On a June day in the mid-1970s Rene Boogemans took two canoes to a race, a fibreglass model and a cedar strip he had built himself. The organizer said he could use the cedar canoe but when Rene and his partner won the 40-mile race they were disqualified. Rene thought that was wrong. A lot of other racers and organizers thought so too.
Incorporated as a not-for-profit in 1975 the Ontario Marathon Canoe Racing Association was started by a committed group of Marathon racers, including Rene. The organization was created to insist that member races use classes with watercraft standardized by length and width at the waterline and rewards paddlers for their steady success. Rene is still racing today, as are many of those original members, in OMCKRA sanctioned races, committed to using established specifications and fair play.
That's Rene, in a more recent photo, paddling with Dave Johnston.
To develop, promote and represent distance paddling as a racing sport in Ontario.
Introducing people to marathon paddling by offering sport specific training programs, standardizing specifications of crafts in the various classes for all races, advertising and promoting events sanctioned by OMCKRA and assisting organizers in improving their events, encouraging and promoting safety in paddling particularly as related to distance racing, and encouraging Ontario residents of all ages to become involved in marathon paddling competitions.
What's your story?
How did you find out about Marathon Paddling? What do you love (or not like so much) about it? Or just share an anecdote - we'll publish it in our newsletter HUT!. Contact us.