Saturday September 25th saw the formal opening up of our second Viking shipyard, this time in Sandefjord. A large crowd had arrived for the event.
The day arrived with bright sun, summer temperatures and hardly any wind. Sandefjord´s own Viking ship Gaia arrived first at the shipyard, soon to be followed by Oseberg Viking Heritage´s Saga Farmann, having sailed from Tønsberg for the event. They were welcomed by Viking lure-blower Arne Petter Ødelund.
The roof tree was in place on top of the new Viking frame-building, after some hectic hours with preparations for the big event. Food was being cooked on an open fire, there was rigging and preparations of several kinds. Many compliments were given to builders Tore Forsberg, Jan Vogt Knutsen and the volunteers who had contributed to the building.
Chairman Einar Chr. Erlingsen wished everyone welcome and gave an orientation of the plans for the new Viking yard in Sandefjord. “The building of our Oseberg replica triggered a huge pride and interest in Tønsberg”, he said. “Now it is our hope that the building of a new Gokstad ship will do the same for Sandefjord”, he said.
He was followed by Elfi Sverdrup with her magical Viking-type throat-singing. There were greetings from main sponsor Anne Merethe Lie Solberg (Anders Jahre Foundation) and leader of the Gaia Boat Team, Tor Edvard Løberg.
Then there was time for Anastasiia Smyk´s famous “Viking soup”. There were cake, coffee and a lot of smiling people to be seen. Four new volunteers signed on – and more are welcome, of course. “If we want to succeed in building an archaeological replica of the Gokstad, the only way to do it is by joining all positive forces”, as chairman Erlingsen said.