The 45th edition of Vogalonga regatta will take place on 9th June 2019. It is one of the most important and awaited rowing events of the year, a way to discover the traditions of the city and to respect them.
Vogalonga is a non competitive recreational sporting event for amateur athletes. You just need a row to take part in the race! Rowing boats of any weight and size are accepted and there is also no limit to the number of rowers in a craft.
“Rowing boats take revenge on motors”: this was the title of the article on “Gazzettino” written by Delfo Utimpergher, one of the founders of “Vogalonga”. It was just an idea of a group of friends: on Saint Martin’s day in 1974 a “group of slender venetians were tired of small talks about the destiny of the city and the Lagoon of Venice, so they encouraged the inhabitants to arm themselves with the most traditional weapon: the row”. So wrote the journalist Sandro Meccoli on “Corriere della Sera”.
The purpose of Vogalonga was to gather every rowing lover, in particular the ones who practised the “voga alla veneta” technique, and to make people meditate on the increasing number of motorboats in the lagoon and on the damages caused by the movements of the waves.
Indeed, the row and the sporting event became an instrument to know the history of Venice and to protect it in the future.
Even nowadays, the passion for rowing and the love for the lagoon are the ideals that make people organise the regatta. The first edition was on 8th May 1975: it was a great success. On the front of San Marco there were 500 boats and 1500 rowers. Every year the 30 km course, also known as “Row Festival”, goes along the canals through the most pleasant and charming places in the lagoon.
According to the tradition, the departure is in the waters in front of Piazza San Marco. The boats reach the Island of Sant’Elena, pass near the Islands of Vignole, Sant’ Erasmo and San Francesco del Deserto. They touch Burano, Mazzorbo, Madonna del Monte, San Giacomo in Paludo and Murano and enter into the city through Cannaregio Canal to get to the Canal Grande and finish the race at Punta della Dogana in front of Piazza San Marco.
There are no winners, only partecipants! In fact, everyone get a medal at the end. It is just a fantastic way to protect the lagoon and to discover the traditions of Venice.