Vela al Terzo: centuries of sailing the Venetian lagoon

Unless you’re an avid sailing enthusiast, you’ve probably never noticed that the colorful canvases tilting into the summer wind as they criss-cross the Venetian lagoon aren’t shaped like sails you’d see elsewhere (…what a surprise). Look closely – they’re not triangular, not trapezoidal, and not rhombus shaped, but a odd quadrilateral with four unequal sides suspended from a mast one-third of the way up from the shortest one — thus the name: Vela al terzo.

And this is how they look when there’s a traditional caorlina underneath, participating in a local regata. The caorlina is one maintained by the Associazione Arzanà. If you look closely, you’ll see that the masts and rigging are as traditional as the craft itself.



One Response to Vela al Terzo: centuries of sailing the Venetian lagoon
  1. ChristinefromLouisiana
    September 15, 2010 | 4:58 pm

    Thanks for the posts and the reminder of the magical effect Venice has on one if the doors of perception are open.

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