Monday, September 15, 2008

Palio di Porto Cesareo - the Regata

After the processions in Porto Cesareo, a number of contests took place, including a greased pole-climb.

Our American County-Fair version has the pole fixed vertically in the ground.

The Cesareo version is a little bit different:

The pole is mounted almost horizontal off the bow of a boat with a flag at the end.

The winner is the first person to grab the flag.
What makes it so difficult is that the boat that the pole is mounted bouncing around in the waves.

This year only one guy could get ahold of that flag.

The Palio
The main reason Bepi and Nereo were brought in, was to oversee the regata.
In contrast to most rowing regatas, the one in Porto Cesareo is the only race these guys row each year.

Nereo writes:

Unlike Venice's "regatanti", who train for and row many regatas during a concentrated season, the folks in
this race are hard-working fishermen. The Palio is the only regata, their one shot at a trophy. Like many other contests, the winner holds the prize for one year, until it is handed over to the winner of next year's race.

Bepi gives a pre-race briefing.

Porto Cesareo is split into five districts, and each district gets assigned a crew with their own boat.
Bepi Suste attended to the Palio like a judge and before the race he gave the rowers some instructions and a lot of prompts on how such a race is run.

The Palio in action.

Nereo explains:
The boats are usually built by the owners (fishermen) and are, as a consequence, different a little from each other.
The palio takes place inside the port in front of the docks crowded with people - both residents and tourists.

Bepi poses for a shot with the rowers of Porto Cesareo.

One of the unique fishing boats used in the Palio.

Big thanks go out to Nereo Zane for the photos and information on the annual regata in Porto Cesareo.

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