Comic-Con: ‘Vikings’ Interactive Waterway launches fans toward bounty

July 19, 2013 | 6:20 a.m.
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The Vikings Interactive Experience at Comic-Con International features mini Viking boat races. Boat 2 with Rachel Moore of San Diego (front seat) and Lottie Aston from England, jumped their lane and nosed out boat 1 with Cynthia Loza (front) and Araceli Castro (both from San Diego). (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

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Viking shield maidens Xan Rogers and Saeri Far at the entrance to the “Vikings” Interactive Waterway. (Kirk McKoy/ Los Angeles Times)

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The History Channel's "Vikings" tells the tale of the lives and adventures of the warriors. The show brought to Comic-Con an interactive experience with mini Viking boat races. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

They boarded Viking longships and paddled toward glory and loot.

But it wasn’t 9th century Scandinavia; it was 21st century San Diego. (And, OK, the ships weren’t so long — they were two-seaters. But the glory and loot at stake were real.)

Chris Castagnetto and Zach Warburg, who had not met before this inaugural raid, were teamed in a race at the “Vikings” Interactive Waterway, a free attraction across from the San Diego Convention Center that the hit show on the History channel is staging Thursday, Friday and Saturday as part of its Comic-Con International activities. The prize? Shields signed by the case of “Vikings.”

FULL COVERAGE: San Diego Comic-Con 2013

Warburg, from San Diego, and Castagnetto, from San Jose, crossed the 50-foot pool in 10.4 seconds. Castagnetto, who counted the seconds of the following race to himself — 12 — said, “It’s all about synchronization.”

Victorious teammates Rachel Moore of San Diego and Lottie Aston of Britain plundered their rivals diagonally in a later race.

“We cheated, but we won,” Moore joked.

The friends, who met over Tumblr, agree that their favorite character is the handsome captured monk Athelstan (George Blagden).

COMIC-CON 2013: Follow it live on Twitter

Blagden and other cast members, including Travis Fimmel and Kathryn Winnick, are scheduled to sign autographs at the waterway Friday from 11 a.m. to noon. The show’s sure-to-be-boisterous panel is at 6 p.m. Friday in Room 6A, and attendees will get a free “Vikings” comic book, also available at the waterway, located at 450 Second Ave.

If Castagnetto and Warburg’s mark stands through Thursday — it had through several subsequent races — they won’t have to fight over the loot: There’s a shield for each winner on the team with the day’s fastest time.

– Blake Hennon | @BlakeHennon

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