Friday, November 8, 2019

Rowing and Hauling in Providence

photos by Matthew Haynes

Each servizio has it's own rhythms, and it's own collection of punctuating events each year, which dot the calendar, and mark the changes of the seasons.

In Providence, Rhode Island, like some other northern port locations, one of the biggest landmarks on the calendar is the end-of-season haulout.

After the last passenger cruise is rowed, everyone gets together to move all the boats.  They row down the Woonasquatucket River - joining the Providence River, through the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier, up the Seekonk River, and to the ramp in Bold Point Park for haulout.

I've heard about this traditional row for years.  
One day I'd love to be part of it.
Spouses and girlfriends sometimes come along,
 and someone has a habit of doing the row wearing a banana costume.  
(see the post "Going Bananas in Providence")
If I can ever attend, I'm totally bringing my collection of honking rubber chickens.

Banana man passes under the 195.

Giuliana rows the sandolo past the Manchester Street Power Station
right before reaching the hurricane barrier.

From the stern of the famous "Emerson gondola", Marcello snapped this 
as he was approaching an opening in the hurricane barrier.  
Looks like he brought an extra canoe along.

Giuliana exits the Fox Point Hurricane Barrier.

BANANA!!! (and Giuliana).

At the end of the row, all boats were hauled out and ready for their next destinations.  In past years all the boats have gone into workshops or cold storage, but this year a couple of them (and a few staff members) are slated to travel south to Florida for a winter operation in Naples.

A whole season in Providence has come to an end.
Lots of cruises, numerous proposals, Waterfire nights, and great memories.
The grass is still green but fall colors can be seen in the background.

Special thanks to Matthew "Marcello" Haynes for help with text 
and proper spelling of river names.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Stella from PCH

This evening I pulled off to the side on the Pacific Coast Highway bridge 
and snapped a few pictures of Kalev and his happy passengers on board the gondola known as "Stella", while some of Newport's rowing crew teams slid by on smooth waters.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Alza Remi with Josh

photo by Cassandra Mohr

At the end of heat #2 in the Sprint Tandem event at the U.S. Gondola Nationals, Josh Sopp and I raised our oars in a traditional salute, 
as Al Macina and his son Dante crossed the line.
It was just one of a hundred great memories of the weekend.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Here's to...

photo by Cassandra Mohr

Here's to dirty white pants,
Sunburned skin,
Torn up hands,

At National...
We compete in whatever conditions we get.
Rain in Providence, we race!
Gale force winds, we race!
Crumbling forcola, we race!
Broken oar, flip it over and keep racing.

Here’s to a crowd of people all cheering in striped shirts.
Here’s to that pain that you’ll remember after the race, 
but you’re ignoring right now.
And here’s to pushing it as hard as you can till you hear that marvelous word from the judges: "TIME!"

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Last Cruise of 2019 in Stillwater

photos by John Kerschbaum

I was honored to row once again with my friend John Kerschbaum at the U.S. Gondola Nationals.  We "got the band back together" and rowed tandem in the Distance Pupparin event, bringing back all kinds of great memories of the different Nationals races we teamed up for and all the expedition rowing we've done.

After A big breakfast on Monday morning, I dropped John off at the airport and he flew back home to Minnesota.  Today he sent me a few photos of the last cruise of the year there in Stillwater.

John wrote:

Last Cruise of the season. It was 32 degrees with a 15 mile an hour wind. First year wedding anniversary. A good time was had by all.
After that, John and Michael rowed the gondola to the ramp.
 Michael Serge presses the oar forward 
with Stillwater's iconic Lift Bridge in the background.

Meanwhile, someone from the Dock Cafe - a restaurant on the water - posted this photo of the final voyage of the year.

Then it was time to trailer...

...and remarkably, Michael seemed to be superglued to the deck of the boat.

I've gotta say, he does have good balance.

