Fun With Church Boats

Just before New Year’s, I received the last of the 2011 issues of the Swedish rowing magazine Svensk Rodd, edited by my dear friend Per Ekström. Although, the content is mostly about autumn events and articles by the Swedish rowing stars Frida Svensson and Lassi Karonen to mention a few, for the cover, editor Ekström has chosen a funny photograph taken from the Water Festival held in the village of Orsa in the province of Dalecarlia in July 2011. The only thing I know is that the rowers managed to pull the water skier 600 metres.

The province of Dalecarlia, or Dalarna in Swedish, has many clubs rowing in church boats, a descendant of the boats built by the Vikings. Mostly the church boat has ten pairs of oars. Here is a short clip from 2009 showing a start in this boat type.

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Here is another clip showing the church boats from ‘above’. The crews are all women. It looks like fun, doesn’t it?


  1. More church boats – great!!
    And they are using fixed seats – truely traditional
    Does anyone know of other gatherings of 'big boats' (rowed of course) in Sweden or Norway

  2. Of course, there is the one in Sulkava in Finland each summer, which I believe is the biggest church boats event ever. Click on the link on the right, “Church Boats”, to read more about this regatta.

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