The first of the three most important rowing races that take place in Livorno every year.
It takes place on the first or second Sunday in June. Unlike the other two ( Coppa Barontini and Palio Marinaro) the Coppa Risiatori involves two different routes, one for the 10-man boats and one for the smaller gozzette. The ten man teams depart from the Meloria Tower out at sea (about 5km from the entrance to the Port of Livorno). The finishing line is on the Scali Novi Lena, in the heart of the Borgo Cappuccini district.
The overall distance is 7600 metres, which the teams cover in about 35 minutes. Spectators watch the race from boats out at sea or wait for the arrival of the winning team on the Scali Novi Lena. The race, the hundreds of boats that follow the teams, and the crowd of spectators and supporters is well worth watching.
The gozzetta race begins instead from the ‘diga della Vegliaia’ and covers a distance of about 2500 metres. The finishing point is the same. About 1000 metres into the race there is a sharp bend in the route and boats often collide.
The history of the race: the ‘risiatori’ were Livornese sailors who earned a living by braving the worst of weather conditions to go to the aid of ships in trouble and lead them to safety. The first one to set foot on board a ship in difficulty, or even just to throw on board an object of some kind when going on board was impossible , won the right to carry out the work, and this was the real reason for their courageous race through the stormy seas.
See also the rowing teams of Livorno.