Viganj Slalom Open 2017


"Viganj - they gave it this name after a blacksmith's tool (blacksmith's bellows). Because its channel is always blowing like an open door." These are the verses of a poet from Viganj and they perhaps most authentically depict the unbreakable bond between Viganj, a Pelješac village, and the wind. This small village has lived this way for centuries and welcomed the sails of faraway ships on which, carried by wind, sailed its inhabitants. Only today, instead of white sails of fishing boats and merchant sailing ships, Viganj greets somewhat smaller and in any case much colorful sails. These are the windsurfer's sails that for decades, from all around the world, faithfully visit this area – and they bring along the world and European windsurfing competitions (all of them of course flying with the wind).



It is most definitely incorrect that Viganj quietly expects its guests. Not everything is left to the will of the wind, on the contrary... Local windsurf enthusiasts, also known as Pelješki čagji (coming from the word “čagalj”, meaning “jackal” which here refers to the rare species of the Dalmatian golden jackal Canis aureus Dalmaticus), both in summer and in winter work hard to create and offer interesting activities or events to the visitors, and to preserve and strengthen the windsurfing tradition in Viganj (and they are also in great deal enjoying the sea and the wind). Because the mistral, jugo, bura and tramuntana (types of Adriatic wind) do not really care for the usual division on "seasonal" and "off-seasonal" periods, there is a growing tendency to offer sports events and competitions to the guests during the whole year. We therefore have the pleasure to invite you to the Open State Championship in windsurfing, the slalom discipline, called Viganj Slalom Open, which will be held in Viganj on Pelješac from 20 until 25 Juny 2017.



Viganj expects then, during the early part of the tourist season, as much as fifty sails from almost as many countries from all over the world! In any case it is fair to mention Luka Mratović, the double Croatian Olympian, the European champion Enrico Maratti, the multiple state champion Ante Berlengi and the home owner of the silver medal of the Croatian Cup – Darko Antunović. Darko is indeed an excellent promoter of Viganj and Pelješac sport, not only by his sport results, but also as a member of the abovementioned “Pelješki čagji”. Although the windsurfing tradition has existed here for about 30 years, they were the ones who brought the windsurfing to Viganj for the first time – surf to the people! Mostly because of them Viganj, the host of so many championships, today finally has its representatives on the (domestic) channel. Viganj is therefore saying thanks to the following “Čagji”: Dalibor Jurović, Marko Židić, Darko, both Ive Trojanovićs – the younger one on the junior championship of Croatia, and the older one for his sharp eye and camera (author of the photographs in the text). Thanks to Antun, Jozo, Hrvoje, Mario, Dino, Denis, Ante and Matko.



Except for “Čagji”, which act as a section of the historical Pelješka Jedra (Pelješac Sails), not much would have been possible without the listening and understanding of the Orebić Municipality Tourist Board and the logistic support of S.R.A. (Sport and Recreation Association) Viganj – they are also the organizers of the Viganj Slalom Open this year. The competition is open for both professionals and beginners and it is also the announcement of the Viganj qualifications for the upcomig European Championship.



For centuries Viganj has lived and welcomed its sails and it seems that this year, thanks to the abovementioned people, it will greet those sails somewhat sooner. We would therefore like to ask that you also set your sails towards Viganj, from 20 to 25 Juny 2017, so that you can be a part of the great story of this small village and the wind; Viganj Slalom Open. No matter if you only recently grabbed the surfboard or these colorful sails and boards are, just as for Viganj, a part of your life – simply come (flying with the wind of course)!



J.Matić – S.R.A. Viganj


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Croatian National Tourist Board

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Dubrovnik and Neretva County Tourist Board    Visit Pelješac


Croatian National Tourist Board