Tuesday, October 2, 2007


All photos by Nereo Zane
departing Athens, NY
We got an early start today from Athens, arriving at the gondola in time to push off at 8:30am as the tide was nearing the end of its reverse cycle. Bepi, Enzo, John and Vittorio took off fast, rowing against the current until it slacked and then turned downstream. While prepping the chase boat, I had the chance to talk with some of the locals and answer questions.
By 9:10am the gondola passed under the Rip Van Winkle Bridge having traveled 4 miles in 40 minutes.

Nearing the 4 mile mark

Not everybody was in striped shirts today. Many of the guys opted for more comfortable or functional clothing. Everyone had fun joking with Bepi who tied a long strip of cloth around his head like an Indian. Geronimo, Indio and Comanche were among the nicknames thrown around.

At the 7 mile mark, the wind came up a bit. By 10:30am, the gondola had reached the 10 mile mark and the wind was getting stronger. I switched places with John at the 11 mile mark. No sooner had we begun rowing than the chase boat sputtered and died. The boats came together and we each took our turn trying to fix it in our own way. We dropped anchor in a shallow because the wind was pushing us back up-river. I began a series of phone calls which ended with Sea Tow on the phone. While I was giving them our location, I heard the engine come to life – Bepi had removed the spark plugs, cleaned them with a Swiss Army Knife and some sandpaper, plugged them in and brought the motor back to life. We were on our way again.

While rowing along the east shore, we passed two women who were asking about the gondola. I asked them where we were and they said “Tivoli” – about 17 miles into our 25 mile row. It was 12:20pm. The wind began sending us rollers and decent-sized chop. About a mile later the wind eased up a bit and the water calmed down to light chop.

Chris and I changed places and he remained on the gondola until they made land at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston at about 2:10pm.

The team after arriving in Kingston

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is a straight shot down a section of river that heads directly south. I’m told that when the wind is out of the south (as it has been so far) this section becomes a wind tunnel.

Wish us luck and pray for calm conditions.


mancusodiane said...

Hi Bepe Rossi this is your brother Angelo I am following this race on the internet after talking to Georgia I would like you to give me a call on my cell phone 905-988-7137 and if Diane and myself can go and meet you I would just love that as you know we are in Niagara on the Lake 10 minutes for Niagara Falls New York
PS If someone could pass this message to my brother I really appreciate and thank you
good race Bepe is the best gondolier in Venice you guys are in good hand

best regards, Angelo Rossi

mancusodiane said...

Hi Bepi if someone can email us to tell us where we can meet you guys Angelo will take some time off to go and visite you can email us at mancusodiane@yahoo.ca or diangelorossi1@yahoo.ca
PS. If you can give us the name of the hotel you are going to stay may be we will see you there thanks\
Angelo Rossi

hope you guys have good weather tomorrow have a great day to all the rowers..........Diane and Angelo