Minibus Stories and the Smurf Mystery

by Vito D Agostino (translated by Gillian Shaw, source text)

The minibus. A confined, restricted space. A meeting place of bodies and souls that generates an atmosphere like no other – it pervades all the senses. And smell more than any other. Removing yourself from its spell is difficult for young rowers looking forward with trepidation to their minibus trip. These days, journeys are marked by fingers moving across touch screens. But years ago they moved across guitar chords with the rest of the group singing songs about blond-haired, blue-eyed beauties and the like. It was also a chance to spend time with the driver. The man the rowing club had entrusted with their hopes, rowers and boats, in driving them to the regatta.


In my club, as in many others, this chap was almost always the coach. There were few resources available, and these men had so much enthusiasm and made so many sacrifices for our beloved sport. Back then, travelling in the minibus Continue reading

Translating beyond the text

As a translator of French and Italian texts into English, I specialise in business documentation, whether it’s related to straight-forward management, change management or knowledge management. As soon as I begin the process of changing the text into English, my previous corporate career experience helps me to accurately transfer its meaning.
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Travel and tourism is another specialist translation subject where I have ample experience in translating and revising copy for museums, travel and trekking websites as well as newsletters for business travel companies. The focus with this kind of text is to convey the meaning in an interesting and engaging style for the reader.
My love of outdoor sport has lead me to develop my blog on this site, where I have posted translations of articles written about sport by sports people. Related to this, I have worked on a few sports travel projects, including blog articles for a paragliding championships.
I hope you enjoy reading my blog.

So, you want to row? Then get pedalling!

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source text)

There is a tight link between rowing and cycling. They look very different but they both teach us many things, if you have the right attitude and an open mind. Both boat and bike will help you learn about balance, effort and freedom.

Jose 1José Casiraghi pedalling

This is why the majority of rowers, from those like José Miguel Casiraghi in the Italian national squad, to the most average enthusiast (like me!), often use the bike as training. It isn’t just because it’s good for your quads. We learn how to live sitting on a sliding seat or saddle, one metre at a time. Because these sports have forever been Continue reading

RowInTeam: strength in unity

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source text)

Unity creates strength. Is that really the case? Often individual personalities are not that obvious when they are part of a group. But just being in together is not enough – the group has to become a team.

Verzotti LaPadula

Edoardo Verzotti (left) and Livio La Padula

In a nutshell, this is the most critical thing that rowing teaches. And rowing is perhaps the only true team sport left. Not because each individual’s identity disappears just like that, but more because when you are in the same boat (quite literally) they have less importance.

Strength in unity

This philosophy has been moulded Continue reading

Impressions of rowing – what does each boat type feel like?

by Mario Scalella (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

There are many similarities between rowing boats. Clearly, their weights and dimensions change depending on the number of rowers and seats in each one. The motion of the body too differs largely between sculling (two oars per person) and sweep (one oar per rower), but to the uneducated eye they appear quite similar. However, this is not the case.


Sweep oar boat par excellence – the eight is the only one with a coxswain and is the longest and fastest of all the categories. It demands light, rapid movements particularly Continue reading

Alex Bellini: “Motivation is a cheat”

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

We live on a planet we call Earth, even though 3/4 of it is covered by water. There have been more men to walk on the moon than who have rowed across an ocean. Alex Bellini has never been to outer space, but he has rowed across the Pacific. Twice.


Alex Bellini

I’m only jealous of this guy because his profession on his ID card reads: explorer. Whereas I am just a journalist, who rows. Or at the very most, a rower who writes. But because of my job, I met him and asked for his help to find the right motivation, with the aim of spending more hours rowing than in front of the TV. It’s a pity he took the wind out of my sails, telling me not to believe in motivation. Because motivation is a cheat. Continue reading

Now it’s September, what next?

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

imagesSeptember’s the month when everything starts again: we get back to our usual work schedule, kids go back to school, football starts again, even the winter TV schedule begins…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always lived September as if it were a magical month, full of promise, the right time to start something new.

Now, as a cyclist, September represents a ‘middle ground’.

Weather conditions are Continue reading