Navigation Menu button
english language deutsch sprache la langue française english language nederlandse taal svenska språket english language
change language
International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Colin Newman featured on the start line at the 2013 Europeans. Is that a great start for Hugh deLongh in 275, or is it a step too far? . Photo: © Loch Lomond SC"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Great Spray Effects. Frederik Steimann (GER68) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: David Gilliland (USA 209) - Texas rodeo. 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Uphill Challenge: Peter Ullmann (GER79) leads a bunch of others at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Windward Mark Action Colin Brown (GBR319) Peter Ullmann (GER79) at the 2011 worlds, Travemunde, Germany. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Charlie Chandler (GBR321) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International Canoe Worlds 1993

A Dream of Heaven

In conditions close to a dinghy racer's dream of heaven, Robin Wood from South Wales proved that a very, very good little one can indeed beat the big guys on their own patch, winning the International Canoe world championship, held by Richmond YC, California, in convincing style. Other classes had told the British teams - an amazing 16 strong, thanks to transport and sponsorship from Chartham Papers - to expect strong winds, but no description can adequately convey the boat-busting muscle-wrenching reality of San Francisco Bay. The powerful thermal winds and big Pacific waves funnel through the Golden Gate and then hit Alcatraz and Angel Islands on the edge of the Continental Shelf. The water goes from over 100 ft to 20, and the big waves turn into a short series of near vertical square waves which feel like brick walls when the tired body catapults through them at 16 knots or more, clinging desperately to the end of a five foot sliding plank.

Wood opened his attack on the title with two positive wins over Steve Clark of the USA, multiple and previous world champion. Surprisingly, Wood, at around 170lb was giving Clark over 30lbs and some five inches in height, but consistently held him upwind and then vanished down the reach.

On the third day two races were scheduled back-to-back, but despite the sunshine and sparkling water, expressions were grim as the fleet of expert boat rebuilders put to sea. Current North American Canoe champion, Lars Guck, started a controversy by appearing with a large sailmaker's advertisement right across his mainsail, and proceeded to endorse the product with a handsome win, front running all the way with Wood digging his way out of an indifferent start for a sound second. As the day wore on the thermal wind build-up really hit its stride. 'Midst breakages galore, and lesser mortals crawling whimpering into the shore, most of the fleet went for a very wild ride. Big Steve Clark came into his own with Guck and another hefty lad from the USA, Erich Chase, showing the rest of the world how it is done. Wood described his experience as a pitchpole followed by three eskimo rolls, and calmly retired to be rested for the next outing.

The fifth race was just a little easier on boats and men but still the wind and current bends left no room for tactics. Boat speed was the deciding factor and Guck and Wood had it, with Clark and Chase chasing hard.

By now it was obvious that the championship lay between three men and the sixth race would be a clincher. Friday dawned grey and colder but still the ocean breeze was solid and the thermal build-up would come around an hour from the noon start. Clark turned the tables by triumphing in a lesser wind - against all the laws of gravity - with Wood and Guck breathing down his neck. As the leaders ran home in 18 knots of wind and a lumpy sea the poor old tailenders battled into 25 knots and sat exhausted head to wind at the finish line composing their wills and regretting their sins before the big bear away decision.

Into the last race with one point in it and the British team and supporters squinted into the sun and spray as the first boat hurtled past the windward mark. Was it bright red? YAY it was and so was the second one! What was this? It was Mike Fenwick, the quiet man from Weymouth, determined to show there was more where Wood comes from. Then came Clark and Guck, grimly competent, but Fenwick held the bridge while Wood stormed away, bolt upright and steady as a rock as the fleet rocked, rolled and swam in his wake. With a superhuman effort Guck edged Fenwick out by some three inches on the line for a good second but it was not enough - the gold medal was on its way to Newport, Wales, not Rhode Island, and the wonderful, sunny, windy boat building competition was over.

Every competitor was wearing a huge silly grin by the end and words cannot express the gratitude to Richmond YC. 'Boffo - a good one' will have to suffice.

Mike Fitzpatrick

This report first appeared in Yachts and Yachting

Canoe World Championships San Francisco

In the toughest conditions yet seen at a World championship, Robin Wood, from Newport, South Wales, won the Gold Medal against 61 competitors from 6 countries (7 if you include Grand Cayman) in three continents. The British contingent completed the week by bringing back the New York Canoe Club International Trophy exactly 60 years after Uffa Fox and Roger de Quincey brought it across the Atlantic for the first time

We had been promised brisk winds, and we were not disappointed. As soon as the container was unpacked alter its six week voyage via the Panama canal the British were out on a shakedown sail to get the flavour of the water. Out of the Golden gate they found huge breaking seas where the powerful Pacific rollers funnel through and as the depth of water shallows from over 100ft to less than 20ft in the comparatively sheltered "Olympic Circle" turn into a series of short waves, just the length of a canoe with foaming white tops and near vertical walls. The water is cold and this usually causes a mist to form over the bay which the sun burns off by noon - the scheduled start time for racing. The hot sun on the land coupled with cold water produces fierce thermals with winds over 25knots in the afternoon.

