearance), Gusarice from the Zagreb University and Neretvanke from Metković. Gusarice from Zagreb participated in the following year’s Marathon for the last time. Metković’s Neretvanke skipped that one but came back for the 2007 edition for one final appearance. Wanting to continue the tradition of women’s participation in the Ladja Marathon, two boatwomen’s associations were founded: Metkovke from Metković in 2006 and Gusarice, also from Metković, in 2011. Both associations took part in Marathons up until 2013 as all-female crews, with the exception of Metkovke rowing as a mixed crew two years in a row.
Women’s Primorje-Gorski kotar County’s crew participated in the 2012 and the 2013 Marathon. This was the time the idea od all-female competition was born, so Milojko Glasnović went to organize the 1st Women’s Ladja Marathon. Its winners were women’s Gusari Komin team, Stablina took the second place and Metkovke from Metković came third. In 2015 Pavo Delija was named the director of the Women’s Ladja Marathon, while the Organisation committee consisted of Javorka Samić, Zdravka Barišić and Željana Musulin. The organisation committee has since then slowly, but steadily been upgrading Women’s Marathon rules, prioritizing participants’ safety.
The 2nd Women’s Ladja Marathon is organised in 2015., with defined rules, start, end and route of the race, so it can be said that 2015 was the year the women’s Marathon was established. From 2014 to 2017 the start was in Opuzen and the finish in Metković, but due to increasing interest for the event the Organisation committee inverted the route in 2018. There are lots of interesting facts regarding the Women’s Marathon, with the most interesting being the following two: In each of the seven races held so far bronze medals went to Metković, while the only crew that succeeded in defending previous year’s title were “Gusarice” from Metković, doing it rowing upstream.