Every year, in the second half of May, the waters of Venice host one of the most beloved local holidays, Vogalonga. This can also be seen as a sporting event, because it is practically a race of paddle boats, running around the lagoon islands, over a distance of about 30 km.
This marathon of non-motorized boats does not have winners, or if you want, winners are all who participate. There is an opportunity for both the locals and the people from other parts of Italy, and why not, even for participants from around the world, because the race does not limit the participation of anyone.
In 1974, several friends started to organize a small race in the waters of the Venetian lagoon. Nobody imagined that this initiative will have such an effect over time, being today a competition that involves so much the city and its surroundings.
More than 40 years ago, in the first edition of the race, which took place on May 8, 1975, there were about 500 boats and more than 1500 rowers. At the 2014 edition, there were more than 2,100 boats and over 7,500 people.
Vogalonga is practically a manifest against motor-powered boats that pollute the lagoon and, on a larger scale, an alarm signal pulled to accuse an enthusiastic technological evolution, that is missing the adverse effects that come with it.
VOGALONGA 2018, the 44th edition, will be held on May 20. This year, the race is open to any type of boat, regardless of weight, size or number of rowers.
The start will be around 9.00 am in the Basin of San Marco. The boats will sail through the Giudecca Canal and will pass on their way along the islands of Sant’Elena, Vignole, Sant’Erasmo and San Francesco del Deserto.
At the middle of the route, the participants will bypass the Burano Island and they will return to Mazzorbo, Madonna del Monte and San Giacomo in Paludo. Arriving in Murano, the race will continue on the island’s Grand Canal, and then it will head for Venice.
Once they enter the city via the Cannaregio Canal, the participants will race across the Grand Canal to the finish line marked by the Punta della Dogana.