Sønner av Norge (not the film!)

Sønner av Norge, Trond Bratland Erichsen and Emil Eide Eriksen - photo by Øystein Hermstad

The other day I assisted Øystein Hermstad on a shoot, taking photos of Sønner av Norge. When I received the invite to join this shoot I thought “cool, it must be something to do with new film” with the same name. But no, it was a couple of guys and a rowing boat, in a scrap yard some way out of town. Great.

As it turns out the subjects were much more interesting than the film! Emil Eide Eriksen and Trond Bratland Erichsen are rowing across the Atlantic, armed with three knives and two axes.

“Why do you need an axe?” I asked, considering they are on 20 foot boat without a tree or log in sight.

“No idea, it’s part of the rules,” Trond tells me. There are twelve different boats competing in the endurance race, which will take something like 70-90 days. The presence of the axes, in a two man boat, all alone at sea (they will be split up from the other competitors after a couple of days) seems a fiendish criterion.

They seem to get on like a house on fire though, humming tunes together and saluting the photographer as they raise themselves on the boat crane. So hopefully no murder on the high seas. It’s just an incredible feat in my mind; missing Christmas, rowing everyday, eating beef jerky relentlessly… and all this without having spent longer than one day together on the boat before. Apparently many of the other teams have not even seen their boats yet however, so that should not be a problem.

It is one of the great things about being a photographer or a journalist, the frequent proximity to interesting stories like this. Inspiring too – who can read or see this story without placing themselves in that boat, in your mind? On this occasion I was just helping out putting up some lights and rocking the boat gently to mimic the motion of the sea. But when I am on a shoot like this I never go without my own 5d around my neck, taking some background pics in the process. See a selection of these and Øystein´s portraits below.

Emil and Trond set off from Canary Isles in December, arriving in Barbados some time later. What an inspiration destination to have in mind! Good luck lads! I´ll be thinking of you at Christmas, whilst I am sat with a brandy in hand watching Mutiny on the Bounty, or Ship of Fools, or Titanic or Das Boot or something along those lines.

photo by Wil Lee-Wright

photo by Wil Lee-Wright

photo by Wil Lee-Wright

photo by Wil Lee-Wright

photo by Wil Lee-Wright

photo by Wil Lee-Wright

photo by Wil Lee-Wright

photo by Øystein Hermstad

photo by Øystein Hermstad

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