CanoeKayak Canada, formerly Canadian Canoe Association, was founded in 1900. There are six divisions across Canada, one of which is Western Ontario Division with 15 Clubs. The canoe and kayak occupy an important place in Canadian history. An essential feature in the lives of Canada’s aboriginal people, they were adopted by European immigrants to carry goods and people through the wilderness. When their importance as a means of transportation decreased with the coming of the railway, canoes and kayaks became popular recreational vehicles, ideal for the quiet exploration of Canada’s lakes and streams. At the same time, increasing numbers discovered the pleasures of canoe and kayak racing and when the 1936 Olympic Games were staged in Berlin, both the canoe and kayak were on the program for men. Women made their Olympic debut in 1948 at London. The boats used for racing are: Kayaks built for one (K-1), two (K-2) and four (K-4) competitors and must meet international standards.
The paddler uses foot movements to operate the rudder. It is propelled by a double blade. Canoe, or C-boat, is also known as the “Canadian in honour of its aboriginal roots. As with kayak, racing takes place in three boats, i.e., C-1, C-2, and C-4 and must meet international standards. It is propelled by a single blade by a paddler in a kneeling position. Unique only
to Canada is the C-15, also known as the war canoe, with 14 paddlers and a coxswain. The athletes compete for their Club and
points accumulated are towards a burgee awarded to the club with the most points. The athletes compete for place standings and are often awarded with medals. Western Ontario Division annually holds its divisional championships and which is also a qualifier for the CanoeKayak Canada national championships and Ontario CanoeKayak championships. Since 1979 the Trials/Championships have been held on the Old Welland Canal and now at the Welland International Flatwater Centre. Approximately 500 athletes from participating clubs compete to be a divisional champion as well as qualify for the provincial and national championships.
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