Help us develop our program and catalyze critical ocean literacy by donating below

Skip to navigation Skip to main content


Open House: Past to Present / Local to Global

The vela al terzo sailing tradition, with the Associazione Vela al Terzo and Red Regatta


Ocean Space
Admission fee
Free of charge

Marking their second collaboration, Red Regatta and Ocean Space will present a free interactive public program addressing the local and global perspectives of conservation in Venice’s lagoon, including panel discussions exploring the history of vela al terzo and Venice’s current environmental state, and educational and hands-on workshops for audiences of all ages. Hosted at Ocean Space, a new transdisciplinary platform for oceanic research and innovation in the revitalized Chiesa di San Lorenzo, Red Regatta and Ocean Space leadership, participating sailors, and project collaborators will celebrate the project ahead of the final performative regatta on September 15.

Artist Melissa McGill will moderate a two-part panel conversation exploring the culture and history of the vela al terzo sailing tradition with president of the Associazione Vela al Terzo Giorgio Righetti and the author of Tradizioni e regate della vela al terzo, Silvio Testa, and then delve into the current and future environmental threats to the Venetian lagoon and bodies of water around the world with experts. Audiences are then invited to join Red Regatta sailors in hands-on workshops to learn knot tying, sail-making, and boat-building techniques, in addition to a Red Regatta sail painting activity led by student volunteers from Università Iuav di Venezia. Attendees will be invited to a community aperitivo and have the opportunity to preview several of the participating traditional boats with red sails raised, moored in the canal in front of Campo di San Lorenzo.

Red Regatta is a public artwork comprising a series of large-scale choreographed regattas of traditional vela al terzo sailboats, hoisted with hand-painted red sails, that activate Venice’s lagoon and waterways. Created by artist Melissa McGill, in collaboration with Associazione Vela al Terzo Venezia, co-organized by Magazzino Italian Art Foundation, curated by Chiara Spangaro and with project manager Marcella Ferrari. Red Regatta unites Venetians and visitors to celebrate the cultural and maritime history of the city and call attention to the forces of climate change and mass tourism that threaten its future.

Photo credit: Melissa McGill, Red Regatta (Coppa del Presidente della Repubblica), 2018