Volgalonga ‘Long row’ by Justine Choi
Last weekend seemed like a dream a wonderful dream. A weekend of crazy fun antics with a group of teammates from all walks of life. We ate like Italian royalty spoilt by the world’s best GEEELLLLLLAAATTTOOOO (you have to say this loudly in preferably a sexy deep voice to get the full impact), wonderful seafood, pasta and pizza.
More importantly, we were in Venice for the 43rd Vogalonga. What is the Vogalonga I hear you ask? Vogalonga in Venetian dialect means “Long Row” was launched in 1975 in protest to the rising numbers of motorised boats in the lovely Venetian canals which caused pollution, noise, traffic, damage to the buildings and natural environment. This is a non-competitive race and designed to encourage traditional rowing techniques.
The Course image source – http://www.plumplumcreations.com/category/venice/
There are no words that can describe the feeling you get paddling along the canals in Venice, the first time you gaze in wonderment paddling to the start line, the second time you are approaching the finish line with the canals full of people screaming and chanting (by far my favourite) and the third and final time still on a high from the excitement of the day paddling the boat back to the pontoon. Yes, you read that right we paddled the Grand Canal three times in one day! In fact, we paddled 35km, 4km to the start line, 27km race and another 4km back to the pontoon. Apparently, there was 6,000 participants and 3,000 different types of boats. The view was stunning, seeing all those different boats on the water is a sight to remember, the buzz, hearing the cannon go to signal the start and the mad paddling to get to the front and to get out of the way!
Our crew of 20 consisted of 11 female and 9 male paddlers from 11 different countries between the ages of 27 to 60 plus! What a diverse bunch! If you would like more information about the Vogalonga click on the below link: http://www.vogalonga.com/