The “Champions of the oar” challenge each other on the occasion of the Redeemer Festival. The history of the regatta tied to the world-famous event

14 October 2021

Venice, July 17, 2021- This year, on the occasion of the Feast of the Redeemer (Festa del Redentore), the traditional Venetian rowing competition (regatta) is back, and pits 18 Venetians contestants compete to win the title of the race linked to the festival most felt by Venetians. 

There will be three challenges with nine crews that will compete on gondola and pupparini, both using two oars and each of a different color, from purple to “canarin” (yellow), from blue to brown, from white to pink, red, green, and orange, according to a tradition that dates back to 1843, born to allow spectators to easily follow the race along the waterfronts. Nine colors to differentiate between nine challengers struggling with a Venetian rowing sprint that will take place on Sunday, July 18, starting at 4PM with a path from the Church of the Redeemer and then crossing the Giudecca Canal, the Fusina Canal, the so-called “paleto” (half-race) in S. Giorgio in Alga, and then back again to the Church of the Redeemer where the winners are announced.  

The Redeemer Regata 2021 will see young Venetians compete on pupparini using two oars, men on pupparini using two oars and men on gondolas using two oars, during three competitions on water starting from the youngster at 4PM, before moving to men on pupparini at 4.45PM and, finally, the most awaited challenge: men on gondolas, at 5.30PM. Venice Municipality kept repeating this competition for a hundred years and the only long stop occurred during the years from 1925 to 1957, in the historical period close to the Second World War and in the post war period. 

The event occurs every third Sunday of July during the celebrations of the famous event, and represents an essential step for the rowing season as well as a deeply felt sporting event which is experienced with passion by citizens, competitors, people interested in Venetian rowing and tourists. 

Winners of the Redeemer Regatta since 1920 

The Redeemer competition is an event that adds color and folklore to a world-famous event, the Feast of the Redeemer, whose celebrations are also enriched with a rowing contest that announce, each year, different winners of this specific type of rowing competition. 

The first edition of the Redeemer Regatta dates back to 1920 and has seen as “gondola champions of the oar”, according to the roll of honor of the Redeemer, the teams composed by Giovanni Vianello, Cucchiero Crea and Arturo Scuciare, winners of three consecutive editions, later replaced by the couple that won 9 straight editions of this race, out of a total of 12, from 2002 to 2011, and then in 2014 and 2015: the legendary rowing competitors Ivo Tezzat Redolfi and Giampaolo D’Este. Among the others that marked the history of this Venetians competition we want also to remember Giuseppe Bepi Fontegher and Sergio Ciaci Tagliapietra, winners and team’ mates throughout 8 editions of the race, from 1965 to 1977 and, the latter, winner since 1961 together with Albino Stringheta Dei Rossi. 

During the last two editions, the Redeemer Regatta, was won by Andrea Bertoldini and Mattia Colombi, in the gondola with two oars competition. While in the category pupparini with two oars, Simone Costantini and Federico Busetto won last year and, for what concern the youngest, Luca Rigo and Giorgio Sabadin were awarded with the title of champions of the Redeemer Regatta 2020.