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Icekayak – an attempt at the round-Denmark speed record

Fylkir Þorgeir Sævarsson, an Icelander in Denmark, elite open water swimmer and cyclist, got the idea of circumnavigating Denmark in a kayak – the Red-White-Ribbon – faster than anyone before.

The ambitious planning involved massive doses of physical training, finding suitable gear ("Seabird Designs Sport 600 is a very fast and efficient multisportkayak, stable enough for "normal" paddlers outside the ranks of elite racers, well behaved in large waves and surf and capable of maintaining a touring speed of 7 knots over time and distance"), engaging sponsors for clothing, safety equipment, food (dried fish flakes from Gullfiskur – an Icelandic protein bomb!) etc.

Fylkir started from Højer Sluse on July 5, in very low water, continued up past Fanø on day 2, Hvide Sande (with some trouble in shore breakers) on day 3 and reached Klitmøller on day 4 with a 73 km daily run.

Reached Blokhus in deteriorating weather on day 5 and Hirtshals in gale conditions on day 6.

On day 7 Fylkir rounded Skagen in a tough head winds and large waves.

Day 8, the first on the east coast, was another day of head winds and speeds sometimes down to a disappointing 3-4 knots.

Day 9 was a day for rest and fixing gears after the blow.

Day 10 started in an easterly 8 m/s, with hopes of a long nice daily run to make up for lost time and distance. But during a landing through shore breakers at noon the paddle broke! And the really bad thing was that is was the spare paddle – the other had developed a crack a couple of days earlier in a similar situation and had been sent to the retailer for replacement.

Since the rules for the Red-White-Ribbon (the officially organized Around-Denmark paddling) clearly states that paddling gear may be replaced if stolen, but otherwise no outside help is allowed – gear must be repaired by the paddler on location – Fylkir sadly had to abandon the record attempt for this time.

Fylkir is very happy with the performance of the Seabird kayak and will switch to Seabird paddles for his next attempt 2012.

Read more on Fylkirs site and blog – in Danish and Icelandic only.