No leisurely pace for these gondoliers at Nationals in Providence

Nov 19, 2018 661

BY: Jennifer McDermott

Most of the time, gondoliers row slowly and sing softly. It’s all very peaceful. But for one weekend, they row like mad, scream at each other (sometimes in Italian), and it’s complete chaos. That’s how Greg Mohr describes the U.S. Gondola Nationals, a convention for the small community of U.S. gondoliers.

The nationals were held Friday-Sunday on the Providence River and featured a variety of events including solo and tandem races on sprint, distance and slalom courses. Mohr, a gondolier from Newport Beach, California, traveled to Rhode Island to compete. Known as “Gondola Greg,” Mohr often yells “forte,” or “strong” in Italian, when racing, and “alla morte” when he wants to row to the death at the finish.

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