In the days to come, John and the Gondola Romantica staff will position their two gondolas on his property, prepare them for winter storage, and erect shelters over each boat - hopefully before the snow comes down.

As our dear friends in Minnesota tuck their boats (and their business) in for winter, I wish them success in the process, and plenty of firewood to keep warm til spring.

Friday, November 1, 2019

USGN 2019 - The Numbers

photos by Cassandra Mohr

The 2019 U.S. Gondola Nationals was just a "chapter" in the book of American voga-alla-Veneta, but what a great chapter it was.  Many of us can't stop talking about it.  I know this because I'm one of those people, and I've been on the phone with several others - talking about it for the last few days. It was only great because of the combined efforts of so many who contributed their talents, efforts, and enthusiasm to make it so.
Again, I extend my heartfelt thanks to all who were involved.

Part of each "chapter" involves numbers.
Each race was different.  Some were time trials while others saw competitors racing alongside each other.  But the common factor in all races was that the winners were those with the shortest time through the course.

In this post I'm publishing the complete listing of competitors and how they finished in each individual event.
Yes, it's long, but a lot of people have asked me to do this.

There's a big disclaimer here though - not every race was a perfect race.
Some course times were affected by a broken oar, a forcola that came loose, or interference by another boat. 
In one case two gondolas got tangled up only fifty yards from the finish line.
Winds and currents also varied throughout the day.
But in the words of Alex "Alessandro" Haynes of Providence "You play with the cards you're dealt", and everyone was a good sport about it.

Of course we still yelled at each other while we were racing against each other (and sometimes bumping into each other), but at the end of the day we are all brothers and sisters in stripes.
It was an honor racing with you all, and I so look forward to doing it again.

Here are the complete results:

