On this day, exactly 25 years ago, in Umag, on the courts in Katoro and Stella Maris, the 1st official Croatian Open in Beach Volleyball started, with a prize pool of 10,000 DEMs of that time.
Umag thus became an “icebreaker” in the opening of a new era in a new Olympic sport.
Namely 1994 from 12-14.08. The 1st Open Croatian Beach Volleyball Championship was held in Umag, on the courts in Katoro, which was also the official start of creating a federation and league in the sport, thanks to a group of enthusiasts from Umag and Zagreb, without whom all this would not happen.
The beach in Katoro on the day of the finale was packed with spectators and curious people, and it was impossible to find a place around the field.
Namely, about 1500 spectators gathered at the finals and the ambience was perfect.
Since the federation did not find it appropriate to commemorate this day, which was the beginning of a new sport in Croatia and a new era, as well as catching up with the rest of the volleyball world, we decided, at least symbolically, to mark this date so as not to forget where and when it all started (namely Umag Beach Katoro) with the publication of a newspaper clip of that time.
The winners of the 1st Croatian Open Championship in 1994 were a couple from Slovenia, Jasmin Čuturić / Igor Komadina, and the first champions of Croatia (as the best-ranked Croatian pair) became a pair of Edin Baković (today’s BiH national team coach) and Momić Z.
They will remain recorded as the first official champions of Croatia in beach volleyball, and thus enter the history of Croatian beach volleyball, and Umag as the first host and organizer.
All this was started back in 1987. whit the construction of the first field in Katoro, after which a group of enthusiasts began organizing tournaments every weekend, culminating in the 1st Croatian Open in 1994.
After that, Umag hosted and organized numerous tournaments and events for several years, several VIP tours, 2 World Junior Championships (2011 in U19 and 2013 in U21 category), two Continental Cups (2014 and 2019) of the Croatian Open. 2018, and various other international tournaments (Umag Open, 9 issues) etc, all thanks to the city of Umag and its institutions, which have recognized, supported and continued to develop and support this sport, together with the men’s volleyball club MOK Umag-CPM Umago.
Umag will thus always remain noted as a pioneer and the beginer in launching this sport in Croatia.