On 27th of June 2010 another wonderful page of stand up paddle history was written. Approximately 100 people from all around the world gathered in Venice to attend the event organized by RRD and Nissan, under the sponsorship of the municipality of Venice, to promote the Surf Culture in the Venetian lagoon.
The parade, which took the riders on their SUP (stand up paddle boards) escorted by the historical "sandals" of the Rowing Settemari along more than 6 km from the Tronchetto through the Grand Canal till the Arsenale (historical Venice shipyard), has created a new link between the culture of surfing and the city of Venice. During the parade of the hundreds, thousands of people have realized that there is another way to travel by water, namely, on a board using a paddle.
While tourists snapped photos from the banks and bridges of Venice, from the gondolas and from the ferries, the Venetians looked out their windows, curious to witness the spectacle of those surfers who paddle easily along the Grand Canal, with gondolas and other boats engaged in their daily traffic.
"We are witnessing a historical moment," Roberto Ricci said from the stage in Campo San Biagio after the long parade; "Today the Surf Culture and the Venetian Marine Tradition officially came into contact."
After a well deserved lunch-buffet for all participants, the afternoon race featured 20 pre-selected athletes, which saw the powerful English rider Gent Neal cut to the finish line first in front of the young Italian talent Giuseppe Giusti and of Eduardo Diaz, strong athlete from Gran Canaria.
During a joyful prize giving ceremony, Roberto Ricci expressed his will to meet again everyone next year for a second and even bigger edition of Surfin'Venice.
Judging by the joy of the participants and the reaction of the city, the event is destined to become a classic for Italy, Europe, and worldwide.
We thank all the riders who took part in the event, the City of Venice for the sponsorship, the cultural association in Venice and the historic Rowing Settemari for the precious help and support, before, during and after the event.
A special thanks goes to Eliana Argine and her perseverance, without which Surfin' Venice would have been a mission impossible.
A big thanks also goes to the main sponsor of the event NISSAN with its project NSA (Nissan Sports Adventure) and RRD, Italian company leader in water board sports.