“From the port of Ravenna for an absurd ordinance you can’t drift out.”

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Nicolò Marino, a 17-year-old sailing enthusiast who is waging his own personal battle against the Ravenna municipality because, paradoxically in a giant canal port in a city that has seen boats such as Azzurra and Il Moro di Venezia pass through, there is no room for drifting activity (and therefore for young people) because of an ordinance, he says. Here is his letter.

LET ME OUT IN THE BOAT, IT’S MY RIGHT

Good morning dear director, I am Nicolo Marino, I am 17 years old. I am fighting against the municipality of Ravenna and the maritime authorities, as in the whole port there is no possibility to go out with dinghies. I wrote an email to the entire city council, and almost two months after sending this email I was given a response, not at all comprehensive. I thank and am glad already that they responded to me, however, I am honestly disappointed in the response.

I was told that according to an ordinance of the Emilia Romagna region, bathing and boating are prohibited within 150 m. from the ports and that the drifts (as small boats) are at the easy mercy of currents. So dear director I went to check and on the internet the ordinance only talks about the ban on bathing (also because, if you will allow me, the ban on sailing in a harbor is a bit absurd).

As for the currents, I start by saying that the Ravenna currents are very weak if not nonexistent. The very weak current beating on the Ravenna coast is the Adriatic current running from north to south. So I pose a question: if the competent authorities say that the dinghies (being small) are at the easy mercy of the currents (an opinion that I personally do not share), why was the concession given to make a canal in Porto Corsini (Porto Corsini is the hamlet located immediately north of the canal port) the same as the one I am asking to make in Marina di Ravenna (Marina is the central and southern part of the port where the marina is also located)?

Given what the relevant authorities claim, the Adriatic current would risk pushing dinghies into the path of passing ships. It seems absurd to me that a city that is the capital of Italian boating and has boasted such boats as Azzurra and Il Moro di Venezia would not give space to young sailors. It is quite a paradox, that is, it is a huge port, but there is no room for small boats.

I am not from Ravenna but from San Giovanni in Persiceto (BO). I love sailing so much that every, but really every, weekend I do the impossible to be in Marina, even in winter with rain and rough seas. I have given up the company of friends, motorcycle rides for my passion and that is why I am not giving up; since practicing my sport is my right I will fight for that channel .

I’m not asking for anything spatial, I’m just asking for four buoys 20 m apart. I hope you understand the need for this channel and I hope to have your support as well.
I thank you and hope you can support me, as the promoters of sailing in italy, in my battle.

If we don’t make tomorrow’s sailors sail, how do we give sailing a tomorrow?
Best regards and good wind

Nicholas Marino

The Navigation Code prohibits sailing in Commercial Ports, but the enormous size of Ravenna’s canal port could provide enough space for a stretch of water reserved for sailing schools or dinghies. What do you guys think?

(photo by Gianni Careddu, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ravenna,_frazione_Marina_di_Ravenna_(01).jpg)

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