Saltstraumen: Rowing against the world´s strongest current

Last week we spoke about rowing in currents in one of our weekly blogs.

Saltstraumen: Rowing against the current

“Deep in the heart of northern Norway lies a beast that comes alive at six-hour intervals with each tidal change. But this beast is so fierce, and so wild, that it can easily terrify anyone — especially when its current is at its strongest during a full moon. The Saltstraumen has the world’s strongest tidal current: During the tidal rush, it sends 14 billion cubic feet of seawater through a one-mile-long, 500-foot-wide strait. That’s way more than Niagara Falls.” (source:Redbull)

Two extreme sportsmen out of Norway found a challenge in rowing through the Saltstraumen in Norway.

Saltstraumen: This is one of the world`s strongest currents. Red Bull describes on their website how the rowers Nils Jakob Hoff and Kjetil Borch had  fought their way in a double skull through this challenging spot. They actually rowed against the world`s strongest current.

Nils Jakob Hoff and Kjetil Borch in double skull in Saltstraumen, Norway. Credit Red Bull.

This rowing was not without risks. It is mighty and powerfull, the Saltstraumen in Norway. You feel the stream in your body, you feel the vibration and the roars coming from the maelstrom. In the past 60 years, 60 people have drowned in Saltstraum. Out of the 60, only three bodies have been found.

Watch the Video of this spectacular rowing challenge here.

Speed of the boat: 20,7 km. Credit Red Bull

Row faster than the Current

In order to successfully row through the current, Hoff and Borch had to row faster than the current. Also, they had to stay straight in the narrow path, despite the dangerous vortex popping up bow and stroke.

Maintain the Rowing rhythm

They are taking a big risk and the biggest challenge is to maintain their rhythm.  Because the current keeps changing direction and pushes you off course. The mealstrom is unpredictable. You may be safe in the middle, then suddenly your are next to a vortex. With  a rowing speed of  20,7 km the rowers succesfully crossed the bottleneck of the Saltstraumen.

“It’s quite hectic. When your oar is eight feet away from something that potentially can suck you down to the bottom of the ocean, you find yourself in a rush,” said Hoff. “Your heart rate skyrockets and you row with all you’ve got.”.

If you want to read more, please check the Red Bull Website.

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