Voga.. what? I hear you ask.
The Vogalonga is a regatta that takes place in Venice every year. It started in 1974 as a protest against large powered boats damaging the waterways and has since grown into a huge event with boats of all shapes and sizes taking part.
This year the Anacondas decided to take part in the 30km scenic paddle around the islands and lagoons, and so began a fairly epic undertaking.
Three crew members volunteered to drive the boats down to Venice from Nottingham by taking turns to drive, sleep and eat jelly snakes to keep their energy levels up, totalling a 2,205-mile round trip.
16 paddlers and a drummer caught flights and an impromptu plane vs car race was on! The plane won thanks to some traffic in Italy... but only just.
After a day of exploring the meandering streets of Venice, we got our race heads on and started carb loading with lots of pizza and pasta (beer is carbs too, right?) and were soon ready for the race day.
The race itself was an incredible spectacle. 2,000 boats and over 8,000 competitors gathered in the water around St Marks Square to wait for the cannon shot marking the start of the race.
We didn't have to wait long and set off at a relaxed pace intending to take the next few hours to enjoy ourselves and see the sights. Unfortunately there was another dragon boat ahead of us... and well, we couldn't have that so the race was on!
Pretty soon we lost count of the dragon boats we passed, always with a cheer and a friendly wave, and reached the half way point in just over an hour. A quick refuel with energy gels and jelly snakes and we set off again.
Before we knew it we had turned into the Grand Canal. All I can say is 'WOW'; a wall of noise and cheers followed us all along this historic waterway. The crowds really get behind everyone and their cheers helped us find that last reserve of energy.
We crossed the finish line in an absolutely astonishing (to us at least) 2 hours and 35 minutes.