Under the eyes of hundreds of Florentines and tourists enjoying a fine spring Saturday along the Arno, as well as a great group of fans from the Institute, the EUI Boat Club along with the Società Canottieri Firenze and Aviron ESCP Europe rowed in the first ever De Gasperi-Schuman Cup.
The regatta, with financial support from the EUI and organisational support and hosting from the Società Canottieri Firenze, was a friendly event for the three associations with races in men’s eights, women’s eights, mixed eights and male coxless fours.
The rowers managed to honour the dictum mens sana in corpore sano ending the da applied approach of the ESCP business school students and EUI academic researchers.
The rowing club is a 4B organisation with about 22 enrolled members open to both men and women, at all skill levels. As EUI rower Alassane Martin Dumeste remarks, rowing on the Arno is incredible because of the privileged vantage point it gives on monuments such as Ponte Vecchio and the Uffizzi. ‘It’s like an oasis out on the water—you get to see beautiful parts of Florence, but without all the crowds’.
The club is coached by Edoardo Gattai and hosted by Società Canottieri Firenze. EUI researcher Jonas Brendebach was enthusiastic about the EUI’s relationship with this traditional Florentine institution following the regatta. ‘Given the short distances one can row in the city, it is unusual to hold a regatta here. They helped us organise the whole thing, and it was a fun experience for everyone […] I think it has helped the relationship evolve, and we feel more integrated into the club.’
Jonathan Chevry, another organiser for the group, likens rowing to dissertating: “You’re sitting in an unstable vehicle; you can’t really see where you’re going; and, while it is fun in a group, it is most intense individually’.
Last year the EUI boat club participated in the historic ‘Vogalunga’, an historic 32 km race in Venice, and hopes to do the same this coming June.