Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Flotilla, cruise honour Starkell

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FRIENDS, family and fans of Winnipeg paddler Don Starkell are holding two events this weekend to commemorate the late adventurer.

Starkell, author of Paddle to the Amazon and Paddle to the Arctic, died of cancer in January at 79.

One of the world's foremost distance paddlers, his voyages included trips with his sons from Winnipeg to Brazil in a canoe, attempting a kayak crossing of the Northwest Passage and taking part in Manitoba's winning entry in a cross-country canoe race during Canada's 1967 centennial year.

On Saturday, a flotilla of canoes and kayaks are to paddle down the Red River from The Forks to Kildonan Park to honour Starkell's memory.

Organizers are also planning a river cruise on the MS Paddlewheel Queen on Sunday.

Both events are free and open to the public.

"We want to commemorate Don's life and adventures, his tenacity and his accomplishments," said Mark Ojah, one of the organizers.

The Saturday flotilla plans to leave The Forks at 10 a.m. and paddle downstream 11 kilometres to the park. Starkell's sons, Jeff and Dana, will paddle in a replica of Orellana, the canoe they used on their Amazon trip in 1980-82.

The Sunday cruise is to leave the Redwood Dock at 1 p.m., with public boarding beginning at 12:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 13, 2012 A8

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