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October 19, 2004

Sharky is one of my favorite people. He is from Canada,
and was part of the "keener" program at Wilderness Tours. The
Keener program is a coached, chaperoned, teen kayaking program on the
Ottawa River that has produced many a happy kid and many champion kayakers.
While at the Keener program, back in 1995, I arrived with my Adventure
Schools trip from Washington, DC and needed a helper. Sharky, then 15
years old, was available and had the personality to work with my students.
He helped me all 6 days on that trip, and quickly became a celebrity among
our group. Ask any of the students on that trip today about Sharky and
they all have fond memories and funny stories.

Every year I came up to the Ottawa and each year Sharky
was at Wilderness Tours and moving up the ranks. He also made the Canadian
Squirt team and was competitive in the men’s pro class in freestyle. Sharky
graduated from the Keener program and became a full fledged kayak instructor
for Wilderness Tours Kayak School, now renamed, Ottawa Kayak School (

Sharky became the co-manager of Ottawa Kayak School
with James Roddick and the school has continued to draw an international
client base each year on the Ottawa. Meanwhile, Sharky set his eyes on
becoming an engineer and just when I found out he was an engineering student,
he announced to me this summer that he has now graduated. I was both happy
for him and sad, worrying that he would become an engineer instead of
using his incredible skills as and instructor and kayak school manager.
This summer, the IFC voted to make the world championships for freestyle
every year, and better yet, voted to make Ottawa Kayak School/Wilderness
Tours the host of the 2006 World Freestyle Championships. Sharky is working
full time on the event, along with the kayak school. All I can promise
you is that Team Jackson Kayak Team member, Sharky, with the help of my
great friend, Joe Kowalski (owner of Wilderness Tours and Ottawa Kayak
School) will not let the world down in 2006, just as they have make the
kayaking world better with their awesome kayak school, lead by Sharky.

Here Sharky is shown announcing for the Canada Cup/Canadian
Team Trials/Ottawa Rodeo event on Labour Day (Canadian Spelling)

🙂 EJ


Sharky announcing