June 19th & 20th, 2021 – Denmark: 350 Viking Paddlers Celebrated Midsummer in Copenhagen and Paddled 10,000 km for Team Spirit and Charity
Last weekend the Red Bull Midsummer Vikings in Denmark brought together 70 teams with SUP paddlers from 19 countries and raised more than 15,000 euros for charity.
‘We need more water at the campsite’. The paddlers at Red Bull Midsummer Vikings were chasing water like firemen on duty. It was the hottest day of the year in Copenhagen when 350 paddlers on 70 teams joined the Worlds’ only 24-hour team SUP relay. Under a burning hot sun with temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius (86 F), they stood in front of one of their most significant challenges in life: To paddle for 24 hours together with their team. Twenty-four hours later, the teams had paddled nearly 10,000 kilometers combined, similar to the distance from Copenhagen to Los Angeles. The event’s founder and host, the six-time SUP World Champion Casper Steinfath, is still more than stoked days after the last tent was removed from the campsite.
“It’s overwhelming to go through comments, videos, and pictures on social media. Our goal as an event is to create happy faces – they are all over,” Casper Steinfath says.
Red Bull Midsummer Vikings is the Worlds’ only 24-hour team SUP-relay. The teams of three to five athletes at all levels paddled the 4.7 km course around a small island in the heart of Copenhagen. Between their turns, they joined the party at the campsite or dining area to grab a beer at Kajakhotellet.
At the Grand Depart at 2 pm on Saturday, the paddlers all dressed in shining yellow lycra filled the channel. The small beach close to the starting line looked like a scene from the French Riviera with Copenhageners in bathing suits excitedly following the start and cheering the paddlers on for their 24-hour adventure.
15,000 euros to veterans:
“Midsummer Vikings is about team spirit, personal challenge, and raising awareness for a good cause. This year we got it all with challenging weather, a record-breaking number of teams and more than 15,000 euros raised to support Danish veterans with PTSD,” Steinfath says.
This year, the French announcer and man of mystery, Christoph Culussi, joined the Nordic celebration of light, and he will never forget his first performance in Copenhagen
“After 24 hours of non-stop standup paddling we were supposed to be exhausted, but this event creates energy. I loved being together with so many ladies, men, old, young, pros and amateurs – all with happy faces with one common target: To enjoy every single second during the 24 hours,” Christoph ‘Pure Magic’ says.
“The location is pure magic: the organization, the setup, the volunteers, the people. I just love it,” he adds.
Nearly one hundred volunteers helped run the paddle circus, from preparing the homemade food for the participants to lighting the fire at the illuminated runway at night and bringing fresh water to the changing zone.
“I can’t thank the participants, volunteers, and sponsors enough. What started as a wild idea three years ago has now proven itself to be an event that is loved by young and old. The event has something for both those seeking a challenge, but also something for those who love jumping head first into an adventure and enjoying a colorful party on the water,” Casper Steinfath concludes.
EVENT RECAP BY: Ole Wejse Svarrer