Vogalonga: Venice rows against the waves
The creators of the Venice Vogalonga began their peaceful battle against the waves that afflicted – and unfortunately still plagues – the wonderful lagoon city back in 1975.
On May 8th of that year, 1,500 “soldiers” – armed with nothing but their oars – took place on 500 boats to start one of the most peculiar regattas in the world: thirty kilometers of quiet navigation, on a route that winds from Saint Mark’s Basin through the Grand Canal, touching Murano, Burano and other charming corners of the world.
Over the years, the number of boats and sailors participating has steadily increased, and on May 15th 2016, on the occasion of the 42nd edition of this “amateur, motor-recreational sports event”, some 7,000 rowers and 1,700 boats are expected. Not a motor in sight, of course.
Indeed, the “waves” caused by motor boats – which represent about 95% of Venice’s water traffic – are a real scourge, not only because they cause great trouble for small rowboats and sailboats, but also because they seriously threaten the stability of the lagoon’s delicate building structure and morphology.
Therefore, Vogalonga is not only a beautiful sight, but also a powerful way to remind everyone that Venice is a treasure for the whole world, and that there are many ways to address the problem of waves – for example, by gradual introducing innovative crafts that do not generate waves, or by rationalizing motorized water traffic.
A wonderful, meaningful event for a wonderful, irreplaceable city.