Male Paddler of the Year Nominee, Ben Marr gives thanks for record high water as multi-nominee, Rafa Ortiz surfs the Ottawa Rivers Ruins WavePhoto: Eric Parker

Voting is now open for the second annual Canoe & Kayak Awards presented by Verizon. A production of Canoe & Kayak magazine, the C&K Awards recognize excellence in the sport of paddling, as voted by the paddling community. The criteria couldn’t be simpler: paddlers vote for the athletes, expeditions, films and causes that most inspire them to seek out their own adventures.

Go to to meet the nominees and cast your vote. This year’s categories include: Male and Female Paddler of the Year, Expedition of the Year and ShredReady Expedition Grant, Photo of the Year presented by Body Glove Footwear, Film Achievement Award, Paddle With Purpose, the Spirit of Adventure Award, and Lifetime Achievement.

Voting continues through June 30 at The awards presentation and celebration takes place on Aug. 1 at Pierpont Place in Salt Lake City, during the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show.

Special thanks to our partners for their support of the second annual Canoe & Kayak Awards: Verizon Wireless, Body Glove Footwear, Outdoor Retailer, Otter Box, Shred Ready, Kru Vodka and NRS.

The Nominating Process
In May, we polled the paddling community via Facebook, asking paddlers to choose nominees for each category. A committee of accomplished paddlers, adventurers, filmmakers and C&K editors reviewed the resulting list and finalized the nominees in each category. We asked the community to base their choices on one criterion: Choose the paddlers, adventures, expeditions, causes, and films that best represent the sport of paddling, based on accomplishments during the year ending June 1, 2013.

The Vote
We’re inviting the paddling community to visit now and to vote for their favorite paddlers, and the most inspiring expeditions, worthiest causes, and best paddling film achievements.


Expedition of the Year and ShredReady Expedition Grant
Awarded to the team that completes the toughest, most committing and historically significant paddling expedition of the year. In an effort to ensure that the furthest reaches of the Earth continue to be explored by boat, the winners of the Expedition of the Year Award will receive the C&K Expedition Grant, a $2,500 award presented by Shred Ready to be applied toward the winning team's next expedition.

• Amazon Express (West Hansen et al)
• Amazon Headwaters Expedition (Rocky Contos et al)
• Rio Santo Domingo Descent (Rush Sturges, Rafa Ortiz, Evan Garcia)
• Trans-Territorial Canoe Expedition (Peter Marshall et al)

Female Paddler of the Year
The most impressive female paddler during the 12 months ending June 1, 2013. It’s about pure paddling skill paired with the desire to go big, go often and inspire others.

• Adriene Levknecht
• Nouria Newman
• Katrina Van Wijk
• Haley Mills
• Martina Wegman
• Lou Urwin
• Nicole Mansfield
• Mariann Saether

Male Paddler of the Year
The most impressive male paddler during the 12 months ending June 1, 2013. It’s about pure paddling skill paired with the desire to go big, go often and inspire others.

• Rush Sturges
• Eric Deguil
• Dane Jackson
• Ben Marr
• Isaac Levinson
• Evan Garcia
• Jordan Poffenberger
• Rafa Ortiz
• Aniol Serrasolses
• Rowan Gloag
• Hunt Jennings

Spirit of Adventure
Awarded to the person or group who best embodies the spirit of adventure in paddling.

• Mark Kalch (Missouri-Mississippi complete solo descent)
• Rocky Contos (Amazon Headwaters Exploration)
• Dave and Amy Freeman (12,000-mile Wilderness Classroom)
• Mary Catterlin and Amy Lukas (Lake Michigan in Dugout Canoe)
• Dominique Liboiron (Saskatchewan to New Orleans)

Paddle with Purpose
Awarded to a philanthropic organization, team or individual that uses paddling to enrich the lives of others.

• First Descents
• Team River Runner
• Heroes on the Water
• Paddle without Pollution
• Voyages of Rediscovery

Film Achievement Award
The filmmaker(s) bringing the most progressive body of visual-storytelling work to the screen, communicating our sport best through the lens of cinematography and editing. Awarded for work that debuts in the 12 months ending June 1, 2013.

• Forge Motion Pictures
• Fish Munga
• Five2Nine Productions
• Amongst It
• Nomade
• Substantial Media House

Photo of the Year presented by Body Glove Footwear
The photo contest will first be hosted on Facebook to find three photographers from our audience. They will then compete with the seven remaining photographers picked by C&K staff as finalists. Gallery prints of the finalists will be displayed at the award show, where attendees will choose the winner.

Lifetime Achievement Award
In recognition of longstanding and significant contributions to the sport of paddling. This is the only committee-selected award not open for voting. The honoree will be announced at the CKAwards Aug. 1