Sunday, 22 September 2013

Draken Harald Fairhair

Now that's an oar and a half.
It is 23 feet (7 metres) long and there are 50 of them powering the Draken Harald Fairhair, a reconstruction of a Viking storskipene, a large ocean-going warship dating from the time of Harald Fairhair, the king who unified Norway in the 10th century.
The ship was due to make an epic row this year from her base in Haugesund, a port on the bottom left-hand corner of Norway, to Istanbul, well known to the Vikings as Constantinople.
The first leg across the North Sea to Liverpool was assigned to a squad of 60 rowers from Liverpool Victoria RC and other clubs, who went through a rigorous training programme only to find at the last minute that the testing programme was not complete and the voyage had been postponed to 2014. So instead they went to Norway for the Karmoy Viking Festival to row this amazing ship in her home waters.
Club member Heather Parry is quoted in the latest edition of Rowing & Regatta: 
"We pushed off and began to learn a completely different style of rowing, which involves pausing at tap down for two seconds before taking the next stroke. After a few attempts we managed to get a reasonable rhythm, although tapping down with a small tree and having to follow a stroke who is about 30 metres in front of you isn't easy."
The top two pictures are from the ship's website here. The picture below shows LVRC rowers getting to terms with the oars - lots more great pics here.


Jeremy said...

Quote: "Now that's an oar and a half.
It is 13 feet (7 metres) long"

Certainly a mighty big oar, but is it 13 feet (3.962m) long or 7m (~23 feet) long?

I'd hazard a guess that the oars are really 23 feet long, from the look of them.

Chris Partridge said...

Well spotted that man...a slip of the keyboard there. The oars are 23ft not 13ft long. Corrected.