Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.
In the four races in the next round, the surviving qualifiers aren’t chased by Vikings but do race against each other to be in the first four past the post and so qualify for the four semi-finals, where only the top two qualify for the final. The Vikings re-appear in the final, but Neptune fires his distress flare only three minutes after the boats have left, which encourages everyone to work hard from the beginning rather than saving themselves for a sprint finish.
Sometimes a very fit Viking can cause problems in the qualifying races. In 1983 Gerhard Hingsen and his brother Sven from Hannover caught all the boats in the third race of the 21-30 canoe class qualifying and took great pleasure in hitting all the contestants. These people complained that the Vikings in other races hadn’t been as fit but the judges just ruled this as the luck of the draw and threw out the complaint. The Hingsens were used in the final too but met their match when they were beaten with oars by the Schmidt brothers from Bremen, who went on to win the 21-30 canoe class for the second year in succession.