10 Fastest Animals On Earth Fastest Animals In The World Sea Kayaking: 10 Historical Facts You Didn’t Know

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Sea Kayaking: 10 Historical Facts You Didn’t Know

Sea kayaking is fast gaining popularity along with other outdoor adventure sports in the market. It is an enterprise that boasts a very rich history. Here are 10 interesting facts about sea kayaking and kayaking that you may not have known.

1. Eskimos pioneered sea kayaking in the Arctic region over 4,000 years ago. They built the first kayaks to enable quick and easy movement through the water using little effort. Adapting to an environment with more water than land and little vegetation or land animals, the Eskimos used sea kayaks as a means of survival to hunt seals, whales, and seagulls for food, clothing, and shelter. Kayaks were constructed using animal skins sewn onto frames made of wood or whalebone and waterproofed using animal fat.

2. In 1924, kayaking debuted as a demonstration sport at the Paris Olympics. After 12 years, it officially became an Olympic event at the 1936 Berlin Olympics as the first 10-class flat water canoe/kayak event.

3. Australia’s first solo sea kayak voyage was achieved by Paul Caffyn in 1982. He took 360 days to complete the expedition, braving wild surf, cyclones and extreme forces of nature in a journey of 9,420 miles. Caffyn’s venture set the benchmark for contemporary kayak expeditions.

4. It took 332 days for the first woman to circumnavigate Australia in 2009 by sea kayak. Freya Hoffmeister from Germany traveled 13,000 km and completed the voyage some 28 days earlier than Paul Caffyn in 1982.

5. In 1980, Birgit Fischer was the youngest canoe winner in Olympic history at the age of 18. She achieved a total of 12 Olympic medals by the age of 24.

6. Greg Barton was the first US Olympic gold medalist in kayaking at the 1988 games. At the time, he was also the only competitor to receive two gold medals for the event.

7. Australia’s first kayak medal was won by Dennis Green and Wally Brown at the 1956 Melbourne Games. The pair won bronze in the 10,000m (K2) kayak, an event they failed to continue at the subsequent Olympics.

8. Clint Robinson, a surf lifesaver, won Australia’s first kayak gold medal in the K-1 1000m finals at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

9. Kayak slalom events were pioneered at the 1972 Munich Olympics, but were later dropped due to the cost involved in creating man-made courses. It reappeared as the Canoe/Kayak Slalom event at the 1992 Barcelona Games, where Danielle Woodward won Australia’s first medal, taking silver. The event was removed from the games again at the end of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The Slalom Canoe/Kayak event did not return to the Olympics until the 2000 Games in Sydney.

10. German Oscar Speck has long been known as the man who introduced kayaking to Australia when he arrived in 1939. He left Ulm, Germany in 1932 and went on a 7-year sea kayaking expedition aboard a kayak foldable. His journey and arrival in Australia was not widely publicized as Germany was at war with the world at the time. Speck was considered an enemy alien and detained by the Australian police. The story of his journey was kept long enough during the era of world calamities.

More than just a great adventure to see beautiful places on land, sea kayaking has had a history that has shown the courage, passion and endurance of man. Man and the kayak have come a long way, from being a means of survival to a vessel that carried man to unsurpassed achievements and epic conquests.

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