Past Events & News
City Barge 2007
Go with the Flow
Barge were pleased to be involved in the
with the Flow
for 1000 years of Oxfordshire. Bank Holiday Monday, May 7, was a day
full of events on the River Thames in Oxford. In a procession
Folly Bridge to Iffley Lock many members of City Barge took part with
a variety of Venetian boats, as well as a shallop, a skiff and a
100-year-old punt. Later there was racing, demonstrations
fly-fishing, caneoeing and kayaking, and the public were taken for
rides on the water, raising over £400 for Water Aid. A
the day was traditional Bangladeshi canoe racing, with boats shipped
over specially from Bangladesh by the management of Aziz Restaurants
in Oxford. The day was opened by the actor David Suchet, who is
Chairman of the River Thames Alliance.
More recently, club
members gave sandolo rides at the Farmoor
Reservoir Open Weekend in aid of the Pontoon Project for disabled
sailors, raising over £100 for this excellent cause.
Padua - VogaEuropa II
4 members of City Barge took part in this
event in May. It was a truly "European" event and an excellent
opportunity to meet other Venetian rowers from countries like Germany,
Hungary, Netherlands and Italy. Hopefully this will lead to
other visits from similar clubs across Europe. There was not too
much rowing, but plenty of good food and drink.
The Aldo Narduzzi
This boat was a wreck, left in the
back of a boathouse in Venice, bodged with fibreglass, used a few years
ago, and finally ignored. Yet it was known she was oldest boat of
her type a puparino 70 years old. She came into the hands of
the conservationist organisation called the Arzana that collects and
works on, and brings back into use, old boats like this.
City Barge member Tim Williams
offered to undertake the restoration work free of charge he would
bring her to England, to his workshop, reinforce her so she would not
fall apart. Then he started taking out the rotten wood and
replacing it with good planks of larch.
After four months work she was ready to take to the water again.
It turned out the old boat was of a beautifully balanced design.
Querini Visit -
1-8th July 2004
City Barge is closely associated
with a rowing club in Venice. They
are called "Querini" after a notable Italian family who lost a member
in an arctic expedition just after 1900. Although City Barge visits
Venice for the Voga Longa each year, this is the first time the Querini
Club has visited the UK to row. About forty four venetians
were in the visiting group and bringing three astounding
boats with them.
The visitors were the guests of
Henley Royal Regatta on Friday 2nd
June and were sponsored by
the Cipriani Hotel, of 25 Davies Street, London. They were invited by
the stewards of the regatta to demonstrate Venetian rowing on the
Thames by rowing down the Henley course at tea time on that day. First
there was a demonstration race by two venete. These are racing
fours similar in size to a conventional coxless four but with more
upright riggers. The rowers stand facing forwards and proceed skilfully
at great pace in this precarious attitude pushing on the oar handles.
Then another startling craft powered by 18 standing rowers
"disdotona" rowed past the enclosures. This name is the Venetian for
eighteen and the sight is
most impressive. There is only one of these boats in the world.
The venetian boats then rowed
down from Henley to the Tower of London over the period Saturday 3rd
July to Wednesday 7th July in the company of some Venetian boats from
our own fleet. Some City Barge members were allowed to row
the disdotona and the Italian Ambassador came on board.
Unfortunately, the last day's rowing from Putney to the City of London
was cancelled due to the stormy weather.
City Barge were proud to be invited
to the launch of the Lille Draken replica Viking boat
on 18th June 2005. City Barge
assisted in the launch and then rowed the boat.
In English naval tradition, the Lille Drakon was given a Christian
by The Reverend Peter Myles and named the Lille Draken by Sophia Myles,
of Thunderbirds, who gave the boat a second bottle of Lille Draken Ale.
The Lille Draken rolled down the slipway, into the water and.....
The inaugural passage, under the helmsmanship of David Jones, was rowed
Ted Bates and Graham Thompson with Sophia as passenger. As Sophia left
security of the slipway she was heard to call You mean I am travelling
in a boat
that has never floated before?
After a few strokes the timing was good and, in City Barge style, the
Draken was rowed upstream dramatically framed by the arches of Richmond
The Lille Draken then turned and sailed back through Richmond Bridge.
Barge can sail too!