The International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHoF) has announced its inductees for the Class of 2019. The selected honorees join an esteemed group of the world’s most accomplished whitewater pioneers, explorers, champions, and advocates.

“We are extremely excited to honor this year’s inductees with our partners at the ACA,” said IWHoF Board of Governors Chair Risa Shimoda. “This year’s voting was extremely close and very competitive, and should make for a special induction ceremony at the PaddleExpo event being held in Nuremberg, Germany on October 5th, 2019.”

As with years past, nominations for consideration were submitted through and vetted through IWHOF Affiliate Organizations. From the list, the IWHoF screening panel developed the ballot of Pioneer and Advocates candidates for electorate voting June 2019. The Explorer and Champion nominations were too few in number to support their ballot categories: those nominees will be moved forward for consideration in 2021.

The following have been elected to the International Whitewater Hall of Fame Class of 2019 and join 46 previously inducted leaders and legends:

Pioneer: Hermann & Christa Kerckhoff (Canada) – As the founders of Canada’s longest-running whitewater instruction school (Madawaska Kanu Centre), Hermann and Christa have introduced thousands of Canadians to the thrills and joys of paddling…. believed to be the first commercial whitewater paddling school in the World. Their visionary leadership also led to the creation of Canada’s first whitewater management plan, working with numerous government agencies and power authorities to guarantee consistent whitewater flows. They also are responsible for the development of the Ottawa River as a world-class whitewater destination. Hermann and his daughter Claudia being the first to kayak the Ottawa rapids in 1974, then starting OWL Rafting in 1981. They also have taken steps to ensure public access to the Ottawa River, a legacy that will benefit future generations of paddlers.

Advocate: Joe Pulliam (USA), an outstanding contributor to whitewater as a manufacturer (Perception, Dagger, Jackson Kayak) and supporter of whitewater river stewardship for four decades; and Chris Hawkesworth (UK), early adventurer, early filmmaker, contributor to the development of standards for helmets and other safety equipment, and advocate for whitewater course development through a fifty-plus year period.

The Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony will take place in Nuremburg, Germany on October 5th during the annual PaddleExpo industry trade show. Attendees will see the debut of a video presentation ceremony honoring the inductees. “We are an International Whitewater Hall of Fame, and we recognize the size and importance of our international membership base,” said IWHoF board member Pamela Dillon. “Holding the ceremony in conjunction with the PaddleExpo festivities will provide an opportunity for international paddlers and other individuals seeking stories of whitewater history and inspiration for the future to witness the induction and meet these revered whitewater heroes.” While the trade show is for industry attendees only, a limited number of induction ceremony tickets are available for the public: contact [email protected] for more information. IWHoF is seeking event sponsors! Sponsorship information is available at

About the International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHOF)
The International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHOF) is a program of the American Canoe Association (ACA) and is designed to recognize and celebrate significant contributions to paddlesports. IWHOF is led by an international Board of Governors who hail from various paddling backgrounds. Nominations are sought and submitted through IWHOF Affiliates around the world and screened by an international panel. Over 100 members of the IWHOF electorate are eligible to cast votes in each category to determine the honorees. Submitted recommendations are good for six years, after which they must be re-submitted. Each year up to two honorees may be chosen in the categories of Pioneer, Explorer, Champion and Advocate. See past inductees and find more information at:


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