The East of the West

Blue Ribbon sailboats’ competition on Lake Balaton

Did you know that Europe’ s oldest and longest lake-circling race takes place in Hungary? I guess you didn’t. Me neither, anyway.

It is called the “Blue Ribbon Regatta” and held on Lake Balaton every summer.

Telling the truth I have heard about this event many times from the news but did not know too much about its details.

But yesterday this amazing photo mesmerised me and made me look into this spectacular event a bit deeper.

Blue Ribbon Race - Amazing, isn't is? (MTI photo)
Blue Ribbon Race – Amazing, isn’t is? (MTI photo)

Well, I learned that the race has been running since 1934.

The sailboats make a circle around the lake following the Balatonfüred – Kenese – Siófok – Tihany – Keszthely – Balatonfüred route.

The distance the boats have to take is 145 km.On 5 July 570-580 boats started the competition.

We do not know how many finished it, but we know that this year was special because a 57-year old record was broken. Until now, the fastest round (10 hours 40 minutes) belonged to Nemere II , which ship set that record in 1955.

Now, the new record is 10 hours 34 minutes, and the name of the winning boat is Fifty-Fifty with the captain called Márton Józsa. The official website ofthe competition is available only in Hungarian, but you can see some nice further nice photos here.

Fifty-fifty - the new record holder (MTI photo)
Fifty-fifty – the new record holder (MTI photo)