Another amazing Pink Champagne trip to participate in the 45th Vogalonga in Venice.
We had the opening ceremony on Friday, but due to a cruise ship crash and lots of legal stuff we were not allowed to enter the Grand Canal on Friday evening, we instead went up and down some of the side canals, though a shame it was a good way to see some of the pretty bridges, bars, cafes and back street houses.
Saturday was race day, on previous occasions we have paddled in a small lagoon, this year it was across the main channel in the sea to a 200m stretch about 700m from the sports centre, it was like crossing the M25 and very rough to get to the start. We stayed out for all the races which made it easier. We were entered into the Ladies and Breast Cancer Survivor races. There were 3 ladies teams and only us representing BCS. We all knew what that meant, the gold was ours, we still had a lot to prove and we were racing against different categories. We had some good times in a choppy sea, very hard on the start line to hold the boat, everyone was very focused and disciplined in difficult conditions.
We came in for lunch and ventured back out in the afternoon for two final races. The first race was the Ladies final against two non BCS teams, a very strong Australian team who looked good in the morning sessions. A great start and it was very close with the Australians in front until the last 20m when we powered past them to take 1st place an amazing achievement and a well deserved gold medal.
Our next race was to confirm our BCS gold medal, another great race, 1.10 in the sea was a good time.
We were up out early on Sunday to pick our boat up to be ready at St Mark’s for the cannon to mark the start of the 45th Vogalonga.
It’s hard to describe this event but everyone at home and those who took part on Sunday will have treasured memories of this day.
We finally entered the Grand Canal and travelled under the Rialto Bridge up to the next bridge where our supporters were waving and cheering.
A great experience for everyone, the team performed so well all weekend, supported each other every way possible.
Thank you to everyone, our great supporters, Allen, our helm and those involved in organising our trip there.