Boating Milestones

Remembering key moments that changed the course of paddling's last four decades

This story featured in our 40th anniversary issue, which debuted in March 2013.

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  • vince

    So incomplete… you missed so much of the whitewater revolution

  • Sean M

    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.

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