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8_autoslalom-1-ri07hr-jw.jpgToday I found out that there was an auto slalom event happening in Prilok, a small area on the outskirts of Rijeka. I finally decided to go down there and see what is was like, I heard there were a bunch of old cars racing so that was all I needed to walk down the hill and experience the event with a friend.

The key to this race being small and fast most of the cars were modified miniature cars from the 80’s among them the local Zastava 750, the VW Golf I, Ford Fiesta, Honda CR-X and the newer Ford Focus and others as you’ll see by the pictures and video clip. They closed this portion of the road off that is normally very busy despite its narrow and dated planning it serves to link Rijeka’s north side to Opatija via the seafront area called Prilok.

8_autoslalom-3-ri07hr-jw.jpgFrom what I saw most of the cars came from or belonged to car repair shops and garages or car enthusiasts that follow this circuit, they are street cars but must not registered and all striped out inside except for a bucket seat and roll bar, and a helmeted diver though I really think most of it is just for show or safety and that they really would not roll over or be in a high speed collision at least on this type of race. Engine-wise they are little modified and just in good running order and not drag cars or hotrods with NOS, just good clean fun driving.

8_autoslalom-5-ri07hr-jw.jpgWe were just in time for one of the heats and I took different video clips from different vantage points along the track. This was a slalom race meaning that like in skiing slalom they leave the gate one at a time and race the clock with judges at the different slalom points to mark if they knocked down cones etc. The race we saw was eventful in itself including one stalling and nearly hitting me when I was doing the curb angle low shots and another having to be towed back having died somewhere down the track causing the car behind him to have to re-drive his lap again and the retired diver getting cheers and applause from the audience while being towed back, wish I’d had filmed that too. Here are some pictures and my video clip.

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The starting line from above the hill that started the seaside windy drive, in summer it is a popular campground.

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The starting gate from the ground with the hills and old stone house in the background.

Here is the video with just a little bit of editing.

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As a follow up on the article #44… where I talked about Croatians playing world level sports I thought it would be interesting to see where they currently stand in the sport of basket ball.

A few years ago I was told that Croatia had the most “imports” in the game then any other country but that is no longer the case, this was the stats I found from the 2005-2006 season. (in alphabetical order)

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 (1 inactive player)
Croatia 4 (plus 2 inactive)
Serbia and Montenegro 8, the most of one nation in the league for that season (plus 4 inactive)
Slovenia 5 (plus 3 inactive)

Collectively as former Yugoslavian nations they total 17 active players out of 82 foreign players making up nearly 20% of all active foreign players playing in the NBA that season. Of approximately 450 players registered in the whole league that year 16.6 % of them (27 players) came from this little area of Europe .

To break it down for you, Slovenia with five players (and only 2 million people back home) had as many as Russia (population of approx: 145 million), Croatia (pop approx: 4.5 million) with 4 active players tied with large nations like France, Brazil and Argentina. Serbia and Montenegro with 8 had two more players then the second place Lithuania which had 6 players.

With the recent event of Montenegro becoming the worlds newest country this summer (2006) it farther fractures this area’s break down and perticularly what was last year Serbia and Montenegro is now two independant countries and the 8 players that they had colectivly are now from one of the two sides.

It’s not just basketball or sports for that matter but I just thought the NBA was a good ‘micro cosmos’ example, as it is often been nicknamed the “united nations” as (at least as U.S sport are concerned) it has a lot of foreign players from all over the world. The same study could be done for football players playing in international clubs, skiers, water polo or any number of sports or skills but I do not have the time now to research it.

Little is much, when it is talent from here.

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