Participants gather in St Marks Basin in front of the ducal palace. They sing hymns to San Marco (Saint Mark) and begin the “race”. The racecourse is scenic route 30 kilometres long along the various Venetian canals and historical buildings. Each participant receives a commemorative medal and a certificate of participation. They may also receive a prize, chosen randomly, which are often trophy cups and plaques, decorative oars and other mementos local associations, newspapers and the organizing committee have donated.