1 an extremely famous or notorious person, esp. in a particular field: the man was a living legend | a Wall Street legend.
very well known: his speed and ferocity in attack were legend.
ORIGIN Middle English: from Old French legende, from medieval Latin legenda ‘things to be read,’ from Latin legere ‘read.’
Derek Hutchinson (1933-2012)
The sea kayaking community, and all of us paddlers as a whole lost a true legend yesterday, Derek Hutchinson. Considered by most to be the “father of modern sea kayaking”. And though I never did meet the man, he was probably most responsible for the push that sent me on my way as I launched myself into my paddling adventure 14 years ago.
My first kayak was a Wilderness Systems Tchaika, one that I bought after seeing a show on PBS about kayaking the “Little Rivers” of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. I was enamored by the thought of being able to glide in such a sleek craft among the shallows of the rivers in Pine Forests so close to where I was living at the time. I went down to the local kayak shop and purchased the Tchaika, a good beginners boat that was affordable and would get me on the water. It didn’t take long, I knew on the first paddle I loved the sport and began to pour myself into books and magazines learning as much as possible. Derek’s book Derek C. Hutchinson’s Guide to Sea Kayaking was one of those first books I read, and was an introduction to one of the greats in my new found love. It was only months when I was already looking at purchasing another Sea Kayak, a “real sea kayak”, the kayak that would grow with me, the kayak that would take me to the next level and beyond. That kayak was the Current Designs Slipstream, a kayak designed by Derek.
At the time British designed kayaks were a rarity here on the shores of the States. P&H, Valley and NDK were about it. They were hard to find and very expensive. Most North American boats were typically larger, higher volume, wider beamed and designed for lake and quiet water paddling. I was interested in Coastal paddling and wanted a slim, lively, maneuverable boat that could handle the rough stuff yet be quick on long flat water tours. Enter the Slipstream, manufactured by Current Designs, a North American company, the kayak was widely available, very favorably reviewed, and quite a bit less expensive than it’s British counter parts at the time. The Slipstream was the answer, it was all of what I was looking for and more.
Although the Slipstream was not my first kayak, it along with Derek’s book was responsible for my formative years and beyond. I grew into the boat, I grew with the boat. The boat was tough at first, it forced me to learn, to push myself, but as I did it opened up to me a world that was wide and wonderful. I am a better paddler because of the Slipstream and in part Derek’s book. I can thank Derek for 14 years of priceless adventures and experiences that may not have occurred if not for the brilliant design and opportunity that the Slipstream gave me back in 1998.
Thank you Derek and I wish you well as you launch on your next adventure.
Some links from other sites that shared experiences and thoughts about Derek: