ROW VENICE BATELE A CODA DI GAMBERO RETURN TO THEIR ROOTS DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
If you’ve been following us regularly on Instagram (see our feed in the right-hand column), you might have noticed photos and videos of our regatanti athletes operating a variety of homemade, simulated stand-up rowing contraptions. They have been desperately trying to maintain their fitness levels for the upcoming racing season during the Covid-19 quarantine—their ingenuity is infinite!
That was in the beginning of lockdown. With at least three weeks to go before there will be any talk of rolling back restrictions, and with the first half of the season’s regattas officially cancelled, there seems little prospect of their determination being rewarded in the sporting area. And of course, the tourism possibilities are even more of a question mark at the moment…
BATELE AT THE READY
Because we have newly restored batele waiting patiently in the marina for rowing lessons yet to arrive, and competent vogatrici stuck at home (as is everyone else in Italy), we have shifted our focus to what assistance we could be to the local community.
We found that an ever increasing number of home-bound Venetians were placing orders to small, mainland organic produce companies like Donna Gnora and Casa di Anna. We decided to volunteer our boats and vogatrici to help deliver these orders by oar directly to residences around the city—precisely the kind of work our traditional batele once performed before motor craft replaced them.
Our participation has been extremely rewarding, and we are all happy to be of service. Residents also consistently express their satisfaction at receiving their orders directly at home or at a nearby meeting point, delivered by oar—once the only means of transportation on a placid lagoon.
The management of the COVID-19 crisis seems to have heralded in a new and undeniable awareness here. With time seemingly suspended for most of us, we’re witnessing a Venezia more spectacular and tranquil than we have ever known it. It also seems like the opportune moment to try and sustain this Venice, and to extend the definition of consumer quality throughout whole supply chain with a zero impact, completely environmentally-friendly service—one particularly welcome in this fragile lagoon.
AND THE FUTURE?
We have returned to giving our regular lessons as of May. For our part, we hope there is a way to maintain the sustainable component once the crisis wanes. You can be sure Row Venice will be lobbying for just that. In the meantime, please stay safe—we look forward to rowing with you again soon in this precious lagoon city.