Until the middle of the 20th century, the island of Cres was a famous shipbuilding and shipping center. In the Cres shipyards, wooden sailing ships were built that sailed the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas for centuries. The three-masted M / J “Adria”, which until recently was the largest wooden sailing ship on our Adriatic coast, was built in Cres. It is interesting that 800 tons of timber were used for its construction. The ancient naval tradition of the island of Cres is best evidenced by the galley “St. Nicholas”, which as part of the Venetian fleet with a crew of Cres sailors in 1571 participated in the naval battle of Lepanto.
In the second half of the 20th century, smaller vessels in Cres were mostly used to build and use pasara, in the local name – kaići. They were used for fishing, transporting people and sheep or a coastal tour of olive groves and vineyards. Their length is from 4 to 7 meters, and the mainsail and jib were mostly used for navigating the sea.
The largest and oldest traditional wooden boat in the port of Cres is the pasara “God’s gift”, 8 meters long. It was built in 1931 in the Cres shipyard, and is an example of innovative design at the time when it was built.
Until just a few decades ago, the islanders needed the skills to build wooden boats and the skills of rowing and sailing to engage in fishing and even agriculture. These are traditional skills that represent the intangible cultural heritage of the Croatian coast, ie the entire Republic of Croatia as a maritime country.
In order to preserve the maritime heritage and traditional maritime skills, a regatta and a review of traditional sailing boats is organized as part of the “Creski kaić” event. The regatta is held in the waters of the Cres Bay, and starts from the shore. The regatta is attended by traditional wooden sailing vessels divided into categories by type: batana, pasara, guc, gajeta, leut and bracera.