UPDATE #3: Job done.
As the fading daylight glimmered silently behind distant mountains, Casper Steinfath paddled into the small Norwegian city of Kristiansand just before 8pm local time on Sunday to complete an epic voyage of adventure and redemption, one that took almost 20 hours and covered a mighty stretch of water first crossed by his Viking forebears over a thousand years ago.
Twelve months after falling agonisingly short, Casper conquered the “Viking Crossing” of the Skaggerak strait that separates his home country of Denmark and its northern neighbour, Norway. Battling freezing conditions but aided by mercifully light winds and blue skies, Casper set out at 1am Sunday morning and paddled non-stop for about 19 hours before reaching land in Norway.
The Viking becomes the first person to stand up paddle between the two Scandinavian nations, and in doing so, Casper adds his name alongside the likes of Bart de Zwart and Chris Bertish to an exclusive list of adventurers that have completed epic SUP crossings.
More to come…
The final frame from Casper’s Instagram Story:
UPDATE #2: Almost there
It looks like Casper will successfully complete his epic quest: the Danish Viking has virtually reached the Norwegian coast and is now paddling the final few kilometers in to Kristiansand.
Judging by Casper’s Instagram Stories, it seems like it was a freezing cold but surprisingly nice day on the water, with blue skies and sunshine in place of the forecast snow.
It’s now 6pm Sunday in Denmark/Norway, meaning Casper has been paddling for 17 hours non-stop. He started the massive crossing of the infamous “Skaggerak” strait at 1am this morning.
Here are a few frame grabs from Casper’s Instagram Stories:
UPDATE #1: It’s ON!
It’s 2am Sunday morning in Denmark and Casper is now out on the water. Follow his GPS tracker right here.
Casper departed from the small Danish port town of Hirtshals in the north-west of the country just after 1am. Right now he’s about 15km out into the Skaggerak and on a good bearing for the Norwegian coast that’s about 100kms (60 miles) to the north.
This Sunday, Casper Steinfath will attempt to paddle from his home nation of Denmark across the infamous “Skaggerak” strait to Norway, tackling a treacherous, 100km-wide stretch of cold, open ocean water in what is something of redemption crossing for the Danish Viking.
Casper first took on the Skaggerak 12 months ago but fell an agonising 5km short after strong currents forced him to retire within sight of the Norwegian coastline — he’d already been on the water 16 hours but was literally starting to go backwards. This time he’s more determined than ever, though the weather gods haven’t been making things any easier.
With a two-week window for his logistics and safety team fast running out, Casper made the call to paddle this Sunday March 18th despite the expected freezing conditions. The temperature is forecast to be somewhere around -10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) during parts of a crossing that will begin at 1am not far from his home town of Klitmoller (which has the appropriate nickname of “Cold Hawaii”) and hopefully finish sometime before 8pm on the other side of the Skaggerak in Norway.
If you follow Casper on Instagram, you’ll know he’s been doing some extreme training for this mission, often waking up at 3am and paddling for several hours in the dark before running through snow-covered forests and just being an all-round viking bad ass in general.
I asked the Red Bull athlete how he was feeling given the forecast and he somewhat-nervously, somewhat-excitedly replied that it would be a “True Viking style!!” adventure.
“The Viking Crossing” follows in the footsteps of other SUP-crossing pioneers such as Bart de Zwart and Chris Bertish, though I don’t think anyone has ever completed an adventure in such extreme-cold conditions.
God speed, you crazy viking…
It is time. Sunday. After many months. Planning, Waiting, Dreaming. Skagerrak, it's time for us to play again! 🙏 ~ Follow the Viking Crossing live Sunday from 01:00 AM Europe time (link in bio) ~ If you are in Denmark keep an eye on TV2 news during the day Sunday. Game On! 😀✌ ~ #VikingCrossing #BreakBoundaries #GiverVinger @naishsup #NetIP @redbulldanmark @mysticboarding @qbpaddles @appworldtour