Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Regata del Panettone of the Remiera Francescana

Races are often won or lost in the turn around the buoy, where things can get awfully crowded
The fourth annual Regata del Panettone of the Remiera Francescana in Castello took place this past Sunday morning. There were three races in all. The first race, the Donne e Campioni, paired a woman member of the club with one of the club's agoniste (or competive male rowers). The second race was between pairs of male rowers who were not agoniste but Amatori ("lovers" in the original sense of "amateur"). The third race, for Ragazzi, pitted pairs of the club's teen members against each other. Contrary to traditional regate, in which pairs of rowers are self-selected and have typically trained together for extended periods of time, the rowers in these heats were matched up by a drawing held the week before the event. The aim of the regata is to give less experienced rowers the chance to sample competition, but in a spirit of good fellowship and fun--two elements that aren't always present, or at least foremost, in some of the more venerable regate of Venice.

The course was a simple one, laid out in the lagoon north of the Arsenale and the Celestia vaporetto stop, which required rowers to go most of the way to Murano before making a turn around a yellow buoy and heading back to where they began. I missed the race of the ragazzi, but while both the eventual winners of the Donne e Campioni and the Amatori had comfortable enough leads to allow them plenty of room to make the turn homeward, those rowers behind them had to struggle with some heavy traffic, as you can see in the photo at top. And the race for third and fourth place pennants in the former heat came down to a photo finish (as you can see toward the bottom of this page).

After the races came the awards ceremony; after that, some rewards for everyone else (even non-competing members with cameras, such as myself): bigoli in salsa and, among other beverages, a cask of home-made desert wine. As the saying goes, there were no losers.   

The calm before the competition; the remiera is located within the Arsenale
Each forcola (oarlock) is wedged tightly into place with pennule (small wood splints); bad positioning of the forcola, or pennule that come loose, will also cost you a race
Rowing toward the starting line
And they're off! (above and below)

The eventual winners of each race have plenty of real estate to make their turns (above and below)

Sempre paparazzi!
Heading toward the finish, and fighting fatigue (above and below)

A photo finish
A well-deserved break after finishing second
A cup full of prizes: the smaller for i ragazzi, the triangular pennants for adults


  1. Che bella giornata. Fortunatamente la nebbia non c'e ancora.

    1. C'era una piccoloa corsa alternativa (dentro l'Arsenale, in bacino) ma, si, fortunatamente era un giorno perfetto per vogare, anche senza onde.