January / February 2022

The Limfjorden Rundt

An annual celebration of Denmark’s heritage
Limfjorden Rundt

Racing is an important part of the annual Limfjorden Rundt gathering in Denmark, which attracts a widely varied fleet of traditional sailing vessels. Despite the light winds in 2021 and the assumption that the daily runs from port to port would be purely for fun, skippers were eager to show off their vessels’ speed and their own expertise and nerves as they maneuvered in impressively close quarters.

Toward the end of summer in 2021, a dense forest of wooden spars stood tall and proud in the sleepy village of Løgstør, Denmark. The harbor, canal, and quaysides, which are normally quiet, were packed full of traditional wooden sailing vessels—63 of them—of many shapes, sizes, and descriptions. The following day, they would sail on to the fleet’s next port in the Limfjorden Rundt at the start of what would be a full week of sailing, racing, and partying.

The gathering has been held every September for more than three decades. “Rundt” translates to around, or rounding, and the ports the fleet visits are all in the western part of the Limfjord, a natural channel that cuts across northern Denmark to link the North Sea with the Baltic just south of the Skagerrak. It draws more boats to Løgstør, Thisted, Struer, Nykøbing Mors, Fur, and Skive than those former fishing and trading harbors would have seen even at the height of the age of working sail in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And it attracts crowds ashore: middle-aged men from a biker’s club drove more than an hour on their Harley-Davidsons to thunder up to the quay to join in the fun, and a local club devoted to restoring antique tractors, the best examples of which are truly eye-catching, neatly lined up their vehicles in a nearby parking lot.

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