Photos: Tommaso Revelant
A man that crossed from Lignano to Venice on a SUP: what a joke for an April 1st! Leonardo Toso reports about this amazing SUP crossing he did:
“I woke up and the first thing I did was to open the window, look out and take a deep breath. I let all the negative thoughts go away and focused on what I should do. I was agitated and, even though I believed in myself, I was affraid that I would overdo it at this time. During the previous days it was not easy to maintain the determination, but the desire to surprise myself and those who believed in me was so great!
They asked me why I had in mind to paddle 80 km alone – in one day –, and the answer has always been that a challenge like this would help me to build myself as a person and as a sportsman. After loading the board, I thought it was time to do it. Eventually my dream was coming true. It was still dark when I put my board on the water, and slowly the sky began to be tinged in orange behind me. Once I started with the first strokes to reach the support boat, the challenge started. While paddling along the first canals, I went back to the days when I was introduced to the sport right there along the Venetian coast. I turned off the front light for an instant and enjoyed the sound of the rushing water and the birds singing. A light wind became my mate along my journey, although not constant, but always reminding me to keep my focus. Soon I began to meet fishermen on the shore and some tourist boats passing by as well. Some asked me where I was going, for which I replied “to Venice!” I heard from them “you’re crazy!”, and I had to agree: a little bit!
Every 40 minutes I had a portion of food and water, which is absolutely essential for an endurance effort like this. For this reason, a friend on the support helped me with this and the other issues. The first six hours were really smooth, time went fast and the magnificent environment helped me not thinking much of the effort. I must say that I was pleased to have passed 1632 ports, and I was probably the only one who did this with a SUP in this area of Italy. From then on it became more challenging, the current was getting stronger and the wind was becoming louder and louder. I started to think about the people who asked me “are you sure? Are you ready?”
Once out of the last coastal canal up to the inlets, a crosswind forced me to focus my strokes at only one side. I was already running out of strength! But near the finish line I had a downwind section that recharged my adrenaline and made me forget the 8 hours of flat water. From there, I still needed to cross a few hundred meters on arrival, passing by the dreaded San Marco basin. After this, I finally arrived to the island of San Giorgio, the final destination, without even a fall!
Having concluded all the way in less than 10 hours really surprised me. My plan was to spend between 10 and 12 hours, making me sure that I was more than prepared. Some friends were still to come when I already finished, since the arrival was expected after five in the afternoon. After touching down at the sailing company I had a great feeling of accomplishment, having accomplished something I dreamed for a long time and that no one has ever done.
All this was possible primarily thanks to my family and friends, that endured me in the long period of physical preparation and organized everything.”