Press Releases

During World War Two, when the Germans occupied Norway, Norwegian fishermen traversed the inhospitable North Sea between the Shetland Islands and the west coast of Norway carrying agents, saboteurs and arms into Norway and to aid refugees in their escape. These daring operations became known as the “Shetland Bus”. Three Kokatat sponsored paddlers will add their mark to the historic route when they attempt the first kayak crossing of the 388-kilometre open ocean course this week. On July 16th, Patrick Winterton, Mick Berwick and Olly Hicks will launch from Lerwick, Shetland, in commemoration of the seafaring achievements of all those involved in the Shetland Bus operation and raise funds for the Make a Wish Foundation and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). “We don’t need to tell anyone that three nights in a kayak on the North Sea won’t be much fun,” said Winterton. “We hope that our misery will help us help others in need.” The goal for the expedition is to raise over £15,000 for the RNLI and The Make a Wish Foundation. The team is seeking the help from paddlers around the world to support its mission by donating £3.88, one penny per mile, at www.kayaksonshetlandbus.com.
Wilderness Systems and Adventure Technology are proud to support the Ellesmere Expedition. In the spirit of adventure, two men set out on a mission to circumnavigate Ellesmere Island, one of the nearest islands to the North Pole. The expedition began in May and is expected to take the whole of the summer, wrapping up in August. Wilderness Systems kayaks and Adventure Technology paddles will be essential to the kayaking leg of this momentous undertaking, which will be a 500-mile home stretch to Grise Fijord. This is the first ever attempt to circumnavigate Ellesmere Island. The team includesJon Turk (writer and adventurer) and Erik Boomer (photographer and kayaker). Their vast collected experience and varied backgrounds will be critical to the expedition, which will include kayaking, skiing and snow kiting. “Even in summer, with temperatures forecasted to range from the low teens to the low ‘60s [Fahrenheit], the Arctic constantly challenges the most basic human necessity: the ability to survive,” said Jon Turk. “Central to survival is the reliability and performance of our gear. We spent the winter challenging our equipment in brutal Montana conditions. The result is full confidence in our gear. With humility and an unvarying respect for the conditions we’re about to face, we also leave with confidence in our planning and in ourselves.”
Building on the success of last year’s alliance, a newly-inked agreement between Outdoor Retailer andRapid Media aims to produce the most engaging, informative and interactive Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Paddle Zone to date.  The agreement follows a request for proposal (RFP) process that was conducted by Outdoor Retailer earlier this spring. Rapid Media responded with a comprehensive plan to build on the initial groundbreaking treatment accomplished in the 2010 Paddle Zone. The 2011 strategy includes an updated New Product Preview, as well as a packed schedule of athlete and multimedia presentations, making the Paddle Zone a welcoming place for paddlesports retailers, brands, media, athletes and advocates to meet and do business. “Fourteen years ago, with my little upstart whitewater magazine Rapid, I wandered the aisles of Outdoor Retailer completely star struck,” remembers Rapid Media Publisher Scott MacGregor. “To again be working with OR and the industry to showcase and promote paddlesports in the new Paddle Zone at Summer Market 2011 is amazing.” Rapid Media was one of four companies who vied for the opportunity to co-produce the Paddle Zone.
Plattling, Germany – The 2011 International Canoe Federation Freestyle Kayak World Championships could be called Dane’s party, for US teen Dane Jackson who not only was the first and only person to ever compete in all four freestyle disciplines but also took top honors in three of the four and one bronze in the other. The 17-year-old won gold in the Squirt, Canoe (C1) and Kayak (K1) classes and a bronze in Open Canoe (OC1). Asked after his final competition if he was tired at all, Jackson said he was feeling pretty full of energy and pretty happy with his performance. “I felt pretty consistent in K1 and was fired up about the high scores in C1 and definitely didn’t expect such a high score in squirt,” Jackson said. Though not an official part of the ICF-sanctioned event, Jackson also won the stand up paddle downriver race held here yesterday.
Plattling, Germany – Freestyle kayaking is alive and well and growing. Every two years when the World Championships are held, the spotlight shines on the relatively new paddlesports discipline, providing an excellent opportunity to reflect on the progress of the sport. All signs from this year’s event, about to start here this week, are that freestyle is on a healthy trajectory. From internal affairs and infrastructure to outward participation and attention to the sport, freestyle kayaking shows all the signs of maturing on the global stage. This year alone, three new countries are making their debut on the freestyle kayaking global stage as canoe and kayak federations in Slovenia, India and Argentina send their first athletes to this World Championships. In all, some 250 athletes representing 30 countries will participate in the event. ICF Freestyle Kayak Committee Chair Luis Rabaneda of Spain touted a number of other milestones for the sport since the last World Championship in Thun, Switzerland two years ago.
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