Two surfers filmed sailing at full speed on the busiest canal in Venice unleashed the wrath of the mayor of the Italian city Videos of two people foil surfing between boats and water buses on the Grand Canal sparked outrage when shared online. The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, offered a free dinner to anyone who identified the pair and called for punishment for them.

Local media report that after that the two people were located and fined. Foil surfing is a sport that consists of surfing with a board that has a large keel. They often have built-in electric thrusters.

Surfing, along with other sports such as paddle boarding or canoeing, is prohibited on the Grand Canal in Venice. But that didn’t stop the two water sports enthusiasts from strolling their boards through the city’s historic center.

In recordings posted online, the two are shown speed surfing on their electric boards as people gaze on in awe from nearby boats. One of the surfers appears to be taking photos of the surroundings with his cell phone before falling into the water.

After the videos sparked criticism from online users, the mayor of Venice joined the comments, saying the couple had mocked the city and should be identified.

“To those who saw them, I offer you dinner,” he wrote in a tweet where he called them “high-handed assholes.”

A police investigation was opened, and Brugnaro later tweeted that the two had been identified. However, he didn’t mention anything about dinner. The boards of the two athletes, valued at about US$25,000, were confiscated, the Il Gazettino newspaper reported. Furthermore, both were fined for endangering the safety of navigation on the canal and were expelled from Venice. They face possible criminal proceedings for having damaged the image of the city.

Categorized in: