Remember Don Starkell? The incredible Canadian long-distance paddler who appears in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest canoe trip ever taken, a three-year, 12,181 mile voyage from Winnepeg to Belem, Brazil, died earlier this year.
Fans are now planning to erect a statue of the canoeist on a riverfront location to commemorate his epic achievements. The most likely location is at The Forks, an historic site and meeting place in Winnepeg, near where Starkell set out on his two-year Amazon voyage and at the confluence of the Assiniboine River and the Red River.
Starkell paddled more than 75,000 miles before he passed away in January at the age of 79.
As well as his canoe trip to the Amazon in 1980-2, which he undertook with his sons Dana and Jeff, he carried out a 3,000 mile race from Rocky Mountain House to Montreal as part of Canada’s centennial celebrations in 1967. Another trip, a 3,500 mile voyage into the Arctic Circle was documented in his book, Paddle to the Arctic.
Researcher Mark Ojah is driving efforts to erect a life-sized statue depiction of Starkell.
Supporters include the Starkell’s family and Paddle to the Amazon documentary-maker Chris Forde.