Race the Vikings in the Paddle to Poulsbo

Can you beat the Vikings? That is the question the Port of Poulsbo is asking people interested in participating in the first Paddle to Poulsbo.

Hop on a paddleboard, kayak, rowboat, any seaworthy vessel propelled by a paddle, and approved by the Bremerton Power Squadron, and other water-safety personnel, and race the Sons of Norway Vikings in their traditional ship to a skiff out in Liberty Bay, retrieve a Viking Duck and bring it back to Poulsbo for a Viking Crown. The event will be held Saturday, August 28 at noon.

“The Vikings need a head start because their ship is big, heavy and cumbersome and much more difficult to paddle than a kayak or paddleboard,” said Janessa Hunt, guest services coordinator with the Port of Poulsbo. “It’s all kind of tongue and cheek for fun to beat the Vikings.”

Participants will compete based on age group with two winners from each one, one male and one female. Participants must participate in a water safety demonstration before the race.

While there is no entry fee, the co-sponsor of the event, the Sons of Norway, are seeking donations for some of the programs they provide for the community, such as downtown Halloween festivities.

“They spend about $3,000 to $4,000 on candy, so we hope this will help stimulate that,” Hunt said.

After the race, there will be an after-party hosted by Western Red Brewing where participants may get a discount on an item from WRB by presenting their Viking Duck. Also ( pending the lifting of the burn ban) the Sons of Norway will be holding a bonfire at Murial Iverson Waterfront Park.

The idea for the event came from a desire to have more festivities at the Port to engage locals with visitors more.

“We came up with the idea for the paddle in a large brainstorming session. We were looking for ideas to bring both the public and boaters to the Port of Poulsbo in a fun way. We wanted to come up with an idea that had the potential to become an annual event that is anticipated each year,” Kelli Hodges with the Port of Poulsbo said.