…and not in the USA, but in Norway. After performing lots of official and formal duties this week, Crown Prince Haakon could finally declare “surf’s up!,” and head for the European championships in surfing off the coast south of Stavanger.
It was, after all, still “official” business, since Crown Prince Haakon was overseeing Eurosurf 2017 on the beach Borestranda at Jæren. It opened last weekend and was running until October 16. Haakon played a role through his membership on the surfing committee of Norges Seilforbund.
Magazine D2 reported that the event marks the first time the European surfing championships have been held in Scandinavia. Crown Prince Haakon’s duties on the beach and in the water were likely to be a lot more fun than formal political duties for the 44-year-old royal, who got bitten by the surfing bug while a student at UC Berkeley in the 1990s.
D2, published by newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), ran a cover story full of photos about Norway’s “surfing prince” and how he’s involved his whole family in the sport. Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who married Haakon in 2001, told D2 that she finally understood around seven years ago that she’d have to learn to surf, too. “When we travel on holiday now, we travel to go surfing,” she said. D2 could reveal that such trips have even included rental of a camping van, and driving from beach to beach along the coast of California.
Their children Princess Ingrid Alexandra (age 13) and Prince Sverre Magnus (age 11) have also learned to surf. “Haakon is absolutely the happiest when the whole family is in the water together,” Mette-Marit told D2.
The crown prince seems to like being a beach bum from time to time and even gets philosophical about it: “I sometimes think that surfing can be a metaphor for everything in life.” He told D2 that “you can’t blow up your ego in a meeting with the waves, it just doesn’t work. That keeps you grounded, more down-to-earth. The waves don’t make any difference between people.”
Norway, meanwhile, has become internationally famous for its waves and beaches, attracting surfers from around the world despite chilly waters. The royals spent time last summer on the beach at Hoddevik in the west-coast county of Sogn og Fjordane. It features a broad sandy beach, surrounded by mountains rising above small boathouses and cottages.
“If everything goes bad, I take off as a rule and go surfing,” Crown Prince Haakon told D2. “In that sense, I have a Plan B, or perhaps I should call it Plan A.”
D2 published a video report of the royals out surfing last week, complete with subtitles in English. It can be seen here (external link).