Sunday, June 4, 2017

Venice Vogalonga 2017 - The Silence is Deafening

Venice Vogalonga 2017 - Photo: Cat Bauer
(Venice, Italy) Each year, the Vogalonga, or "long row" grows more beautiful, with rowers from all over Europe and beyond traveling to Venice to participate with the Venetians in the world's most pleasant boat race. The absence of motors, and the warmhearted spirit of the rowers and the spectators, allows us a peek into how the future will be without fossil fuels. The silence is deafening.

Vogalonga 2017 - Photo: Cat Bauer
The Vogalonga began 43 years ago, back in 1974. A group of Venetians who were rowing enthusiasts wanted to draw attention to how motor boats were damaging the Grand Canal and lagoon by the violent waves they made -- something that Venetians still fight to bring to the world's attention today. They decided to have a long, non-competitive race, starting in the Bacino of San Marco in front of Palazzo Ducale. 

The Vogalonga has grown into an international event, with all types of boats and creative contraptions arriving in the lagoon for the big event. There are no winners, and you don't have to be a professional rower -- anyone age 16 and older can participate, but any age can go on the boat if accompanied by an adult. It is one of the most wonderful days to be in Venice.

The route is about 30 kilometers long (about 19 miles), winds out past the islands, and ends up on the Grand Canal -- one of the most fantastic routes on the planet that a rower could hope to enjoy. It takes anywhere from 2 hours (if you're very fast) to 6 hours (if you want to kick back and see the scenery) to complete the race.

Vogalonga 2017 - Photo: Cat Bauer
The event is entirely self-funded -- no sponsors, no government support -- just the €20 entry fee each rower pays to participate. These days there are thousands of participants; each year seems to set a new record. Last year there were 1793 boats and 6648 rowers; 1101 of the rowers were from Venice; 1649 were from Italy, and 3898 were from outside Italy. 

This year they say that nearly 8,000 rowers participated. With all the languages mingling in the air, it feels very European -- that beautiful European energy when the countries work together to achieve great things. 

Here is a video I made that captures how it feels when the rowers come close to the finish line:



Go to the official Vogalonga site for more information.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat Bauer
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

1 comment:

  1. Each year, the Vogalonga, or "long row" grows more beautiful, with rowers from all over Europe and beyond traveling to Venice to participate with the Venetians in the world's most pleasant boat race. The absence of motors, and the warmhearted spirit of the rowers and the spectators, allows us a peek into how the future will be without fossil fuels. The silence is deafening.

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