Thursday, November 15, 2018

Back from Nationals

The 7th installment of the US Gondola Nationals is in the books,
and oh, what a great time it was for all involved.

Gondoliers and friends traveled from near and far to Providence, Rhode Island (where gondola racing in America all started), and we had a blast!

We sang, we socialized, we raced, we rowed Waterfire cruises, we raced again, and then we celebrated.  As with every year, new friendships were made, and existing ones picked up where they'd left off.

And whether you win medals or not, nobody leaves Nationals without having gained in so many other ways.
In fact, I believe this competition has made us all better rowers,
and overall better gondoliers.

In the days ahead, we will go through the various photos and video recordings that were captured during the competition.
But for now, I'd just like to thank Marcello and the folks at La Gondola in Providence for hosting a terrific edition of the US Gondola Nationals.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Training in Oxnard

photo by Josh Sopp

It seems like everyone I know is training up for the US Gondola Nationals.
I guess that says something about who I hang out with.
Gondoliers are the best people.

A guy named Josh Sopp grew up rowing cruises here in Newport, and then went on to work in television, but the gondola addiction can be strong.
Years later he looked up Mark Schooling, who had established Gondola Paradiso in Oxnard, California.
Both Mark and Josh had rowed for the Gondola Company of Newport.
Now it looks like the two of them will be a tandem team.

Today Josh posted the above photo along with the following text: 

Last night of training.
Next time I row will be at Nationals this weekend!
I hope the 3 months of working out 6 days a week pays off!
If anything I lost 20 lbs and 8% body fat.
Thanks to kiddo for being a good sport and tagging along to watch her iPad and look for seals.
And a big thanks to Mark Schooling for letting me practice, and inviting me to row with him in the two-man competitions!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Restaurant Pickup

Gondolier Alex Boullon rows towards The Winery restaurant to pick up his passengers, as the sky (once again) gives us radiant colors to enjoy.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Electric Sky

photo by Jonah Bonner

Tonight the two 4-man teams in Newport Beach practiced for the race in Providence, which will happen in about a a week.
The GCON 4 took to the water first, 
and enjoyed beautiful colors as the sun set.
As my team (the GAI team) arrived on the dock and waited for the boat to return, we were treated to quite a show - as the sky lit up like I've rarely ever seen it.
The photos in this post really don't represent the reality 
of it's brightness and color.
The only word I can think of that comes close to describing just how vivid 
and powerful it electric.

 taking it all in.
photo by Jonah Bonner

 The tail of a gondola with electric sky in the background.
photo by Jonah Bonner

 Pre-row snacks.  This time: Fuji apple...
photo by Jonah Bonner

...because food is fuel!
photo by Jonah Bonner

 The guys from GCON arrive.
photo by Greg Mohr

  Stainless steel and sunset sky.
photo by Greg Mohr

The GAI 4-man team rows off into the sunset.
photo by Eddie Rivera