The Vogalonga, Venice, Italy

The Vogalonga is a giant annual May Bank Holiday spectacle, a colourful pageant in which thousands of vessels of every kind race 32 km around Venice’s lagoons and canals. With tiny kayaks jostling for space with gondolas, dragon boats, outriggers, fours, eights, sculls, skiffs and traditional Venetian rowing boats, and with the ornate bridges and balconies teaming with spectators, it is the Italian equivalent to Spain’s Running With The Bulls.

Debra’s Role

At 32 km in length it was just short of English Channel crossing distance, so I felt it would be a perfect way to keep The Sisterhood motivated to work hard through the cold, dark winter months as we trained to set a World Record across the English Channel. My role was to make it happen, including getting a boat, 16 women and a lorry-load of supporters to Italy.


Figure of eight which loops round the island of Burano and re-enters Venice at the mouth of the Grand Canal.


32 km


May 2007


3 hours of madness!

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