West coast hero Eric Chase led the fleet around the practice race and convinced the locals that the Championship was in the bag. They had not noticed that the real contenders for the title stayed ashore.

With the preliminaries of checking measurements, the raising of flags and the opening ceremony by ICF president Sergio Orsi completed, the championship racing started on Sunday 8th August. Robin Wood was soon out front and took first place ahead of Americans Steve Clark and Lars Guck.

On Monday Robin repeated his performance, finishing over 1 minute ahead of Steve Clark and with the wind rising to well over 30knots the ebb tide against it created an even more ferocious sea.

Tuesday was the toughest day with two races "back to back". bright sun and sparkling water there may have been, but the testing conditions were not to be disguised. Lars Guck soon went ahead for an easy (or easy looking) victory while Robin Wood pulled up from a poor start to finish second. Race 4, with the full force of the sea breeze, gave a wild ride to competitors already tired after the morning's contest. Robin Wood was swept overboard at the start of the reaching leg, turned turtle in the shallow water with the top of the sail embedded in the mud. That was his discard written off!

After this came the rest day - the British contingent were encouraged by the announcement that, as had been agreed in advance, on the basis of the results of the first 4 races a British team would have the honour to challenge the Americans for the New York Canoe Club International Cup. As for the rest day, it was occupied by frenzied repairs, nursing of wounds or sightseeing according to individual preferences.

Racing resumed with race 5 on Thursday. The wind had eased just a little and with mostly slack water the sea a little less fierce. Lars Guck quickly broke through to a comfortable lead and the race became a procession - Lars Guck, Robin Wood and Steve Clark.

Friday and race 6. The sun failed to break through the mist and low cloud and with the hills a little greener and the cool air a little moister one could imagine oneself sailing off the Scottish Coast or, maybe, the Welsh coast. Either way it inspired Robin Wood enough to maintain his second place while Steve Clark, albeit the heavier man, in these conditions went on to take the honours.

Race 7. With Robin Wood, Steve Clark and Lars Guck all so close on points all now depended on the last race - but with extra pressure on Robin as he had already blown his discard. As the canoes came up to the weather mark there was the familiar sight of Robin Wood out in front, but followed, not by one of the Americans but by a British Canoe - Michael Fenwick sailing his best race of the series. He held his position until the very last tack to the finish when Lars Guck squeezed past to take second place by inches. So a memorable championship finished, strong winds and wild seas to the end.

Peter Wells

(I do have another report for this event which I hope to combine when time permits - Editor)

