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article imagePeskafondo 2014 successful addition to late-season Hvar, Croatia Special

By Paul Bradbury     Nov 9, 2014 in Food
Hvar - The tourist season in Croatia continues with an international squid-fishing championship on the exclusive island of Hvar.
The lengthening tourist season in Croatia continued on the island of Hvar on November 8, 2014, with the fourth Peskafondo squid-fishing tournament which attracted competitors from six countries, an event attended by Digital Journal.
After an Indian summer in Dalmatia in October, a brief change in the weather, which necessitated the pressing into action of an emergency ferry to deliver a pregnant mother to hospital in Split, threatened to disrupt the increasingly popular late-season festival.
The inland Dalmatian town of Sinj provided much of the colour and entertainment  its costumed ambass...
The inland Dalmatian town of Sinj provided much of the colour and entertainment, its costumed ambassadors promoting the 300th year of the Sinj Alka tradition.
Vedran Rafael Janic
Organisers decided to cut short the two-day event into one day, with teams challenged to catch as much squid as possible in the shortened time frame.
Among the competitors, who included teams from Slovenia, Bosnia, Italy, Macedonia and France, was a strong contingent from the inland Dalmatian town of Sinj, with many participants arriving in the traditional dress of the 1715 Siege of Sinj, an event which is commemorated every year with the Sinj Alka knights' tournament, and which is one of the country's most important cultural events. Next year will see the 300th year of the Sinj Alka tournament.
The tournament attracted local  national and international interest. One of Hvar s most popular rest...
The tournament attracted local, national and international interest. One of Hvar's most popular restaurateurs, Stipe Erceg of Restaurant Lucullus, leads his team out to sea.
Vedran Rafael Janic
The tournament was conceived in 2011 by leading luxury fish restaurant Gariful as a means of extending the season, and Peskafondo has grown in popularity and support each year, with 2014 supporters including the hotels of Hvar Town and the Central Dalmatian Tourist Board.
Ivan Gospodnetic Junior  the youngest competitor to catch a squid in Peskafondo 2014.
Ivan Gospodnetic Junior, the youngest competitor to catch a squid in Peskafondo 2014.
Among the teams was a young Croatian-British team with an average age of just seven, who more than held their own in the adult field, and who registered the first catch of the day posted on social media with this squid caught by Ivan Gospodnetic Junior, weighing 0.23 kg.
Although the weather shortened the contest to one day  the squid catch was plentiful.
Although the weather shortened the contest to one day, the squid catch was plentiful.
Vedran Rafael Janic
Teams continued to fish in the dark, bringing their catch to the Hvar waterfront for the official weighing at 8pm.
French celebrity chef Stephan Macchi was on hand at the weighing process.
French celebrity chef Stephan Macchi was on hand at the weighing process.
Vedran Rafael Janic
Among those weighing the catch was celebrity French chef Stephan Macchi, who also prepared special desserts for the after-party. Macchi was joined by an array of additional attractions to the party and its live music, including a French mentalist and a selection of the finest Croatian winemakers, including Tomic, Dubokovic and Grgic.
Ivan Gospodnetic with wife Dragana and two sons. Owner of Hvar s most exclusive restaurant  Gospodne...
Ivan Gospodnetic with wife Dragana and two sons. Owner of Hvar's most exclusive restaurant, Gospodnetic has been behind several tourist and community initiatives on Hvar.
Vedran Rafael Janic
Organiser Ivan Gospodnetic was on hand with his family to orchestrate events. Gospodnetic runs the island's most exclusive restaurant Gariful, and he has successfully developed the Gariful brand by sponsoring and initiating various sporting and community events on Hvar and throughout Dalmatia, with last week's Gariful Kitesurf Open in Split the most recent of these.
Luxury Hotel Riva on Hvar s exclusive waterfront was host for the after party.
Luxury Hotel Riva on Hvar's exclusive waterfront was host for the after party.
Vedran Rafael Janic
The award ceremony and party was held at the exclusive Hotel Riva on the exclusive waterfront, a regular name in the Fodor top 100 hotels in Europe.
There was a special award from the youngest team of Ivan Gospodnetic Junior  Hannah Bradbury and Tal...
There was a special award from the youngest team of Ivan Gospodnetic Junior, Hannah Bradbury and Taliah Bradbury.
Vedran Rafael Janic
Peskafondo 2014 was won by Nehaj (Ivo Šimera, Jakov Sirovica,Toni Mornar) with a total catch of 3.75 kg, and there was also an award for the youngest team in the tournament.
There was only one party in town.
There was only one party in town.
Vedran Rafael Janic
Apart from being a welcome party after the grape and olive harvest for the locals, Peskafondo is slowly establishing itself as an important part of the Hvar tourist calendar, with the potential to significantly add to late-season tourism. More than 400 people claimed a Facebook offer for discounted accommodation for the event. It is the second new fishing tourism event in Hvar's late season, following the successful introduction of the inaugural Hvar Big Game Fishing Cup last month.
A firework display followed the prize-giving.
A firework display followed the prize-giving.
Vedran Rafael Janic
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