THE HENLEY WHALERS - Venice, Italy, 2014
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Three major events draw Henley Whalers back to Venice again and again.

This was probably the largest group of Henley Whalers ever gathered in Venice, and certainly the largest crew for the Raid. Thanks to everyone for all the help and effort but particularly to the ladies who made sure that we were well fed and watered every stroke of the way.

Statistics, and map with our GPS tracks.
The Vogalonga (Long Row),
The Vela Raid (Sailing and sometimes rowing whilst journeying for several days in the company of like-minded people, stopping at a different destination each evening. Exploring remote corners of the Venice lagoon and less-known parts of the city).
and The Velalonga (Long Sail).

Molly Bird's-Eye
Molly moored on Grand Canal outside apartment.

The Vogalonga (Long Row) Sunday 8th June 2014.

Vogalonga 2014 was one of Molly's fastest; surprising the lovely support team by arriving back in the Cannaregio much earlier than expected.

What is Vogalonga?
A regatta? Yes. A race? Only for those who don't understand it. A procession? Pretty much. The start, off the famous Saint Mark's Square, the route, and the finish back at Saint Mark's are well choreographed.
More than two thousand boats (in 2014), all human powered, make the 30km journey out into the lagoon, around (or is it through?) the islands on Murano and Burano, re-entering the city via the Cannaragio canal.
A major appeal is the closure of the main canals to motor boats for the duration of the event! - And the adoring crowds.
The "open water" stretches grant brief opportunities for course adjustment, and maybe a bit of overtaking, but for much of the way it is a matter of just moving with the throng of surrounding boats.

Crew and flag in upper windows.

Grand Canal
Rialto Bridge
St Marks
The Start
Click any picture to enlarge

By tradition, Henley Whalers pause for lunch in the Cannaregio Canal whilst enjoying the spectacle, crush and chaos of passing boats.
Refreshed, Whalers re-join the fray for the last couple of kilometres to the finish where medals and certificates are issued before finding a way back through the maze of minor canals out of the city and across the lagoon to moor at CVC (Mestre).

Click here for a map of our GPS tracks . Tracks not visible? - Click here.

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VelaRaid, Venice Lagoon 10–14 June 2014

Whalers then honed their rowing skills and stamina in the first four days of the Raid due to the lack of wind, although the last day's sailing of the Raid justified use of the full sail.

What is Vela Raid? - Normally it is a five-day sailing adventure, exploring the nether regions, nooks and crannies of the Venice Lagoon, visiting remote spots inaccessible to the average tourist.
Why "Normally"? Much of the time there was a dire shortage of wind (though the mistral blew up during dinner on Thursday) and blazing sun. Great if you're lazing on the beach, maybe, but pretty taxing when rowing 20km in un-remitting sunshine and upper 20's Celsius.

Night stops include evening meal, bed & breakfast (though some hardy boaters sleep afloat). Lunch is served from the food barge, sometimes at anchor in mid-Lagoon, sometimes moored in a quiet bay.

The good bits. Food, drink, cameraderie. And some very good sailing moments!
Click here for a map of our GPS tracks . Tracks not visible? - Click here.

Almost becalmed

Click to enlarge
All Raid pics - sequence to be corrected .

Lio Maggiore
DAY 1 - Tuesday - Mestre to Lio Maggiore via San Erasmo. Swim
DAY 2 - Wednesday - Lio Maggiore via San Erasmo to Guidecca.


Lunch Video not yet linked
DAY 3 - Thursday - Guidecca to Mira. Dinner at Trattoria Alla Laguna (where the storm blew up), and accommodation at what someone unkindly(?) dubbed the "Mosquito hostel"!

Wind Video not yet linked

DAY 4 - Friday - Mira to Chioggia. A particularly long, hot, windless day, but mitigated by swimming mid-lagoon around the lunch barge. Heroic hot-weather rowing, aided by miscellaneous distraction techniques.


