An unusual visit from Romania at the Stellar Headquarters Europe
On July 6th this year we had an unusual visitor at the Lite Venture headquarters in southwest Germany: Marin Chirazi and Alin Vorniceanu, two Romanian athletes, stopped by to pick up their pre-ordered Stellar S16 touring kayaks. They came straight from Romania to start their ambitious project near Ulm: Along the Danube to the Black Sea in 26 days – with a route length of 2,600 km, an average of 100 kilometers a day. You cross 8 countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania) and pass 4 capitals (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade):
Along the entire Danube in 26 days
The two completed this long distance in 2012 and needed 30 days with their PE kayaks. With a bit of training and also with faster, lighter kayaks, they now want to push their own limit a whopping 4 days. Marin and Alin are enthusiastic athletes and work professionally in the field of education. You want to be an example and role model for young people and for other athletes. It's about showing them that you can find and expand your own limits - that's what motivates them to do it.
They don't know yet that with the new S16 Stellar Kayaks and their experience they won't be able to do it in 26 days, but even faster in 24 days! They documented their trip and we want to share their impressions:
Collection of the kayaks and transport to the start in Ulm
“One day before the big departure: We flew from Bucharest to Stuttgart with our luggage and equipment and from there we took the train to Eschbach in south-west Germany to pick up the kayaks. There at Lite Venture we pick up the kayaks that we have chosen for the tour. We are very excited about the boats and hope we made the right choice.
We chose two Stellar S16 touring kayaks for the project. The reason for this was that we knew from our first tour in 2012 that we need lighter and also narrower kayaks to be faster. Nevertheless, they should offer stability - there are many large ships on the Danube, freighters and cruise ships, whose wake creates strong waves. And sufficient loading volume for the equipment and provisions are also important for the long duration of the tour.
The first impression of the boats was good! We received a very good explanation and instruction at the handover and were excited to finally get started!
A friend then picked us up at the shop and took us with the kayaks and luggage to the starting point in Ulm
Day 1: Finally it starts!
1st day's stage from Ulm to Donauwörth: the boats are loaded, we're in top form and we're just dying to start paddling! The kayaks feel very good, after a short period of getting used to them we feel quick and well equipped. Status of Alin on the evening of the day home: "Hello from Germany! I've set up camp, everything's fine. We passed 11 barrages, which took a lot of time, but we're on schedule!"
Note: In the area of this stage, the Danube is an economically and industrially shaped river with many power plants. At a distance of 5 kilometers there is a power plant with a barrage, which makes this section a bit tough.
2nd daily stage from Donauwörth to Kelheim:
Today we managed 95 km and passed 5 barrages. Unfortunately it rained heavily, but the route becomes more scenic. The picture of the Danube Gorge near Kelheim says it all! 💚 This section is very enjoyable and leaves you wanting more! Unfortunately, it rained a lot, sometimes heavily, but that didn't spoil our mood and our desire for adventure.
3rd stage from Kelheim to Parkstetten:
"Today we rode 103km, we're fine," Alin told us. "We're a bit behind on updates for you guys, but we're catching up 😉 Taking a well-deserved break to dry the gear, there it rained heavily yesterday.”
Note: From Kelheim, the Danube is a federal waterway and is used by cargo and motor ships. You should be accordingly careful on the way, especially the cargo ships coming from behind can surprise you and cause dangerous situations with their strong wakes.
4th stage from Parkstetten 🇩🇪 to Esternberg 🇦🇹:
The fourth stage takes you out of Germany and into Austria. After 106 km we spend the night in Esternberg after passing the city of Passau. There are many cruise ships here, you have to be careful.
5. Day stage Esternberg to Linz:
90 km driven, 5 barrages, it was hard, and it rained an incredible amount again. But we still got through well and remain positive.
6th stage from Linz to Dürnstein:
Alin says about yesterday: "We covered 111 km, we passed the town of Melk and we are now driving towards Vienna."
7th stage from Dürnstein to Mannsdorf:
Status at the end of yesterday: "101 km covered, 3 barrages. We've passed Vienna!"
8th stage from Mannsdorf 🇦🇹 to Zlatná na Ostrove 🇸🇰
Today we crossed the border to Slovakia, covering a distance of 130 km. There was only one barrage to cross on the way and the conditions were good.
9th stage from Zlatná na Ostrove 🇸🇰 to Szigetmonostor 🇭🇺
Hello from Hungary! 113 km covered yesterday. Sok szerencsét, good luck in the future!
