Success for Fridtjof's Challenge relay race

BRIEFING: At the foot of Fridtjof, all participants were taken through the rules for the race and safety procedures

PARADISE: Terje Eggum enjoys a leisurely swim on the outside of Feios tunnel. His kayak buddy, Turid Oppedal, leads the way and ensures his swim is safe.

EXCHANGE: Bernt Skogsrud is ready for a second swim, as Sarah Jane Hails climbs on board after completing her stage of the relay.

SOCIAL: It is always a joy to relax with an afterswim at Feios.

FEIOS: – Relay races are great for getting people involved, says Sarah Jane Hails, President of Sogn Fjord Swimming Club, and reflects over the recent experience gained from the club.s fjord relay race from Vangsnes to Feios.

- The great thing with relays is that you can involve lots of teams and individuals, enthuses the club.s president.

Sogn Fjord Swimming Club is always up for new activities and swimming arenas. On Saturday, 12th July 2008, the arena Vangsnes-Feios was in focus, for the new Fridtjof Challenge.

Two teams of swimmers, kayakers and safety personnel gathered at Vangsnes, by the old ferry dock. This was to be the starting point for the first ever fjord relay race covering a distance of 8 kilometres. There were two teams: a 2-person team and a 6-person team. There was to be some doubling up, experimenting and swapping along the way!

At 2 o.clock Ralph Krüger and Christian Gjeraker started the race with a kayak sprint. They kayaked approximately, 1,5 km each eastwards along the fjord to pick up Sønnøve Cirotzki and Bernt Skogsrud, the first swimmers on each team. Bernt then swapped with Katja Gesch, while Sønnøve carried on to swim also the second section for her team. At Kaldegjelet, an old salmon fishing post, Katja swapped with Terje Eggum, and then Ralph took over from Sønnøve. Kayakbuddying for the second half of the relay was Turid Oppedal, and Christian swapped teams to support Ralph and Sønnøve.

Ralph reached the finishing post at Feios school well before Bernt, who in the meantime had taken a second turn swimming for his team. Ralph and Sønnøve completed their swim within three hours, whereas Bernt.s team, which took things a little more leisurely needed a little longer. They finished about 45 minutes later.

Sogn Fjord Swimming Club was lucky with the weather, which stayed warm and dry all Saturday. The fine weather made the swim one of the nicest members have enjoyed so far this year. The average water temperature was between 16-18 degrees. It was a lovely section of the fjord to experience up close. Some members stayed on at Feios to enjoy an afterswim, with a barbecue, bonfire and dancing and camped over by the fjord ready for the Vidasete Opp fell race the next day.

Once again, Leikanger Red Cross First Aid helpers made sure safety was tip top, accompanied by Sogndal Scuba Diving Club. On land, Vik Red Cross also assisted, expertly coordinated by Peter Hage.

In total 31 individuals took part as volunteers for the event, on land, and in/on the fjord. The local theatre group Fridtjofspelet donated three tickets the open air show .Enemy and Lover. as prizes. Winner of the draw prize were Turid Oppedal, Jan Erik Bøyum and Johannes Thue.

Read more about Fridtjof Challenge from Sogn Avis