did I know back in 2002 when I started painting watercolour
renditions of some old canoeing jerseys that I would begin
a long and sometimes baffling journey through the history
of sprint canoe racing. My desire to see all of the racing
singlets side by side led to the creation of "Canada's
Sprint Canoe Clubs," the book, and now the online compendium.
was during the research for that project that I found myself
turning to C. Fred Johnston's "100 Years of Champions"
at every turn, consulting nearly every page of data and
cross-referencing athlete names, dates and achievements.
My copy is now beaten up and barely fit for display, but
it has been worth it.
have always been in awe of the sheer amount of knowledge
that Fred possesses regarding the sport of canoe racing.
No one will ever be able to replace him in his status as
a canoeing historian and I certainly make no claims to that
regard. With Fred's blessing, I have taken on the mantle
of his Book of Champions, if only to keep it alive for a
new generation and to reach a wider audience of people interested
in the information and insight it has to offer.
you see today on this website is the culmination of many
months of transcription, carefully copying the data in Fred's
book to a web format that would be both readable and navigable.
With the advent of the internet, entries are now hyperlinked
to their respective club pages on the Canada's Sprint Canoe
Clubs site, along with links to photographs of the championship
teams where those pictures have been provided to me. The
addition of colour to this record certainly enhances the
research and makes it a simple task to chart the successes
of a club through the colour pattern of their logo through
the publication of "100 Years of Champions" a
lot has happened. Sixteen years worth of champions have
been added to the event pages. New events have been added
to the national championships program, new age classes have
been introduced, and new trophies have been donated to the
significant aspect of the new online version is the addition
of first names for all competitors. For this, I have had
to rely on my personal memory and correspondence with a
multitude of paddlers across the country. Publications such
as Mike Scott and Allan Billard's anniversary books (Rideau
and Banook, respectively) provided a lot of information
and insight into various crew members. One thing that was
solidified for me was that paddling is truly a sport for
families. You can see the family trees in these pages if
you look close enough.
as with the versions before this one, the opportunity for
error correction rears its awkward head. I have been able
to address a number of errors from previous versions as
well as make notes in reference to questionable results
and times. But the likelihood of an error-free resource
is almost impossible. The good news is that we have technology
on our side meaning that errors can be corrected instantaneously.
Yearly data can be added to this Book of Champions as soon
as it occurs without the prospect of a twenty-year wait
between updated editions.
is a Book of Champions that everyone can own. I look forward
to your comments, suggestions, advice, and, as always, your