Thursday, April 12, 2012

4 for 14

There are many different kinds of rowing boats in the Veneto;
we've talked about nearly all of them here. 
There are the sandoli, mascarete, and of course the many different versions of the gondola family, but it's no secret that I'm a fan of
what I like to call the "big desonas".

These are a group of boats that are rowed by multiple crew members.  each one is a one-of-a-kind creation, and each one is cherished by those lucky enough to have her.

I must admit some bias here, being a member of the Gruppo Sportivo Voga Veneta in Mestre, when I say that my favorite of the "big desonas" is the GSVVM's quattordesona known as "Mestrina".
The name "quattordesona" indicates that she is meant to be rowed by fourteen people - meant to be, but a smaller group of skilled vogatori can move her around if they need to (or want to).

Here we see four guys doing the job of fourteen.
I'm not sure why these four guys chose to head out onto the lagoon rowing in the "4 for 14" configuration, but I'm not surprised that it was these four guys as they are some of the most senior members of the GSVVM.

Sure, it takes some strength for a few to do the job of many, but in voga-alla-Veneta, it also takes knowledge, experience, and of course, technique.
These guys have them all.

I find it comical that in this next photo, we see an amusing contrast as a huge boat rowed by four skilled men passes by a dragon boat that's jammed tight with paddlers, who may or may not know what the heck they're doing.

1 comment:

staff said...

Hi Greg, thank you for this post. It is the occasion to announce that within few weeks our huge Mestrina will begin her restoration hoping she's ready for the Storica 2012.