Vikingarånnet afgelast

Vikingarånnet cancelled

Vikingarännet was cancelled. The ice, which was almost perfect on Wednesday and Thursday, was exposed to a veritable blowtorch of warm wind on Friday and Saturday. The result, unfortunately, came quicker than was expected. The major cracks which had developed at Säby Klint during the cold spell last Wednesday grew wider in the warm weather. As late as on Saturday morning they seemed to be manageable with a walk along the shore using the pontoons which Stickan and Åke from Uppsala Municipality had arranged for us. However, by 2 p.m. more and more of the compact cracks had started to grow. Suddenly, the area became like a jig-saw puzzle of ice-flows and people were beginning to fall in between the flows. I arrived there at 3 p.m. and in spite of the doubts of the other officials I looked at the possibility of skating right out into Ekoln in a southerly direction in order to by-pass the jig-saw puzzle and enter Lårstaviken along the southern shore. That proved possible until we were some 500 metres from Skolandet. At that point there was a whole mass of open cracks. We could have crossed one crack, even if the edges were fragile, but 10 of them!! There wasn’t a chance. Certainly it could have been done even with a large group of skaters on a day-tour, but not with 7500 time-conscious skaters in a competition. When after that we skated back side by side the ice crackled ominously in spite of being 15 cm thick. It was showing all the characteristics of spring-ice. The decision was a heavy one but nevertheless easy to make. With major cracks criss-crossing over Ekoln the starting point was surrounded by them and the wind was increasing. The only thing to do was to cancel the whole event. I know that some of you think it strange that this could not have been foreseen. But who would have believed that this was possible on Thursday? We must just accept that ice is fickle and learn to handle the ice is there. We must have a greater degree of flexibility, i.e. an even more “mobile” organisation with more flexible personnel transport logistics. Bear in mind that about 700 people are involved. Many conclusions will naturally be drawn. The organisers will be discussing this already on Thursday. Reported by Anders tysk. (14-02-00)