LIVORNO. In recent days it has happened to everyone, walking through the royal ditches, towards sunset, to admire the hard training of the colorful gulls of the different nautical sections, committed to preparing the race aesthetically (but not only) more fascinating than the whole Labron rowing scene: the Barontini Cup.
Finally, in fact, after an endless wait of three years, there is talk again of the competition that perfectly mixes sport, tradition and tourist attraction: tonight, June 25, from 20, the boats they will fight, fighting against time, to get the best possible position in the final standings. Starting one after the other, at certain intervals, from the extension of the Scali delle Cantine, in front of the lawn of the Fortezza Nuova, with the aim of completing in the shortest possible time a circuit of 3,200 meters that crosses the channels of the Medici. from the historic center to finish at the starting point.
On the eve are the favorites, of course: Borgo Cappuccini, who has already won the three races held so far in 2022. The last in chronological order, the Risiatori Cup; and he was impressed by everyone. Definitely the weapon to beat. But beware of Ardenza, always second, who has created a powerful crew capable of fighting to the finish line.
And what about Venice, winner of the last edition, the triumphant 2019, which is experiencing a period of transition, but which presents young and very promising oars?
Then the outsiders: the Salviano of the rowing president Alessio Marra, constantly growing, the Labrone, which brings together the northern neighborhoods, and seems to have found continuity and squaring the circle. Ovosodo, which should never be underestimated, by experience and tradition. Finally, the two sections that, at least so far, have highlighted the biggest difficulties: the Pontino, with some back problems, but playing at home and in front of the windows of his fans will drive us crazy to appear, and the San Jacopo who finally recovered the official ship.
In the women’s category, there is two good news to report: the first concerns the crew of Borgo Cappuccini, who had crossed the finish line first in the Risiatori Cup, but was later disqualified by the presence on board of a Ukrainian athlete, so. non-resident .. This time the black and white lionesses will be regulars in the game, with a fourth athlete in the territory. This time the San Jacopo is also added. So the number of participants rises to 5. Hoping that even the wards who lack the appeal will soon be able to present their girls quartet.
In fact, the “girls” will open the contest, with the start set at 20.00, so there is a significant variation with respect to the official billboard. The juniors should have come out first in the lineup, but a series of last-minute vicissitudes (a problem with the weight of the boats) forced the committee to change the cards on the table.
So, the new billboard includes: Edda Fagni Trophy, 8 pm women, 9.20 pm Juniors (for them about 950 meters from the bridge in Piazza Cavour). Here’s the good news: there’s an extra gozzo, the Ardenza, albeit out of race.
At 10.30 pm the big highlight: the crews with 10 oars for the “Barontini” will go out into the water.
Challenge against time
What are, compared to other competitions, the difficulties of this challenge, as beautiful as it is difficult? The first thing to note is the fact that, as mentioned, we do a time trial. Not having benchmarks, opponents that precede or follow, being alone with oneself is certainly a factor that makes a difference from the rest of the rowing season. Concentration, attention, the ability to listen in unison to the heart of the crew and the sound of rowing pushing the water are decisive factors.
The other difficulty, which is the main feature of this competition, is the path, narrow, tortuous, full of curves and traps. And never as in the Barontini Cup has the figure of the helmsman become fundamental. He is the guide, the eyes, the one who should not be wrong, but the end result is compromised.
The last major problem is represented by the water of the canals, different from that of the open sea. First, flat, without the wave variables, an environment that needs the perfect palate. Harder in some ways. To adapt to this type of palate, many wineries have gone to prepare for the Navicelli canal and the Scolmatore. The race will be judged by the Italian Federation of Timekeepers.
From all over Tuscany
It’s the most beautiful event for the viewer, without a doubt. And its scope, for everything it gives to the city in terms of tourism promotion and the training of schoolchildren, is gigantic.
The 2019 edition brought together thousands of people who fully occupied the parapets of the ditches. An amazing party. And the organization, for tonight, expects the same continuation. That is why the new chair of the committee, Monica Bellandi, who replaced Claudio Ritorni, has decided to focus on young people. Assembly of a series of stages of approach, formed by spectacles, history, illustrious interviews, and implication of the schools. It should be noted that the races will be recorded (3 drones, 4 fixed cameras, a manned camera and a gimbal) and will be broadcast live on the big screen set in Falsa Braga (edited by Fondazione Lem) on Telegrandducato, Urban Tv and the Visit Livorno Facebook page and for the first time on Visit Tuscany channels, with comments by Fabrizio Pucci, Simona Poggianti and Francesca Sorrentino. The live broadcast will begin at 7.30 pm. Tenor Marco Voleri will perform at 11.30 pm. These are two novelties that show how the event is growing and to what extent the city has decided to sign up from the point of view of the tourist attraction, as an event that characterizes the summer of Livorno in the line of Effetto Venice.