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The Club

Brudpiga Rowing Club was established in 1971 and we have today 320 members. The club was originally for church boats, but after a couple of years the club obtained the first outrigger boats.

The club is located in Leksand by the lake Siljan in the middle of Sweden. Leksand offers amazing possibilities for rowing. A big lake with many bays and an 8 km long river that doesn’t freeze over in the winter.

The most successful rower in the club is Lassi Karonen who came forth in the single sculler final during the Olympics in London. At the age of 20 Lassi started as a church boat rower and a few years later he tried sculling and the rest is history.

The club has had rowers participating in four Olympics and several World Championships.


The Church boats

Lake Siljan in Dalecarlia Sweden is renowned for its church boats. These 60 ft long and slender rowing boats are made of pine-wood with oak frames and are built by the same methods used for old Viking ships.

As far back as we can trace them through the archives they have been used mainly for travelling to the parish church. Carrying about 60 people, they were also in former times for the transportation of log rafts and cattle.

In the early days of the nineteenth century the Siljan region had poor roads and horse carts were rare. It was therefore quite natural for villagers around the lake and the adjoining river to travel together in one or two commonly owned boats.

The bout houses began to disappear towards the end of 1920. In order to save them, it was decided to hold an annual boat race between the villages.

The first race was held in 1936 and consisted of 4 boats, each with a different number of oars. Since then the number of participants has progressively increased. New boats have been build – all based on the same design – and with an equal number o oars (twenty) in each boat. A special category for ladies was introduced and their first race was held in 1979. Almost 30 crews competed in 1985.

The rowing course in Leksand is 2650 meters long and crosses the lake in front of the church of Leksand toward the outlet of the river. The fastest boats can reach a speed of 12 knots.


The Name

The name Brudpiga Rowing Club comes from a big rock in the lake outside the rowing club. The rock was used at low tide to drop off some of the passengers in the church boat, often the bridesmaids (in Swedish sometimes called “Brudpiga”), to make it easier for the boat to get ashore on the shallow beach.


New boathouse – The house of rowing

The year before the Olympics in London,  Lassi and Olaf Tufte from Norway participated in a training camp in the old boat house. Olaf loved the great training environment in Leksand, but was also surprised that we didn’t have any running water in the boat house. When some of the members heard about this they realized that the facilities we had was pretty bad. One of the members in the club is an architect, Daniel Boberg. He initiated the job to produce a proposition for a new club house, but we totally lacked the funds for the project which was estimated to about 800.000 euro.

The board began the job to raise the money that was needed and after about a year we had gathered 200.000 euro from sponsors, region, government and county. On top of that we had undertakings from suppliers who promised to donate material and services for another 200.000 euro. We also initiated a co-operation with building academies in the region, who promised to execute some of the work for free as part of their training.

In the spring of 2012 we started building and a year later the house was finished. The members of the club have participated in the project in an amazing way. Two Sundays every month was set aside as working days and 15-20 members have participated in the building of the new boat house.

In April 2014 the final report was done and the total expenses for the project ended at 400.000 euro.



The clubhouse is situated right by the beach of Lake Siljan with an amazing view over the lake. On two sides of the house runs a big balcony.

The house has been assembled with the old church boat house. The old roof over the church boats has been torn down so that you can look down on the beautiful boats from the top floor of the new clubhouse.



All parts of the building, like walls, roof, windows and doors, are high quality products with high insulating qualities.

The house is heated up the an air/water heating pump, that heats up water which in turn results in  underfloor heating.

Low energy lighting has been used everywhere.

The ventilation is run by a unit that recycles 85% of the heating using the extract air. Total amount of energy used during the first year (that includes heating, ventilation, hot water and lightning) is 60Kwh/m2. That can be compared to a low energy house in Sweden.

The building is prepared for installing solar panels at a later stage.

We have 30 Mbit Internet in the building and we use Internet for locking and surveillance.

The whole house is suitable for the disabled and there is an elevator so that disabled can move around the whole building.

The Exhibition

In the club house you will find an exhibition about the tradition of competing with church boats.


Renting the premises

It is possible to rent the premises for special occasions. We can help organize conferences for companies and staff meetings. We also help organize weddings where we row the bridal couple to church in the church boat.

We also have the possibility to invite other rowing clubs in Sweden who wishes to come and row in the beautiful area around Lake Siljan.

Development of the club

After the new club house was finished the progress of the clubs activities has been very positive. The number o members have increased and the turnover has doubled.


Text: Mats Niss
Translation: Vivi-Ann Bärlin 

Uppdaterad: 02 APR 2015 10:42 Skribent: Lovisa Niss

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Brudpiga RK - Rodd
Mats Niss, Västanvik Skarpholsvägen 11
79392 Leksand

Tel: 0706206986
E-post: This is a mailto link

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