Around Denmark (english version)

In the year 2000, the the Red and White Ribbon was established, as a challenge and an honour to all interested kayakers. The Red and White ribbon is gained by paddling around Denmark following a loosely defined route and in compliance with a given set of rules. The event is as such, not a competition, but the number of days spent on the trip is recorded by the Jury.

Everybody who completes the trip receive the Red White Ribbon.


Before starting an application is submitted with the following information:

  • Start Date
  • Name and age of the person or persons who will enter.
  • Name of the kayak to be used.
  • List of safety equipment that must be used.

The application should be sent by post or email to the Red and White Ribbon controller.

Starting point

Vidåslusen in the Vadehavet Sea west of Højer (N54°57,8′ E8°39,6′).

The route

Paddle north along the west coast until Grenen. Continue south until the Kattegat/Great Belt crosses to  Zealand. North and clockwise around Zealand until the Great Belt can be crossed again. South around Fyn until the Little Belt can be crossed.

Finishing point

The border crossing at the bottom of the Flensborg Fjord by Kollund forest (N54°49,9′ E9°25,3′). The tour ends by placing your hand on the boundary border stone No. 1 on the Danish side of the border.

Immediately after the end of the trip, send another letter or email to the Red and White ribbon controller.

In this letter, note the date at which the end point was reached, as well as the number of days and kilometers.


“Ready yourself”. The trip must be undertaken as a coherent long-distance trip where you have to fend for yourself.

Supplemental information

Should safety equipment become defective, new equipment must be obtained.

It is permitted to tow the kayak over sea ice.

You are not allowed to create supply depots.

The trip can also be undertaken in other types of kayak ( e.g. 2 seater or surf-ski )

Each day’s stage should be mapped (paper or GPS tracking) and recorded in a logbook. There is ​​no requirement to plot the course on a map during the stage.

Exchange of kayak or meeting with a support car and the like for repairing equipment is not allowed.

Backup boat/kayak is not allowed at crossing points.

Each day’s stage should be mapped and recorded in a log book.

Each day from start to finish is counted as a single paddling day. There is no monitoring of compliance with the rules along the way. It is up to the paddler’s morals to abide by the rules

The trip must be carried out in a kayak as a long distance trip. I.e. all equipment including supplies and maps must be brought along by the paddler his or herself. It is of course allowed to buy new supplies and replenish water supplies along the way. Should the kayak being stolen during the trip, a new kayak can be acquired with outside help. The same rule applies to safety equipment, such as paddle, life jacket, compass etc. Any repairs must be performed by the paddler him or herself.

The whole trip to be made by sea without carrying the kayak over land. The paddler may not use a sail, kite or similar for propulsion, but must paddle all the way. However, it is permitted to tow the kayak in the shallow waters between Vidåslusen and the southern point of Skallingen (Skalling Ende – N55°28,5′ E8°17.8′). Swapping kayaks or meeting with a support car and the like for assistance is not allowed. A backup boat is also not allowed. Each daily stage should be mapped and recorded in a log book. Each day from start to finish is counted as a single paddling-day. There is no monitoring of compliance with the rules along the way. It is up to the paddler’s morals to abide by the rules. After the trip the paddler will give an account of the tour before sitting jury.

Everyone who completes the above trip in compliance with these rules will be awarded the Havkajakroernes Red and White Ribbon. Paddlers can obtain the Ribbon multiple times.


Applications can be made in two ways:

1 ) Email

2 ) By letter

Birger Elmedal

Rorupvej 3

4320 Lejre


In case the slightest doubts concerning the rules should arise, ask for information before the start or during the paddling. Nothing would be more painful for a jury than to reject a trip on the grounds that a paddler has taken too lightly on the rules.

Questions about the trip should be sent to Birger Elmedal :

> Email:

> Phone : 51 62 32 72

All applicants will appear on the website. Please state if you do not wish your name to be published, before you have actually completed the challenge.

The jury meeting

After completing the tour, the paddler must meet with a jury. The paddler must bring his/her logbook and maps to the meeting. The jury examines the trip day by day and may ask questions. If everything has been undertaken according to the rules, the paddler is awarded the Red and White Ribbon trophy.

Jury meeting is held on the first Sunday in November!

Notes about the rules and the interpretation of these

The rules are copied directly from Havspaddlarnes Blue Ribbon. These rules have been in existence for ten years with virtually no adjustments.

The only addition we have made is the rule that the kayak can be towed in the Vadehavet. When a follower boat is not allowed on dangerous stretches, it is not a desire to make the trip dangerous. If the weather is not good enough to cross the Great Belt, one must await better weather. The time can be well spent by
looking at the surroundings, hiking or just resting.

Although a support car is not allowed, naturally you may receive visits from family along the way. Likewise, it is allowed to stay with grandparents in Hundested.

The rule that you have to paddle all the way must be strictly observed. Although one has waited one week to cross the Great Belt, it is still not allowed to take the ferry. Just as expeditions have to be abandoned because of the weather, it can also be the case with this trip. And remember that even if you give up the Ribbon, you can still continue an exciting long journey. The only exception to this rule is the stretch of Vadehavet, where in shallow areas you may tow the kayak behind you.

When a list of safety features must be specified in the application, this should be seen as a desire that the participants give consideration to their safety. There is no requirement that any particular security device should be taken. The trip starts out with the hardest part first, Vadehavet and the west coast. There are several reasons for this. The probability of tail wind along the west coast is greatest when paddling northwards. Vidåslusen is a boring place to end, while the Flensburg Fjord invites one to continue north along the east coast of Jutland.

There is no reason for people to paddle 700 km, only to discover that the west coast is too much to handle.

Example of 3 different routes

Note that the general idea of the route is to paddle around Jutland, Zealand and Fyn. You may pass Denmark’s smaller islands as you like. Depending on the route chosen, the length is between 1100km and 1500km.

You can start the trip by carrying the kayak over the dike at Vidåslusen . Alternatively, you can put the kayak in the water behind the dike in Vidåen (paddling in Vidåen is allowed). A good place for this is at the Højer sluice gate or at Rudbøl. The sluice is opened for free all day, but only for low tide.

Paddling requires two things:

Chart No. 60 (Nordsøen, Fano Sylt) is necessary to avoid the many restricted areas (bird protection and ammunition dumps). In addition, the map is necessary to find the small fairways and avoid shallow areas.

Tide tables are necessary to take advantage of the tides. You should expect the tidal current in places to run at about 3 knots. DMI disclose the tide on their website 5 days in advance.

It requires common sense to paddle along the west coast. Avoid being caught outside the surf in increasing winds. One can easily be stocked on land due to strong winds for several days along the rugged coast. Note that the prohibited area along Skallingen west and north does not apply to smaller boats, including kayaks.

Be aware of fast ferries between Ebeltoft -Odden and Aarhus-Odden . The ferries schedule can be found at the Mols Linien website.

The Great Belt can be crossed in many places, but the two most obvious crossings are Samsø-Røsnæs and along the bridge. Be aware of the shipping traffic and currents. In DMI’s forecast of medium and long waves, they give information regarding the currents in the Belt.

Ferry traffic between Helsingør (Elsinore) and Helsingborg is very intense. Be aware and show consideration.

In the September 2001 issue of Sea Kayaking Info, Ravn Hamberg wrote a number of good tips for the trip.