Place SailNo Helm Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Points
1 GBR246 Robin Wood 0.75 0.75 2 44 2 2 0.75 7.25
2 USA200 Steve Clark 2 2 3 0.75 3 0.75 6 11.5
3 USA201 Lars Guck 3 5 0.75 2 0.75 3 2 11.5
4 USA206 Erich Chase 4 3 33 4 4 4 10 29
5 SWE94 Ola Barthelsson 10 4 69 3 5 13 5 40
6 SWE95 Sven Ahlenius 5 31 9 6 7 6 11 44
7 GER50 Jens Reichert 8 59 6 5 10 5 14 48
8 GBR245 Michael Fenwick 14 6 5 10 14 20 3 52
9 USA132 Chris Converse 21 13 4 9 9 11 9 55
10 USA192 Dave Gilliland 7 7 7 24 6 21 8 56
11 GBR219 Mark Goodchild 18 25 8 15 11 8 15 72
12 GBR211 Simon Allen 15 9 11 13 12 14 25 74
13 SWE96 Jens Osterlund 32 8 59 8 13 9 7 77
14 GER47 David Hullin 9 10 59 14 16 10 21 80
15 SWE93 Olle Bergqvist 6 59 59 7 8 12 4 96
16 AUS3 Peter Hales 13 19 19 16 19 59 19 105
17 GBR252 Chris Powles 12 33 21 17 17 26 17 110
18 GBR227 Tony Robertshaw 23 11 13 12 56 34 22 115
19 USA57 Bill Beaver 27 21 16 11 25 18 26 117
20 GBR234 John Ellis 20 20 12 19 35 16 31 118
21 AUS8 Tim Wilson 19 59 17 22 18 35 13 124
22 USA204 Del Olsen 22 18 18 20 38 28 23 129
23 SWE101 Naklas Westling 16 59 10 44 28 15 20 133
24 GER56 Peter Ullman 33 17 20 21 21 59 35 147
25 USA203 Dick White 24 26 38 34 24 19 55 155
26 AUS5 Seth Dunbar 40 34 14 29 56 31 12 160
27 GER60 Tboias Kunz 39 27 36 33 23 27 16 162
28 CAN28 Norm Rinne 11 29 27 44 30 24 61 165
29 SWE90 Anders Petersson 29 12 59 61 29 22 18 169
30 GBR221 Alan Powell 37 26 26 26 27 32 32 169
31 CAY236 Roger nelson 28 14 40 44 20 29 43 174
32 USA163 John Kells 34 32 32 28 32 25 27 176
33 GBR163 Nick Mockridge 61 35 25 23 31 30 41 185
34 CAN19 Martin Herbert 25 22 22 44 39 44 34 186
35 CAN300 Steve Alvey 61 61 23 27 22 17 38 188
36 CAN20 Robert Lewis 35 25 28 31 33 38 62 190
37 USA177 Mark Huges 61 24 29 18 56 37 29 193
38 GBR250 Partick Marshall 31 23 31 44 40 36 33 194
39 GBR217 Tony Marston 36 28 34 30 46 41 30 199
40 GBR244 Richard Oswald 17 59 35 61 26 50 24 211
41 GER57 Ansgar Lahne 26 59 44 61 24 33 28 214
42 USA208 Rod Mincher 61 59 15 61 15 7 61 218
43 GER52 Peter Hellwig 30 30 30 25 61 61 61 237
44 USA205 Fran DeFaymoreau 42 36 43 36 42 42 40 238
45 USA186 Gary Boell 61 59 39 32 37 30 63 242
46 GBR251 Graham Mackereth 61 37 59 61 49 23 42 271
47 SWE78 Johan Elfstrom 41 59 41 61 41 45 44 271
48 AUS6 Peter Colahan 61 38 46 44 48 46 55 277
49 GBR189 Peter Forthergill 45 59 45 44 43 47 55 279
50 GER65 Jan Beers 44 59 24 61 36 59 61 283
51 GER53 Jorg Walter 61 61 37 61 51 43 37 290
52 USA187 Jack White 47 59 59 35 61 59 39 298
53 GER63 Frank Adler 61 59 42 61 45 40 55 302
54 GER51 Gerd Reimer 48 39 62 62 47 52 61 308
55 GER61 Eckhardt Pagel 46 59 59 61 44 49 55 312
56 SWE92 Lars-Ove 43 59 59 61 61 48 55 325
57 USA160 Tim Prince 61 59 59 61 50 53 45 327
58 AUS1 Eric Dunbar 61 59 47 61 56 59 55 337
59 AUS10 Hayden Virtue 38 59 61 61 61 61 61 339
60 GBR171 Mike Fitzpartick 61 59 59 61 61 51 55 346
61 GER64 Frido Beers 61 59 59 61 61 61 61 362
62 USA129 Bob Blomquist 61 61 61 61 61 61 61 266
63 USA184 Hannah Moore 61 61 61 61 61 61 61 266

Search the IC site for with

This web site is provided by the International Canoe Federation's Sailing Committee

HTML check . CSS check

Communicate with the editor

International Canoe Home Page

IC Home Page

Canoe Events Future

Canoe Events Past

Reports for earlier events, where available, are linked from the ‘medallist’ pages.

Canoe Associations

Canoe Talk

Canoe Action

Canoe Rules

Canoe History

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Alasdair Alston (GBR196) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Now which bit of boat is where in that photo? Paul Hignett considers plumbing the depths of Loch Lomond with racing blown off at the 2013 Europa Cup.. Photo: © Loch Lomond SC"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Mikey Radziejowski, Chris Maas at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Mark Goodchild (GBR 265) - This is how it works. 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Robin Wood at the 2014 Worlds. Flat is fast... © David Thompson

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "A smile for the camera? Between races at the 2013 Europa Cup.. Photo: © Loch Lomond SC"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Chris Maas (USA259) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Canoe Park at Richmond YC at the start of the 2014 Worlds. Photo: © Willian Gutoff

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Peter Ullman and Dave Clark fighting hard for a place at the 2014 Worlds in San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Just about the most dramatic IC photo I've ever seen. Emma Grigull (GER65) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: Peter Ullman at the Leeward Mark at the 2014 Worlds, San Francisco. Photo © Robert Muller

International 10 sq.m. Canoe International 10 sq.m. Canoe

Image: "Ed Bremner (GBR314) at the 2017 Worlds, Pwlhelli. Photo: © Robert Muller"