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Boating in Canada Honour Roll

2017: Mike Ranta 4th Paddle

April 1: Mike Ranta and Spitzii (his dog) attempted a third cross-Canada canoe voyage to raising awareness for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This time accompanied by photo-journalist David jackson, they had planned to take the Rideau Waterway (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to Ottawa, Canada's capital, during Canada’s 150th birthday.
October 10: Mike, Spitzii and David ended their journey early in Killarney, Ontario just before entering Georgian Bay, hampered by poor weather. Mike's amazing canoe journey in 2016 from Pacific to Atlantic in 200 days is a record achievement not likely to be broken. | Facebook: Mike Rantas Paddle | Twitter: mikerantaC2C | Instagram: MikeRanta | Route | Vernon Morning Star (Mar.17/2017) | video (Feb.21/2017)

2016: Mike Ranta 3rd Paddle Across Canada

April 1 - October 18: Mike Ranta with his dog Spitzii completed his second solo canoe journey from Pacific to Atlantic coast - more than 4,750 km in 200 days, beating his previous record. In 2014 (below), he also paddled across Canada but this time, he made it all the way from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean in less time. | Facebook: Mike Rantas Paddle
Castlegar BC News | Global Winnipeg video | CTV Winnipeg video | CBC Thunder Bay (Oct.21/2016) | CBC Ottawa News video from 5:51-7:34 min (Nov.11/2016) | Matt LeMay video (Jan.1/2017) | (Feb.21/2017)
“My plan is to pick up a case a beer and sit by the shoreline, to play my yukelele by the campfire while Spitzii howls me happy birthday.” []
Jeanne Socrates

2016: Jeanne Socrates

Jeanne Socrates (73), the oldest woman to sail nonstop single-handedly around the world (2012-2013), began yet another voyage in October to attempt to become the oldest sailor to sail single-handedly around the world. Her droque and staysail were destroyed in a force 10 storm, and she was forced to return to Victoria, BC. for repairs, but on November 14 she started again. ( |
Jayson Ambrose

2016: Jayson Ambrose to Paddle the Great Loop

Jayson Ambrose plans to paddle a kayak around the Great Loop - 8,000 to 12,000 km in up to 15 months. Jayson started October 1, 2016 from Mobile, Alabama but had to return to Canada in mid-November. He plans to restart in spring 2017. | Route | Winnipeg article | Fox10tv interview & article Sep.28 Start of trip (Fox10tv Oct.1)

2014: Eric Holden named Canada's Top Sailor

Eric Holden
Canadian sailor Eric Holden was Canada's first ever skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race, leading a crew of 55 amateur sailors aboard the 70-foot Henri Lloyd to win first place in one of the toughest ocean races in the world.

Sail Canada and Rolex Canada named him 2014 Rolex Sailor of the Year, after being named Sailor of the Month three times. Holden and five Canadian crew members – Fiona Garforth-Bles, James Dick, Michael Jauncey, Morgen Watson, Phil Driver – were jointly awarded the Gerry Roufs Trophy for offshore racing - Holden's second time being honoured. Roufs was a Canadian skipper who was lost in the Pacific in the 1996 solo race.
Clipper Round the World Race won by Canadians (Boating in Canada Blog)

2014: Mike Ranta paddles across Canada

Mike Ranta
Mike Ranta (Atikokan, Ont.) and his dog Spitzii made a 7,640 km canoe journey from Vancouver to Tatamagouche, NS (Apr.1 - Oct.31, 2014) about 350 km short of his goal at Dominion Beach, Cape Breton. His Delorme inReach geo-tracking system tracked his progress online. He was awarded 2015 Expedition of the Year Winner by Canoe & Kayak Magazine for the longest solo canoe expedition in a single season. In 2016, Mike is repeating the trip in honour of Canada's veterans.

Previously in 2011, Mike and Spitzii, in a Souris River Wilderness 18, paddled from Rocky Mountain House Alberta to Montreal Quebec – 5200 km in 132 days along the traditional voyageur route – a world record for solo canoeing. | Mike Ranta cross-country canoe journey (Ottawa Citizen Sep/2014) (text) Breakfast with Mike Ranta ( Mar/2015) | Video (Jan/2015) Canoe & Kayak magazine | Mike Ranta finishes 4,750-mile adventure

2013: Jeanne Socrates

Jeanne Socrates
Seventy-year-old Jeanne Socrates from England, the oldest female sailor to make a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe (Oct/2012 - Jul/2013) is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. []

2011: Derek Hatfield

Derek Hatfield
Derek Hatfield, Canada's top solo sailor, took third place in the 2010/11 Velux 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race. Derek is the only Canadian to have sailed solo around the world twice. In the 2002/3 Velux 5 Oceans, his yacht Spirit of Canada was capsized and the mast destroyed rounding Cape Horn, but he managed to repair the boat and finished the race, becoming the 126th person to sail around the world alone. In 2008 he raced in the Vendée Globe but he had to retire when his yacht's rig was damaged.

Hatfield began working with the Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders in 2003, a Toronto-based charity that teaches at-risk youth to sail. Derek died in 2016, a huge loss to the sailing community.
Jack Nye

2011: Jack Nye

If you've ever dreamed about sailing oceans, read about Jack Nye's 18th Atlantic Voyage - at the age of 86!

2010: David Wright saves Kiteboarder

David, a Canadian Laser sailor, was training in Mexico when roused from bed by a panicked man after his kiteboarding friend hadn't made it back to shore. Local police did not help. David used his Merchant Marine Academy training to consider wind and tide. After 3 hours of grid search in a powerboat, he located the lost kiteboarder. [Montreal Gazette April/2010]

2007: Meagan McGrath saves Everest Climber

Meagan is our hero of 2007, risking her life to save Usha Bista, a female climber from Nepal, in Mount Everest's infamous "death zone". [Toronto Star May/2007 | CTV May/2007]

2006: Andrew Brash saves Everest Climber

Andrew is our hero of 2006. 200 metres from the summit of Everest, he saved Australian climber Lincoln Hall, who was dying of altitude sickness, instead of completing his climb. In May 2008, he returned to Everest and reached the top. Kudos Andrew. [CBC June/2006]

2003: Tony Gooch

In 2002-2003, this Canadian sailor is the only person to circumnavigate solo nonstop from the West Coast of North America. []

1988: Lawrence Lemieux

Canadian Finn class sailor Lawrence is our hero from the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Sailing in second place, he abandoned his race to go to the rescue of two Singapore sailors Joseph Chan and Siew Shaw Her, competing in the 470 class when their boat overturned in gusty winds, throwing them into the rough waves. Lemieux waited and transferred the two sailors to an official patrol boat. He finished 22nd but was recognised by the IOC with the Pierre de Coubertin medal honouring his bravery and sacrifice. [Edmonton Journal March/2008]

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