Qaannat Kattuffiat

Qaannat Kattuffiat was instrumental in the kayaking renaissance in Greenland. Not very long ago the ancient Greenlandic kayaking skills were in serious danger of being lost forever. In fact many of the techniques were lost but to one man, Manasse Mathaeussen, the dean of Greenland kayaking.

Although in his seventies, Manasse was able to teach and amazingly, still perform the full repertoire of ancient maneuvers. Thankfully the club was able to bring together the veteran seal catchers with an eager band of students and the knowledge was passed on to a new generation.

Today, many West Greenland towns sport their own affiliated kayak club and promote the ancient skills of kayak building and capsize recovery as well as fostering self-respect, pride of their ancestors and awareness of Greenland's cultural contributions to the world.

What's in a Name?

The word "qaannat" is the plural of qajaq (kayaks) and Kattuffiat means "club or organization". Therefore the term Qaannat Kattuffiat literally means the kayaks' club.

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Qaannat Kattuffiat
Greenland Kayaking Competition

 

Rules for the Kayak Competitions

The translated Qaannat Kattuffiat information manual explaining the rules to participants planning on competing in a Greenland Kayaking Championship and also the organization, structure and operating rules for the event organizers. Special thanks to Kaleraq Bech for provided this information and to Hans Kleist-Thomassen for providing permission to publish

 

Competition FAQ

There are many misconceptions about the championship, what events are held and what the competition is all about. This short FAQ, provided by Hans Kleist-Thomassen and Qajaq Nuuk, is a good reference.

 

Practical Information about the Championship

Practical Information about the Championship Arrangements (meals, lodging, and more). Although this information was compiled for a past-championship, the general information holds for most championships. Provided by Hans Kleist-Thomassen and Qajaq Nuuk.

 

Championship Rolling Maneuvers

This is the "rolling list" of the thirty five rolling maneuvers that are performed at the rolling events of the Greenland annual Championship. Information includes brief history and purpose of ech roll. Also includes the Greenlandic rolling names and sound files of Maligiaq Padilla pronouncing the terms. Thanks to John Heath and Maligiaq Padilla for this information. Rolling Qajaq

Competition Rolling Scoresheets

Choose from Untranslated Greenlandic Competition Rolling Scoresheet or the English Translation of Competition Rolling Scoresheet. To use, circle the value indicated by the "More" column if a roll is done perfectly on the first try. If the participant barely makes it up on the first try, or has to resort to a second try, the "Less" value is circled. Left and Right refer to an attempt on either the paddler's left or right side. The winning score at the 2000 event, in the 20-34 age category, was 277 points by Ari Josefsen of Nuuk!

We are indebted to John Heath, Maligiaq Padilla, Kaleraq Bech, the Qaannat Kattuffiat, Hans Kleist-Thomassen, and many others, for making this list of Greenlandic rolling terms available outside of Greenland. Also, if not for the passion of kayakers such as Manasse Mathaeussen and others, who kept these skills alive, and the foresight of the Greenlanders to form Qaannat Kattuffiat to preserve these skills, much of this information would likely have been lost. My apologies to those contributors whose name goes unmentioned.

John Heath compiled the initial English translation of the rolling list and the roll descriptions over a long period of time involving several trips to Greenland and at much personal expense. John met both with old seal catchers and young Greenland competition athletes to glean this information.

"Eastern Arctic Kayaks" by John Heath and Dr. Eugene Arima, contains John Heath's documentation of the Greenlandic rolling terms, including descriptions, photographs and illustrations of the rolling maneuvers.

 

Ropes Gymnastics Competition Scoresheet

Greenlandic (untranslated) The Qaannat Kattuffiat scoresheet used for event scoring. English translations for these maneuvers can be found in the competition rules. In 2003, Maligiaq Padilla was the first athlete to score over 500 points for the rope gymnastics event.

 

Qajaq USA Photo Gallery

The gallery includes images taken by Qajaq USA members who have attended past Greenland Championships.

 

View information on Past Championships »