LONGSHIPS were at the ready in York today for Nordic adventurers to display their sailing skills and swordsmanship, as well as a touch of regal splendour, at the climax of the Jorvik Viking Festival.

The ten-day extravaganza is bigger than ever, with traders, craftspeople and families attending from all over Europe. It has already featured a wide range of events, including a Viking wedding, battle training for children and craft demonstrations.

Today, the final day of the festival, crowds were due to be enthralled by longship racing on the Ouse and a clash between Viking and Anglo-Saxon warriors at the Eye of York.

The grand finale will be the Coronation of the Viking king, Erik Bloodaxe, in York Minster, at 7.30pm.

Updated: 09:15 Saturday, February 21, 2004