Between August 15 and 17, the weekend preceding the European Universities Debating Championship in Zagreb, Splitska Debatna Unija hosted Split Open 2014. With the presence of the entire Chief Adjudication Team of Vienna EUDC, the tournament naturally focused on being preparatory for the upcoming Championships. Elisabeth Vikydal, the mastermind behind 'debaters gonna debate' joined the tournament in a team with the Aussie-debater Rebecca Irvine. Read what she has to say about that!
A debate dream come true
Split Open is one of those debating competitions that I’ve been told about over and over again ever since I started debating. Located in an ancient city by the sea, rich in culture – both local and debate oriented – it was a debate dream come true for me to finally make my way to southern Croatia, yet not just as easy as one would imagine.
After a 15-hour train ride from Vienna to Split with a pit stop in Zagreb, we arrived in Split early in the morning to have a breakfast and then, check in at our hostel. The first impressions of the old town were awe-inspiring and made me reminiscent of early history classes in school as well as lectures at university. The city definitely didn’t disappoint and was just as beautiful as imagined.
“Gingers of the world unite!”
The tournament itself was run at a university building not far from our hostel. Since it was an Open I debated with Rebecca Irvine, originally from Australia, but German by choice. Our team had a clear goal: “Gingers of the world unite!”. Our very first debate was about whether or not a feminist parent should buy their daughter a Barbie. Quite unusual, yet a lot of fun despite the shivering speech delivery in an ice-cold drink-storage room quickly adapted for a debate. Other than that, the tournament was pretty straight forward with debates about education, the US funding of Iron dome and prison systems.
One of the main attractions of Split Open is its geographic location: right next to the beach. The first social was held by the sea with an impressive fire play performance by one of the local Croatian debaters. The break was announced in former dictator Tito’s villa with an incredible three course meal and fun conversations in-between.
Bec and I broke sixth on tab and proudly debated in Opening Opposition in the Semis against Belgrade, ULU and a combined team of Manos Moschopoulos and Harish Natarajan. The whole idea of breaking and debating into Semis is still pretty new to me, but I enjoyed it. Mostly, I am looking forward to many more opportunities to do so.
All in all Split Open was just what I was told it would be: laid back debating by the sea with some of the nicest and most helpful Org Com and great volunteers. I can’t wait to come back next year!
Link to the full tab