Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Remembering Larry Zuk, 1923 - 2015

By Marilyn Vogel

At the opening of the ACA Annual Encampment, Larry Zuk always said, “Remember those who went before you, and the work they did.”

Despite the rumors, Larry did not invent the canoe or sailing a canoe or buy Sugar Island from the Native Americans. Like many canoe sailors he started in flatwater racing, now called “sprint” racing, went on to whitewater racing, paddling trips, and then settled into sailing a canoe. He was a ground camper at Sugar Island all his life; Lake Sebago was his second home for much of his life.

As a young man after his navy service in World War II, he started the Colorado Whitewater Association in 1954. He took time out of his busy schedule to form the Rocky Mountain Division of the ACA. He went on to become Commodore of the ACA from 1975-1976. As a dedicated ACA leader who provided much service to Canoesport, he was the 2012 recipient of the prestigious ACA Legend of Paddling Award. 

Known for wooden boats he designed and built, instruction and racing, he also wrote extensively about the history of racing and canoeing sailing. When you see the popular cruising ACA sail, a Dragonfly canoe, the instructions to build a simple rig to sail a canoe, remember Larry Zuk. He left the ACA and Canoesport a better place.

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