This story featured in our 40th anniversary issue, which debuted in March 2013.
Sep 19 2014
Slalom Worlds Day 2: Mann and Echfield/McEwan Advance
Sep 18 2014
Slalom Worlds Make Dramatic Return to U.S.
Sep 17 2014
Looking Back: The ’89 Slalom Worlds
The Derek Jeter Kayak: An Epic 18X Sport
Sep 16 2014
The Party that Saved the Gauley
One Square Mile of Hope Event Sets New World Record
The New Americans: Michal Smolen and Fabien Lefevre
Sep 15 2014
Going Source to Sea on the Missouri-Mississippi
So incomplete… you missed so much of the whitewater revolution
In 2011 Outside magazine ran a tribute article about Henrik Coetzee, the celebrated pioneer who earlier that year was killed while leading an American expedition from the White Nile to the Lualaba river. The editorial harks back to previous interviews with the charismatic Coetzee, who at one point waxes lyrical about a 1989 adventure as told to him by local natives: in short, two Belgian canoeists were killed and eaten by cannibals when paddling down the Congo. “This story is now repeated to any westerner who shows up in that part of the world,” Outside’s respected editor Grayson Schaffer would later say. But here’s the rub. Most anecdotes are often distorted through the passing of time and many mouths. And indeed, in the mid-1990s, the version given to Facing the Congo author Jeffrey Tayler was that the two canoeists had actually been Englishmen, run over by a barge. The real story, however, is that no one perished. The two guys weren’t Belgians, but British, and by all accounts they were the first westerners to ever paddle a native dugout from Kisangani to Bumba, 230 miles. This should definitely go in the history part :-)
If you’d like any more info on the journey, just ask.