Andraes is the most recent frontrower owner in Switzerland. He sent this report in last May, but I just got around to posting it. I promise I’ll try to do better in the future. Andreas has sent me many emails about his adventures. I think you can tell from this story that he is a fun loving guy and is having a blast with his frontrower. Be sure to watch the video, it will give you an idea of the festive nature of the event.
During the Whitsunday week-end, from Friday to Tuesday, my wife and I were in Venice for the Vogalonga (www.vogalonga.com), and the experience was overwhelming (I don’t mean the weather…). The wife and a few rowing collegues from her club had been there last year with two skulling boats, and hearing their enthusiastic tales I decided that I wanted to share that experience.
•across to and along Sant’Erasmo,
•crossing westwards at the northern end of the island towards Burano,
•passing between Burano and Mazzorbo and
•across the open Laguna back in the direction of Murano,
•traversing Murano on it’s main canale,
•past the last bit of open water to Venice’s northwestern side,
•through the habitual constipation of the first part of the Canale di Canareggio… This year, Canareggio was constipated even outside the canale proper, before even entering it… At the same time, two inexperienced crews of coxed fours managed to steer their vessels across Tre Archi’s main passage simultaneously (see pic). At least by the time I got there the problem was solved. They had posted divers there who manually sorted the boats and sent them on their right way…,
•back again to the parking on Tronchetto via the Rio Novo……was a very varied experience for me. It was enriched…
•with cramps in my right thigh and upper arm,
•with hunger and thirst
•and correspondingly with a supply of bananas and ice tea, free handouts at a catering station in Burano –not to mention the food I had brought–,
•with rain on my glasses, alternating with fog, and no dry wipes along,
•with applause from people on their balconies or from their windows, sitting at restaurant tables on the quais or standing on bridges,
•and with the congratulations from Paula (my wife) and Regula (a friend) after the takeout at the Tronchetto (next pic).The fact that the weather remained gruff during the entire course was not really negative. You don’t register the rain very much once you’re afloat and rowing, and the clouds on the sky kept my from getting sunburned. Only the westerly wind during the passage from Burano back to Venice was inconvenient, in as far as it constantly turned my canoe’s nose into a direction that I absolutely had no intention of following. But I prevailed! Having a canoe that is a treat to use, well behaved and travelling with little effort, having a rowing installation that transformed my efforts into forward motion as naturally as the Front Rower, made the entire 37 kilometers (~30 km course, plus 7 km between input/outtake and start/end) an enjoyment more than a strain.