Denmark: A coastline made for coastal rowing
As we count down to the World Rowing Coastal Championships in October in Canada, we are sharing stories from coastal competitors from around the world, including a contingent from Denmark. Here’s the story of one club that will be joining us in Sidney for 2018 WRCC.
Submitted by Mark van Herk, KVIK Rowing Club
Roforeningen KVIK was founded in 1866 and is the first rowing club in the Nordic countries of Denmark and Copenhagen. In Denmark you are never more than 50 km away from the sea, and with more than 7,000 km of coastline, there are plenty of opportunities for coastal rowing in beautiful surroundings.
We have a Y18 and a Y25. In 2016, the KVIK Venner (which means “friends” in Danish) donated a X35 quad to us. These three boats provided the base fleet that enabled us to begin participating in coastal regattas around the country.
Our club sent a total of four boats to the world championships in Monaco in 2016. Kim Dalby in the women’s single, me in the men’s single and Heather Reader and Ulla Eriksen in the women’s double.
We are a very international club: Heather, whose parents live in Sidney BC, is the first Canadian, as far as I know, to enter a coastal rowing world championship, and Kim Dalby is an Australian living in Denmark.
In fact, many coastal rowers living in Denmark hail from other countries. Coastal rowing is the common interest that binds us, I guess. It’s so cool that the universality of our sport enables foreign nationals to participate for their local clubs in the world championships. Although when the championships develop into national teams, instead of club teams, we might need to buy new unisuits!
Eventually, we acquired an extra X19 1x, and an X25 2x which comprise our current fleet of five shells. Even so, as the sport becomes increasingly popular, our boats get a lot of use: we sometimes have three teams racing a 6 km time trial in the quad in a 3-hour window.
In 2017, KVIK participated with only two boats, but with a team of seven rowers. Myself in the single again and a quad with Ulla, Kim, Torill Lindeberg and Tine Aabye, with Mikkel Bæch Pedersen as cox.
This summer was a jubilee year. The Swedish Championship week, called SM Vecka, had coastal rowing on the program, with international teams invited. With the famous coastal rower Peter Berg as promoter, we were very keen to participate as a club. Among our reasons is our history: Helsingborg is the town on the north side of Øresund – the sea between Denmark and Sweden. In 1868, our club participated in a regatta on the same Swedish coast.
To be honest, it was our club’s first foreign regatta, and it was won by a quad! To celebrate this victory, the Swedish King invited the rowers for a lunch. And so, history was made. To renew this 150-year-old legacy of winning a regatta in Helsingborg, we were very keen to participate and defend our crown. And yes, our woman’s quad won gold! That was somewhat funny, as our club only allowed men as members until as late as 1966. So the ladies got revenge in Helsingborg. Bie Andersen has taken over from Kim and Eric Jensen was cox.
Peter Berg and Maria Pelvén giving an interview for Swedish television. This coastal couple has visited our club for a presentation by Peter, during a weekend long coastal rowing training camp in spring 2017.
We plan to race one boat – a quad – at the 2018 WRCC. Our women’s crew have trained all year after they got a taste of competition in Thonon. Their quad qualified during the Danish championships after a race against our neighbour club, DSR. This time with Vadim Gorbachev as cox. DSR in the light blue boat, and KVIK in the dark blue boat. RAL5013 to be precise, is our club colour.
Last Friday, the women’s quad got a taste of victory again during “Sved På Panden” (translates as “Sweat on the forehead”). In total 8 races were won, with 10 teams participating.
Some tips from Mark van Herk:
- Make sure you can rig your boat on location.
- Shortest route is fastest route.
- Train to get back into the boat, when you fall out.
- Enjoy! Participating in the world rowing coastal championships is a super experience.