10th stage from Szigetmonostor to Paks 🇭🇺
Yesterday was Alin's 33rd birthday 🥳 Happy birthday, matching a route with cultural highlights on the through-town route through Bucharest!
Alin in front of the Parliament building in Budapest, which is located directly on the Danube bank.
11th stage from Paks 🇭🇺 to Bezdan 🇷🇸
After 105 km kilometers now in Serbia, so Zdravo from Bezdan!
12th stage in Serbia 🇷🇸
Status from the guys: "Did 114 km today, 12 hours of kayaking, all good."
13th stage in Serbia 🇷🇸
Although the scenery is beautiful and it seems like cruising down the Danube would be easy, our palms look like it. It's not just calluses, it's open sores and your palms are constantly swollen. Sometimes we paddle at least 3 hours on the Danube, which is like a lake - without the benefit of a current - and we spend at least 11 hours kayaking every day, with very short breaks.
This is our dream - and also hard work and perseverance. No pain no gain! 🤗
14th stage in Serbia 🇷🇸
“It was very hot today and there was no wind at all, no cooling or shade in sight. That's why we only covered 103 km. According to our calculations, tomorrow evening we will have a Romanian signal and we will come to the border with Romania!!!"
15th stage of the day Ram 🇷🇸 to Svinița 🇷🇴 in Romania
Only 94 km but: we are back in Romania! 🥳
16. Day stage Svinița to Batoți, Mehedinți 🇷🇴
Status from the boys: “95km done, strong wind, nice but tough. We are happy to be back in Romania and enjoying the scenic highlights along the way.”
Note: The stone-carved portrait in the background shows the Dacian king Decebalus. It is 55 meters high and 25 meters wide: This makes the sculpture eight meters higher than the Jesus Monument in Rio de Janeiro. It is considered one of the largest stone carvings in Europe.
Matching the current heat, the boys sent us a video of the water so that we can cool down with them in the Danube 🌊.
17th stage of the day: Batoți, Mehedinți to Cetate, Dolj 🇷🇴
Status from the guys, for yesterday: "We've done 92km, we're on the 817th milestone."
18th stage of the day: Cetate to Gighera, Dolj 🇷🇴
The boys covered 115 km yesterday.
Pair 19. Stage of the day: Gighera, Dolj to Turnu Măgurele, Teleorman 🇷🇴
The boys covered 107 km yesterday. Special thanks to the crew at Escape Bar & Food in Bechet Harbor for inviting us to the table and offering hospitality! with an image to focus on your chosen product, collection, or blog post. Add details on availability, style, or even provide a review.
20th stage of the day: Turnu Măgurele to Giurgiu 🇷🇴
The boys covered 105 km yesterday and arrived in Giurgiu last night.
21st stage of the day: Giurgiu to Călăraşi 🇷🇴
The guys covered 113 km yesterday, they will probably be in Galați tomorrow evening - if you want to come and say hello, write to us via messenger.
22nd stage of the day: Călărași to Giurgeni, jud. Ialomita 🇷🇴
The boys covered 130 km yesterday, tonight they will be in Galati around 6 p.m
23rd stage: Giurgeni, jud. Ialomita to Galati 🇷🇴
Only 85 km covered as strong headwinds made the stage very strenuous. But great that we had a bit of company, that feels like tailwind!
Today we can do it! Galati to Sulina 🇷🇴 - we did the last 150 km in one go and proved a record endurance of 17 hours in the kayak. An absolute record for us to have covered the distance in 24 days! 🏆
Long-distance tour project 2,600 kilometers along the Danube in 24 days
Wow! 10 years after completing the entire navigable stretch of the Danube in 2012 with a feat of 30 days, Marin Chirazi and Alin Vorniceanu are returning and paddling the Danube again in July 2022. They aim to shorten the record to 26 days while covering over 100km a day.
They set out from Ulm (where the Danube becomes navigable) in early July, crossing eight countries - Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania - and four capitals - Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade - and arriving the Black Sea estuary in Sulina in record time, with minimal means, isolated from society, just paddling and with a tent for the night on the banks of the Danube.
They want to show the world that if you really want something, if you work hard and persevere, you can achieve your goals. The action, supported by Antonia Association for Education and Social Innovation, Expert Mind Business Center and Tehno Steel Construct, is dedicated to children, young people and all athletes who want to push their limits and shape their future with their own efforts and dreams .