Spettacolare. Ideale. Glorioso. Whether you were participating in 36th annual Vogalonga or cheering your pals from the nearest riva or fondamenta, nothing less than superlatives will do when describing the day, the row, the joy, the experience. The thousands of oar-powered boats and thousands more rowers propelling them along the 32 kilometer / 20-mile course from the San Marco Bacino north to Burano, back to Murano and the Cannaregio Canal and down the Grand Canal enjoyed gentle winds, temperate temps, and golden rays…a marked contrast from the near hurricane conditions of the prior year.
As far as we know, we were the only two all-female crews of traditional caorlina type boats. We looked like a set of twins, with bright flowers adorning our grass-green boat, and coordinating kerchiefs; our sister craft had netting that streamed behind it into the water (that’s what we assumed got them into the next day’s journal La Nuova Venezia, and not US).
Little matter…just take in the looks on every rower’s face to see what a grand time was had by all.
Favorite kayaker quote of the day: “They need to make this canal bigger for next year!” Hm….wouldn’t hold my breath.
(We only mowed down four kayaks and two sculls; a much better record that last year. If only they would turn their heads on occasion… )
Judging by the crowds that lined bridges as well as the number of participating boats and rowers, the Corteo Carnevale isbecoming almost as popular as the Vogalonga.
This costumed procession is held on the first weekend of the two-week long Carnevale, open to anyone and everyone that knows how to row Venetian-style and can get their hands on an oar. Costumes range from simple to ornate, sensational to silly (keep your eyes peeled for the peanut), handmade to half-baked. The procession winds its way up the Grand Canal from the Salute, and is followed by a festa in the Canale Cannaregio, with a flying rat, awards for best costume and a party running the length of the fondamenta.
Look over these splendid, up-close photos from the Festa della Sensa, taken from on, near, and beyond the galley, the Serenissima. We women once again had the privilege of rowing this prestigious craft on a truly spectacular, if only potentially sizzling, day. The mayor couldn’t make it, but we had plenty of dignitaries form the Comune aboard, including the Assessore Salvadori. Lofty breezes rescued us from potential heatstroke (although that didn’t keep me from the voglia fare un bel bagno in the inviting lagoon waters).
The photo below will link you to the vogavenezia.com website of the Coordinamento Nazionale Associazione Remiere, who is responsible for the photographs…and the video that will appear there soon. (And in case you were wondering, the photo of the bare foot with no nail polish is mine.)
Take particular notice of the taxi and the RAI camera that smashed up against the Serenissima so they could get “the” shot, to such a degree that it was impossible to row the boat. Un po’ di rispetto! “A little respect, please,” called Giusto from the helm. We know perfectly well that camera has a zoom…what was the point? Chi se frega is the phrase that seems to embody the attitude of the taxi and his shooter (which translates to something like Maude’s famous, “Who cares, Walter”).
We’re happy to announce the completion of the preview/demo/promo of our documentary-in-progress. We’ll be using this as our “biglietto da visita” as we gather funding…but I have to say the responses so far have been extremely positive, for which we are grateful. There is an Italian version of the preview as well, and the site will be translated into Italian very soon as well.
Between the Storica and the transfer of the Serenissima, I’ve gotten completely behind on everything else around here, and am now swamped trying to catch up. More media to come, but in the meantime, here’re are some photos I took of the event from the best seat in the house. There are none of the Regata itself, because it’s very hard to take pictures when you’re rowing (that, and we had a real hothead for a timoniere – the helmsman – who never would have stood for it).