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Zrnje - it’s even better than Zrće!

It's widely known that people from Ladimirevci have always agreed and been united when they have to do something for their village. It is also confirmed that they are excellent organizers of sport and entertaining events! With lots of help from Council of local committee and Youth community of Ladimirevci, there was organized the second rafting race, called “Zrnje 2010”, on the river of Karašica. This is actually a fascinating and unique rafting race and people from Ladimrievci organized it to celebrate Victory and Thanksgiving Day.

Nice weather and sports adrenalin attracted a large number of competitors and visitors, too. Visitors enjoyed whole afternoon on the local beach of Ladimirevci, called The Sand. Around 2.30 p.m., on Metlinci, where the race start was, a larger group of supporters came and supported competitors from the very beginning of racing. During that, at the beach The Sand, competitors gathered with their rafts. Only condition for applying to the race was that rafts don’t cost more than 70 kunas. Shortly before 3 p.m., all competitors and rafts ( 25 rafts with a two or three member crew) loaded into tractor’s trailer and, with the sounds of vuvuzelas, ‘hit the road’ to the Metlinci. Discharging itself had already been a show, and huge delirium incurred when crews got onto the river! Supporters had some more advices for their favorites and their shouting on the coast was mixed with interruption of competitors. Goran Ivanović tried to out speak all of them. He was, together with pilot Vladimir Perošević and camera-man Damir Jakopiček, leader of the race. After they settled in rafts, well known vuvuzela sound announced beginning of the race. Start wasn’t easy for some competitors. Although they had the biggest supporting group on the coast, Tomislav Radan and Goran Novoselić, already had some troubles on Metlinci, but, as they admitted themselves, with lots of effort to solve technical problems with the rafts, they made it till the end.

After they sent off competitors, supporters went on the local beach, The Sand, and joined other residents of Ladimirevci and guests from places around, who have already enjoyed in cold drinks, warm river of Karašica or pleasant company under beach umbrella. Around hundred people had already gathered there. Residents of much bigger places can be very jealous of the nicely arranged beach. While the youngest were playing in water, those older were rolling in mud, preparing like that the field for football in mud, and some played volleyball on sand. 

When the advance team appeared in the bight, and when it was said that first competitors were coming, everyone came closer to the coast of river, so they could support their favorites during the last meters of race. Although it was tough in the end between first two rafts, a raft whose members were Ivan Radan, Filip Ivanović i Matej Novoselić first crossed the finish line. They had outrun last year winners, Anton Radan and Fabijan Pušić,  for a length of raft. Toni Maričić and Dominik Horvat finished the race on the third place. It’s interesting that first three crews were actually the youngest by age. Older generations honor was defended by Pavo Babok and Drago Pušić , who finished the race on fourth place. To finish three kilometer long race, except the skill, it’s necessary to be physically qualified, but despite of effort, and obvious tiredness, everyone came on the beach in great mood! Maybe it’s because of ‘motor fuel’ (beer) which each crew carefully tided for rafts so it would be in the water all the time and kept right temperature so it could help competitors in ‘moments of crises’.

-This is the best proof that it’s possible to make an interesting event with relatively little money and lots of good will, and residents of Ladimirevci are really special. They make a real spectacle almost out of nothing! We, from places around, could be either jealous or we could join them and together with them enjoy a good party! We chose the second option and definitely didn’t regret! We can’t wait for the next rafting race-said guys from Bizovac. Organizers were as well satisfied, especially because this year there have been not just crews from Ladimirevci but from other places around, too. 

-Last year there was few more rafts, but considering circumstances, above all- crises, we’re satisfied with the response. We’re glad that residents from places around joined us, but this is an event first of all, organized for residents of Ladimirevci. In fact, by organizing events like this, we want to ‘wake up’ one small part of residents who are still not participating in activities like this and actually don’t know what they are missing. Great thing about these events is possibility of earning a salary for our local associations. All the earnings from sold drinks and food in this event are going to Youth Association of Ladimirevci whose members organized sales. That money will help to fit out space that is given to them, and part of money will be invested in future events. For us, in Council of local committee, is most important to create enough events so each active association in Ladimirevci could on this or similar way earn some money for its activities. Of course, we would like that as many as possible villagers take a part in the activities like those, said Goran Ivanović Lac, president of Council of local committee.

Anyway, The Sand beach could next year become real summer hit in Valpovšitna, especially if plans of improving and investing in new content came true. Except a forestation of boundary parts of beach, villagers are planning to set up fixed tables, benches and awnings (of course, everything’s made of natural material and ecologically acceptable) and to fix up a place for barbeque, for making all kinds of culinary specialties.

Accompanying contests

After the raft racing, people were interested in a lot in accompanying contests. Visitors have been very interested in football in mud and rewarded best moves with applause. They didn’t bother being splashed with mud. In this interesting discipline the best team were ‘Zidari’ whose members were Hemetek and Crnjac. Some cleaner, but not less interesting was beach volleyball. Saša Ikić and Alen Novoselić turned to be best players. A sugar on the end of this interesting and fun event was pulling a rope in which the ‘strong’ boys admeasured their strengths. According to winning, the members of th strongest team in Ladimirevci at the moment are: Andrija Hemetek, Josip Gaborović, Zlatko Maričić and Tomislav Radan. If there’s any doubt in this, you can check it on the next rafting race or similar event.




Fotografija: Damir Jakopiček / Valentina Mandić

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