There are many different kinds of rowing races in the world of voga-alla-Veneta, but the single oar category of a large boat requires extra strength and advanced technique.
Team rowing, with oars on either side of the boat, allows the vogatori to row without having to "stai" (correct at the end of each stroke).
When it's just one person on the boat, rowing off of one side, corrections have got to be made.
Rowing with passeengers is typically done at a leisurely pace.
Sure, you've got to stai to keep the gondola from going in a circle, but barring unusual conditions, it's not very strenuous.
Empty the boat, remove all the extra weight you can,
and make it a race - and you've got a whole different version of things.
Getting a boat of this size up and moving is an undertaking.
It gets more exciting when there's a field of boats all trying to get ahead of you.
The competition gets fierce.
You've got to have power,
but you must maintain control as well.
These boats have the same dimensions as a passenger gondola, but weigh less, have no parecio, and are built for speed.
They also have an easily identified feature - a set of vent holes at the tail, just under and behind where the gondolier stands. These holes allow air to pass through the rear portion of the boat as she moves.
I honestly don't know how much of a difference this makes, but one could certainly argue that the raised deck at the back of a gondola constitutes an area of wind-drag.
The Venetians have also found another use for these vent holes:
They come in very handy when towing the fleet.
The athletic version of Venetian rowing seeks to utilize your whole body - from the feet to the fingers. The legs, core, chest and shoulders are on duty, not just the arms.
Another aspect of this style of rowing is that it uses the maximum reach of your body.
The furthest a person can reach is from the end of one arm to the foot on the opposing leg - at full extension. Looking at the photo below, we see the rower taking advantage of this principle.
It's more than a balancing act,
it's a supreme exercise in achieving maximum power, with just the right amount of control.
Throw in stamina, the ability to maneuver, and the sometimes unpredictable nature of wind and water, and you've got a single-oar regata.
Anyone wanna race?