Thursday 20 September 2012

Vikings at the Great River Race

I looked at this thing at the start of the Great River Race and felt very thankful I wasn't going to to be rowing it. The problem is that if you are slow, you miss the tide and spend the last hours battling the ebb+current. They had to be towed to the finish line, I think. It needed a crew of hardened Vikings fuelled by mead and lust, not a bunch of re-enactors that work at desks all week.
Incidentally, those holes in the gunwale are the original 'row-locks', I am led to understand. The Y-shaped jobbies in Gladys are technically called crutches, and the square ones are called swivels.


JP said...

I'm reluctant to make suggestions to Vikings in case they take it the wrong way but someone should tell them that it is a good idea when rowing with the current to stay in the middle of the river not stick to sides as if with glue.

Incidentally when I looked round the reconstructed Viking ship Helge Ask one of the things the experts couldn't understand was that the shields were fixed to sides in positions that would obstruct the rowers.

Chris Partridge said...

Hi any pix?

Cabell said...

About shields. Was their presence along the gunwales for display or was there a practical value? Wouldn't they have afforded arrow protection for rowers if mounted high enough?

Chris Partridge said...

Apparently the boat is called Brynhillde and is owned and hired out by the GRR. The shields thing is controversial - they are mentioned in literature but on reconstruction ships they interfere with the operation of the ship so some historians believe they were only mounted on the gunwale when going ashore on a raid, to create a belicose impression.