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Gondoliers Embarking on National Competition Today

The second annual U.S. Gondola Nationals will be underway today and tomorrow in Huntington Harbour.

Gondola Adventure's Phoenix out of Newport Beach. (Photo courtesy Gondola Adventures)
Gondola Adventure's Phoenix out of Newport Beach. (Photo courtesy Gondola Adventures)
Gondoliers from Newport Beach's Gondola Adventures , and others from around the country, are ready to put their skills to the test this weekend at the second annual U.S. Gondola Nationals.

The gondolier competition begins today at 2 p.m. and continues Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Huntington Harbour. Teams are coming from as far as Rhode Island, Minnesota and Massachusetts, as well as Gondola Adventures’ gondoliers Greg Mohr, Simon Atkins, and Mike Bronstein, all of Costa Mesa, Konner Boivin, of Newport Beach and Steve Elkins, of Los Angeles.

“I’m excited and ready to go," Boivin said about the competition. "I’ve done my training on the water and in the gym. I can’t wait to meet new gondoliers and watch different rowing techniques and styles."

“It’s a totally unique opportunity to compete in the largest venetian rowing event in the US," John Kerschbaum, a gondolier and owner of Minnesota's Gondola Romantica, added. "I look forward to meeting other gondoliers from around the country."

Gondola Adventures will be providing Phoenix, a Newport Beach-based authentic Venetian gondola, for some of the competition's events. Mohr, owner of Gondola Adventures, said he knows everyone will bring their absolute best to the competition.

"If I beat you, you’ll know that it took my best to do it. If you beat me, you’ll know you beat me at my very best," Mohr said. "Either way, I’ll walk away knowing I gave it all I had, and was as ready as I could be.”

The competition will wrap-up Saturday evening with an awards ceremony at the Huntington Harbor Yacht Club, 3821 Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach.

This weekend's national competition is a follow-up to the inaugural event held in Providence, Rhode Island under the name GondOlympics.

For more information about the U.S Gondola Nationals, visit usgondolanationals.weebly.com/index.html, and for a blog on all things gondola-related visit GondolaGreg.com.

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