:: The Vikings of Bjornstad ::
Sprint the Pier
Whaleboat Rowing with the North Bay Vikings
at the Berkeley Marina

The North Bay Vikings are members of the Bay Area Whaleboat Racing Association. They've invited the Vikings of Bjornstad to join their "Sprint the Pier" event since 2009. It's a day of whaleboat racing on San Francisco Bay, with Viking games and good food. The whaleboats are 26' long with 13' oars. The crew includes a coxswain to direct eight rowers and sometimes a 10th person (called a "bowhook") at the bow. Bjornstad added its historical display as well as our Viking weaponry and tactics presentation. Photos courtesy of Darryl Laxo, Monica Foote, Lynn Evans, Jack Garrett, Ed Berland, Colin Adams and Karen Rath.

The Vikings of Bjornstad raise their standard over the Berkeley Marina.

Our hosts were Darryl Laxo, the North Bay Vikings and the Bay Area Whaleboat Racing Association. Here one of the whaleboats heads for the water.
   

A morning mist greets the first boat crews.

A great photo from Monica Foote. A whaleboat glides through the still waters.
   

Masts rise in the distance as the crew moves the boat toward the open bay.

Showing how it's done.
   

Pulling hard.

The boats gather on the race course.
   

A boat heads out on the course with the San Francisco skyline in the background.

The Golden Gate bridge is nearly hidden in its frequent foggy shroud.
   

The whaleboat crew easily outraces the sailboat.

Just enough chop to make the rowing interesting.
   

Now it's time for The Vikings of Bjornstad to try their hand at rowing.

Steve, Loren and Jack bring their war gear.
   

Steve is prepared for rowing or raiding.

Ready to shove off in the good ship "Iron Oars."
   

Helmets, maybe, but no mail shirts on this trip. A Viking age byrnie is not known for its buoyancy.

Darryl Laxo and other members of the Bay Area Whaleboat Racing Association fill out the boat crew.
   

Getting the feel of the oars.

Starting to feel like Vikings.
   

Jack and Loren demonstrate the unique rowing technique known as 'crabbing'

Settled into the rhythm, they head out to the bay.
   

The whole bay is a playground.

Having survived the course, our heroes head back to the pier.
   

The Vikings row into the harbor in good order.

You never know what the landing may bring.
   

Stowing the oars.

Safe at the dock.
   

Steve, Jack and Loren: Vikings.

Once more on solid ground, the Vikings set up their display for the whaleboat group.
   

The Vikings of Bjornstad may have met their match.
(Photo courtesy of Karen Rath)

Did the Vikings' diet include gopher? 
(No varmints were harmed during this event :-)
   

Colin provides security for the Viking traders.

The traders have a lot of goods to display.
   

Trading is always easier when you have a good supply of weaponry.

Jack describes the Bjornstad display to a visitor.
   
  ©   For information contact Jack Garrett at info@vikingsofbjornstad.com