Saturday, September 6, 2008

Regata Storica - A Basket Full of Forcole

What time is it in Venice right now?
It can be a bit confusing if you're several time zones away from Italy.
Here in California, we're nine hours earlier than in Venice.
As I write this, it's Saturday here, but approaching Sunday there.
If you're reading this post on Saturday evening, people in Venice may already be gearing up for the Regata Storica.

Bruce Miller of Michigan (the guy who built his own s'ciopon) is there now, preparing to row in the parade portion. He promised to take some photos and send in an update when he can.

On a day such as the one Bruce is having (getting prepared for one of the biggest days in Venice, watching all the goings-on in a rowing club (he's probably at Diadora), and seeing things that are only seen on special occasions, it's fun to take it all in.
It becomes one of those days where you remember everything.

In September of 2005, I had the opportunity to row on a 14-man boat known as a quattordesona - the pride of the Gruppo Sportivo Voga Veneta in Mestre.
The boat is named "Mestrina", and she is only launched a few days out of the year.
She's so big, that it takes at least 8 guys just to roll her to the hoist.
Of course, everyone who is slated to row her shows up for the work that leads up to the row.
these guys clearly love the boat.

The poppa forcola is similar to one on the back of a gondola.
All the rest resemble the smaller forward ones, like the one in this shot:
With so many forcole, it's necessary to number them according to their place on the boat.

The photo above is one I took as they were bringing out the forcole.
It's one of the many surreal things you'll see on a day like that - an entire basket of forcole just for one boat.

And here's a shot of the "Mestrina" that was taken during Vogalonga on 2006 by Nereo Zane.

If you have the opportunity to witness or be a part of Regata Storica, I highly recommend it.
I can't wait to hear from Bruce Miller.
I'm sure he'll have some great photos too.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I had a chance to see the Regatta last year, May 2007. The number of boats of all shapes and sizes in and around Venice was astonishing. Unfortunately the main race got rained on. They didn't cancel it, but still. Of course Venice won :)