Two Canadians Win Top Honors at the 2018 World Paddling Awards

Posted By: Canoe Kayak Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (March 26, 2019) – Canadian Sprint multiple Canoe World Champion Laurence Vincent-Lapointe was honoured with the prestigious  Academy Award and Whitewater Canoe member Claudia Kerckhoff-Van Wjik won the Lifetime Achievement Award presented this week as part of the 2018 World Paddle Awards.

“We are delighted and proud to have both Laurence and Claudia represent the Canadian paddling community so well at the recent World Paddle Awards, said Casey Wade, CEO at Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC). These two women are most deserving of these remarkable achievement awards and on behalf of Canoe Kayak Canada we  congratulate them both.”

Laurence Vincent-Lapointe received more than 3,000 votes, one of the highest public votes in the history of the World Paddle Awards. Laurence has been an outspoken advocate for women’s canoeing to be included in the Olympic Games programme. Laurence was also runner-up for the 2018 Sportswoman of the Year Award. She was nominated for this award in 2015, 2017 as well.

The Academy Awards are made solely at the discretion of the World Paddle Awards Academy with over 40 members, recognising exceptional achievements. So far, only three people have had the honor to receive this award.

“For me to receive the Academy Award after big names in the paddling world like Jessica Fox, Sebastian Brendel and Hank McGregor means a lot to me, said Laurence in an interview when receiving her award. It feels like all the efforts I have been putting in training are being recognize and appreciated.”

2018 Academy Award winner Laurence Vincent Lapointe is congratulated by Dave Frost and Nathalie Vincent.

Posted by World Paddle Awards on Sunday, March 24, 2019

Read more about Laurence’s award here

Claudia Van Wijk has lived and breathed the world of whitewater kayaking since she was born. Growing up on the riverbanks of Ontario, Canada, she was paddling down rapids in the front of a double Klepper-Foldboot by the age of three. With a decorated career as a slalom and wildwater athlete, Claudia’s infectious enthusiasm for the sport has inspired countless others.

Claudia is the first women to have ever received this award and is an empowering role model for female paddlers throughout the world. She is also the second Canadian to be recognized for their lifetime contribution to the paddlesports community as John Edwards previously won the Awards in 2016.

“I am honoured for being recognized for my participation and contribution to the sport of whitewater paddling, said Claudia. I am still happiest when in my kayak, especially when running a challenging section of river. So it’s extremely fulfilling to introduce others to this amazing sport which I’ve been able to do for thousands of people.  A summer day doesn’t go by when I don’t hear: ‘thank you, this was the best day of my life!”

Claudia Kerckhoff-Van Wijk who received the Lifetime Achievement award is congratulated by Nicole Whiting, Bernard Lalonde and James Cartwright.

Posted by World Paddle Awards on Friday, March 22, 2019

Read more about Claudia’s award here.

Six Canadian Nominations for a 2018 World Paddle Awards

The World Paddle Awards (WPA) are held annually, celebrating the most remarkable men and women from the world of paddlesports along with their achievements from the previous calendar year. This year, Canada had a total of six nominations for the 2018 World Paddle Awards. In addition to Vincent-Lapointe’s two nominations and Van Wijk’s one, three other Canadian entries were nominated for awards; 

Canoe sprint athlete Sophia Jensen, who dominated the 2018 Junior Sprint World Championships, winning three gold medals in the C1 200m, C1 500m and C2 500m, was nominated for the 2018 Junior of the Year. 

Ken Whiting, President of Heliconia, who is an award winning video production company that specializes in outdoor productions, was nominated for the 2018 Media Professional of the Year WPA for producing Facing Waves, an exciting and inspiring TV series that showcases spectacular paddling by top athletes in stunning locations around the world.

The Toronto Outer Harbour Warriors Mixed Dragon Boat crew was nominated for the 2018 Team WPA. The Canadian crew founded in 2004 have elevated the competitive landscape in Canadian dragon boat racing with their unrivalled success as a Premier Mixed Crew.

The general public and fans were invited to vote for their favourites online and both the public and the Academy members votes were compiled to determine the winners.

Visit the World Paddles Awards websiteto get more information and make sure to follow @CanoeKayakCANfor more live updates. 

Subscribe to Canoe Kayak Canada’s mailing listto get all news and updates directly to your email. 

About Canoe Kayak Canada

Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is the national governing body for competitive paddling in Canada, one of Canada’s top performing summer sports with a total of 24 Olympic medals, and a leader in the Paralympic movement. Canoe Kayak Canada is a member-based organization that includes an intricate network of clubs as well as provincial, territorial and divisional paddling associations. Elite National Team athletes proudly represent Canada at various competitions around the globe – most notably the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Pan American Games, ICF World Cups as well as Junior, Under 23 and Senior World Championships. Follow Canoe Kayak Canada on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube.


For more information :

Joannie Verret
Communications Coordinator
(418) 271-3785