DAY 5 - Saturday - Chioggia to Mestre via lunch anchored off San Lazzaro Degli Armeni.
Some wind at last, though the strong tide rushing in from the Adriatic through a narrow channel caused a bit consternation for a few minutes, and may have been a surprise for some.


Music Video
Music Video not yet linked
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The Velalonga (Long Sail) Saturday 15 June 2014

Molly also managed to win her class again in the Velalonga beating the next boat (in her class) by an hour.
Had she taken the smart route around Campalto Island she might only have been beaten by the catamarans.

What is Velalonga? Around 150 shallow-draft sailing boats, modern and traditional, race from Mestre, 11Nm around the lagoon and back to Mestre. The course is much the same each year but variations of wind and tide can introduce new challenges and require new tracks.

It seems the crew were so focussed on racing that only before and after pictures are available.

Forcola Presentation
Pre-Race Forcola Presentation

Click any picture for full size

1st in Class
1st in Class

Click here for a map of our GPS tracks. Velalonga shown (at the bottom of the list) as "15Jun2014 12:00:19 Race". Zoom right in for impressive detail. Tracks not visible? - Click here. Back to top

The "Tourist" Albums:-
All of Steve's pics.
All of PW's pics. (coming soon)

Previous visits - 2011, 2010, 2008.
Have you got any contributions? - Please send them or links.

Sailed Out
Totally "Sailed Out!"
Date Start time Duration Av knots Max knots Nm Crew
7 June Sat. CVC to Academia 17:20 1:55 2.1 4.9 4.2 9+helm
8 June Sun. Pre Vogalonga 08:18 0:33 2.1 4.5 1.1 10+helm
8 June Sun. Vogalonga 09:00 4:16 3.3 5.3 13.9 10+helm
8 June Post Vogalonga > CVC 14:47 1:05 3 4.9 3.6 9+helm
Sub Total >


Voga' etc.
10 June Raid, Tues, pre start 10:50 0:26 1.7 3.9 1.3 10+Baggage
10 June Raid, Tues, am. 11:29 3:17 1.9 5,3 6.3
10 June Raid, Tues, pm. 16:19 3:17 3 6 9.7
11 June Raid, Wed, am. 09:37 4:53 2 5.2 10.1
11 June Raid, Wed, pm 16:05 2:10 2.2 4.6 4.8
12 June Raid, Thur, am. 10:42 2:07 2.1 4.3 3.3
12 June Raid, Thur, pm. 12:43 5:03 2.7 5.8 13.5
13 June Raid, Fri, am. 09:13 3:55 1.2 4.5 7.7
13 June Raid, Fri, pm. 14:20 2:20 2.5 4.9 5.9
14 June Raid Sat am (1) 08:42 1:21 0.5 4.5 0.7
14 June Raid Sat am (1) 10:32 3:02 4.4 6.8 13.4
14 June Raid Sat pm 14:21 1:38 3.8 6.9 6.2
Sub Total >
82.8 Raid
15 June Sun, Pre Vela' Race 11:01 0:53 4 6.4 3.5 10 Crew
15 June Sun, Velalonga Race 12:00 2:08 5.1 8.6 10.9
Click here for the oFficial results.
Sub Total >
14.4 Vela' race
Grand total for the week >
Start time, duration, average and maximum speeds are as recorded on GPS.
Distance figures have been corrected where the GPS was not on.

Map of all our GPS tracks.
Map Icon Click to olpen
Zoom right in for remarkable detail.

Prefer Map/Satellite view? Scroll to the bottom of the table of waypoints and tracks. Select an option in "Base map".

Tracks not visible?
Click here.

Almost becalmed

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Unable to see the routes on the map?
If the map of Venice opens without showing the tracks (routes). - On Android phones, go to the top right of your screen, touch the Menu button (three vertical dots), select "Request Desktop Site". The map should reload showing the tracks as coloured lines.
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