The memorial is a commemoration of Ivan Hargaš and has been organized by the Paddling Club Tatran Karlova Ves – Bratislava every year since 1946. The Hargaš Memorial canoe races are organized every fall on the Danube, with the participation of canoeists from abroad. Ivan Hargaš was born on 5 September 1923 in Bratislava. After his initial success in local athletic and swimming races for pupils and juniors, he switched to canoeing. He belonged to the most persistent and successful canoeists in the dockyard of TJ Tatran Bratislava – Karlova Ves. In 1943, he enlisted in the army and in the spring of 1944 he was diverted against his will to fight against partisans in Eastern Slovakia. He joined the partisans, and in July 1944 he became a member of the unit established by Ľudovít Kukorelli, which later became the Čapej Brigade. He was given the role of a miner. He died on 12 October 1944 during miners work on a road in the vicinity of Krivá Okľa. Ivan Hargaš is buried in the cemetery in Slávičie údolie (Nightingale Valley) in Bratislava.
Slovak canoeists often competed in the Hargaš Memorial with Moravian and Czech contesters, but also with athletes from Danubian states, such as Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia or Serbia. The first years of the races started on the river Morava in Devínska Nová Ves. The tracks of the races ran under the walls of the ancient Devín castle, on the downstream of the main flow of the Danube, with the finish being situated in Karlovská zátoka (Karlovská gulf). The organizers have changed the tracks over the years. Thus, Karlovská zátoka, the Bratislava – Hrušov section, Vienna – Bratislava, Little Danube, or Zlaté Piesky lake in Bratislava, also became the venue of the Hargaš Memorial.
This year, they will commemorate their member and pay tribute to the Slovak nation’s participation in the antifascist revolt – the Slovak National Uprising – for the 71st time. Although the venue and the tracks have changed, the main idea behind the event has stayed the same – kind, honest, and pure: to honour a man, who died young, only 21 years old, on 12 October 1944.
The city of Šamorín is situated in the Western part of Žitný ostrov (Rye Island), in the vicinity of the Slovak capital, Bratislava. Although the city is relatively small, it has a rich history and many cultural monuments. Šamorín was first mentioned in 1238. The Calvinist Church with murals and frescoes is one of its most valuable landmarks. Its establishment dates back to the third quarter of the 13th century. Šamorín has more than 13,000 inhabitants and is mostly populated by citizens with Hungarian (57,4 %) and Slovak (34,3 %) nationalities.
Šamorín has plenty of greenery and parks. The river Danube flows in the proximity of Čilistov, the part of Šamorín where the x-bionic® sphere is located. The river is lined with dams which are favourite bicycle and running tracks for people living in this region.
The x-bionic® sphere is a unique multifunctional complex with an area of more than 100 hectares, offering conditions and facilities of Olympic standards for both professional and amateur sports, relax and congress tourism. It is open during the whole year and fulfils the expectations of athletes, sports enthusiasts – amateurs, as well as the wide public.
With its comprehensive approach, wide offers, high quality, and original architectural design, it belongs to the most interesting facilities of its kind in Europe and the world. It is a place for fantastic sports performance, unforgettable experiences and active relax. The resort offers professional conditions for 27 Olympic disciplines, with a level of equipment which fulfils Olympic standards and is approved by individual international sports federations and associations. Its offers meet even the highest expectations of professional and amateur athletes and representatives, sports teams or individuals from the whole world.
Karlova Ves has been since 1935 centre of kayaking in Bratislava and Slovakia as well. Credits and history of the club became benchmark for enthusiasts of water sports. This club promoted Bratislava itself as well as Slovakia at various European and World championships. VK Tatran Karlova Ves even fulfilled the ultimate goal of participating at Olympic games. One of the strongest figures of this club was Ivan Hargaš, who heroically died in WW2 during heavy fights. In honour of this athlete, Club annualy holds the Hargaš memorial, one of the oldest competitions in Slovakia lasting for over than 70 years. First competition was organized on 20th of June 1946. Since then its organized at yearly basis.