American Solo - Sunday

Rank Name Time

1 Harrison "Mariano" Richards 9:52.04

2 Parker Harrison 10:22.84

3 Robert Moe 10:30.41

4 Tim 10:39.64

5 Jakob Easton 10:49.87

6 Thomas "Nicola" Morin 10:50.15

7 Eddie Rivera 11:20.29

8 Alex 11:21.04

9 Michael Angelo Ruffino 11:49.57

10 Josh Sopp 11:53.41

11 Tim "Bepi" Reinard 12:26.71

12 Mark Schooling 12:53.42

13 Gary Serbeniuk 13:53.58

14 Greg Mohr 15:04.65

15 Mike Bronstein 20:37.60

Sprint Solo - Saturday

Rank Name Time

1 Harrison "Mariano" Richards 6:56

2 Thomas "Nicola" Morin 7:42

3 Jakob Easton 7:50

4 Hunter Mitchell 8:03

5 Mark Schooling 8:04.07

6 Tim Tyler 8:04.28

7 Adam "Ivano" Alves 8:05

8 Eddie Rivera 8:08

9 Stephen "Stefano" Anastasia 8:09

10 Michael Angelo Ruffino 8:14

11 John Kerschbaum 8:29

12 Greg Mohr 8:36

13 Gary Serbeniuk 9:08

14 Josh Sopp 9:11

15 Keith "Legno" Thurmber 9:14

16 Tim "Bepi" Reinard 9:17

17 Al Macina 9:19

18 Robert Moe 9:40

19 Tyson Davis 12:02

20 Roselyn "Giuliana" Young 12:17

Sprint Tandem - Sunday

Rank Name 1 Name 2 Time

1 Michael Angelo Ruffino Parker Harrison 6:38.40

2 Hunter Mitchell Jakob Easton 6:55.80

3 Tyson Davis Tim 7:00.06

4 Adam "Ivano" Alves Harrison "Mariano" Richards 7:02.39

5 Matthew "Marcello" Haynes Roselyn "Giuliana" Young 7:18.18

6 Simon Atkins Jonah Bonner 7:20.72

7 Josh Sopp Mark Schooling 7:23.12

8 Eddie Rivera John Kerschbaum 7:50.00

9 Thomas "Nicola" Morin Tim "Bepi" Reinard 7:54.46

10 Greg Mohr Kalev Pallares 8:29.50

11 Al Macina Mike Bixler 9:15.72

Obstacle Solo - Saturday

Rank Name Time

1 Matthew "Marcello" Haynes 3:30

2 Kalev Pallares 3:31

3 Harrison "Mariano" Richards 3:32

4 Tim "Bepi" Reinard 3:48

5 Adam "Ivano" Alves 3:49

6 Greg Mohr 3:50

7 Jakob Easton 3:58

8 Robert Moe 4:05

9 Tim Tyler 4:07

10 Tyson Davis  4:08

11 Stephen "Stefano" Anastasia 4:11

12 Mark Schooling 4:20

13 Hunter Mitchell 4:25

14 Thomas "Nicola" Morin 4:39

15 Simon Atkins 4:43

16 John Kerschbaum 5:01

17 Roselyn "Giuliana" Young 5:22

Obstacle Tandem

Rank Name 1 Name 2 Time

1 Jakob Easton Hunter Mitchell 3:18

2 Michael Angelo Ruffino Parker Harrison 3:35

3 Simon Atkins Jonah Bonner 3:39

4 Harrison "Mariano" Richards Adam "Ivano" Alves 3:42

5 Matthew "Marcello" Haynes Tim "Bepi" Reinard 3:44

6 Greg Mohr Kalev Pallares 4:12

7 Roselyn "Giuliana" Young Thomas "Nicola" Morin 4:21

8 Gary Serbeniuk Robert Moe 4:45

9 John Kerschbaum Stephen "Stefano" Anastasia 4:45

Distance Solo - Sunday

Rank Name Time

1 Michael Angelo Ruffino 39:36.02

2 Harrison "Mariano" Richards 41:05.63

3 Adam "Ivano" Alves 41:43.36

4 Thomas "Nicola" Morin 43:02.93

5 Matthew "Marcello" Haynes 45:55.59

6 Stephen "Stefano" Anastasia 46:20.60

7 Tyson Davis 48:21.78

8 Mike Bronstein 54:12.86

Pupparin Distance Tandem - Sunday

Rank Name 1 Name 2 Time

1 Adam "Ivano" Alves Harrison "Mariano" Richards 30:31

2 Michael Angelo Ruffino Parker Harrison 32:04

3 Tyson Davis Tim Tyler 33:48

4 Matthew "Marcello" Haynes Tim "Bepi" Reinard 33:56

5 Stephen "Stefano" Anastasia Jakob Easton 35:24

6 Greg Mohr John Kerschbaum 37:17

7 Thomas "Nicola" Morin Roselyn "Giuliana" Young 39:05

8 Robert Moe Gary Serbeniuk 46:41

Distance Tandem - Saturday 

Rank Name 1 Name 2 Time

1 Michael Angelo Ruffino Parker Harrison 31:58

2 Harrison "Mariano" Richards Adam "Ivano" Alves 32:13

3 Tim Tyler Tyson Davis 33:12

4 Greg Mohr Kalev Pallares 34:22

5 Matthew "Marcello" Haynes Thomas "Nicola" Morin 34:46

6 Mike Bixler Al Macina 51:23

4-Man Distance - Saturday

Rank Name 1 Name 2 Name 3 Name 4 Time

1 Simon Atkins Jonah Bonner Greg Mohr Kalev Pallares 26:56

2 Josh Sopp Michael Angelo Ruffino Parker Harrison Eddie Rivera 27:46

3 Matthew "Marcello" Haynes Thomas "Nicola" Morin Harrison "Mariano" Richards Adam "Ivano" Alves 29:14

4 Mike Bixler Al Macina Tyson Davis  Tim Tyler 32:05

5 Roselyn "Giuliana" Young Keith "Legno" Thurmber John Kerschbaum  Tim "Bepi" Reinard 40:29