Students chugging beers, spinning around and jumping into kayaks in Aarhus’ Universitetsparken has become a familiar sight for passersby as Kapsejlads 2017 approaches.
words and video by Shivé Prema, feature photo by Søren Kjeldgaard
The bizarre annual tradition, which takes place this Friday 28th April, originated from a rivalry between medicine and dentistry students in 1991 and has since blown up, now attracting crowds of over 25,000 people. 12 teams from various student associations and Friday bars are set to compete this year across three heats, of which the winners will progress to the final.
The event is being organised by Umbilicus, the Medical Association at Aarhus University, who also happen to be the most successful team in the event. Organiser Anne van de Looij says that it’s on track to be “one of the best days of the year”.
These days, Umbilicus’ main competition comes from the Economics Association (Økonomisk Forening – ØF), the team most favoured by bookmakers this year.
Economics Captain Matias Bertelsen says there’s a “huge rivalry” between ØF and Umbilicus. “We are the most winning team besides Umbilicus, the creators, so we are called their nemesis,” says Bertelsen.
So, who will win this year? Will it be Umbilicus? The Economists? Or maybe the punters will be given a run for a money and another team will rise up to leave their mark on Kapsejlads 2017.
Watch the preview here: