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Vogalonga is a race of boats rowing around the islands of the lagoon, up to the island of Burano, over a total distance of 30 kilometers. This marathon of non-motorized boats does not have winners, or if you want, winners are all those who participate.
Both a non-competitive boat race and a manifest against motor-powered boats which pollute the lagoon, Vogalonga gathers every year in Venice thousands of participants. Anyone can participate in the race, young and old, locals and people from all over the world, men and women alike.
The history of Vogalonga began in 1974, when a group of friends organized a small race in the waters of the Venetian lagoon. Among them, perhaps the most fervent promoter of the event was Lauro Bergamo, who was the director of Il Gazzettino newspaper.
The first Vogalonga took place on May 8, 1975, the day of the Festa della Sensa, when the race began in front of the Doge’s Palace, on a signal given by a cannon-shot.
45 years ago, in the first edition of the race held on May 8, 1975, there were about 500 boats and more than 1500 rowers. At the 2018 edition, there were about 2,100 boats and over 8,350 rowers.
PROGRAM OF THE EVENT
The 46th edition of the Vogalonga will be held on Sunday, May 31. In 2020, the race will be open to any type of boat, regardless of weight, size or number of rowers.
The start will be around 9.00 am in the St. Mark’s Basin. 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 pass by the Burano island and they will return along Mazzorbo, Madonna del Monte and San Giacomo in Paludo. On the island of Murano, the race will continue on the Grand Canal, and then the boats will head to Venice.
After entering the city via the Cannaregio Canal, the participants will race across the Grand Canal to the finish line marked by the Punta della Dogana.