In collaboration with Sportscene
Nick Harding | London - From time to time a legend may be unintentionally forgotten if they lead a humble existence out of the lime-light post-paddling career or if their successes were not documented.
|Charles Evans at the Liffey Descent (IRL), in the mid '60s|
Dr Charles Evans was a World Champion long-distance paddler and member of the Royal Canoe Club. A modest Briton, he currently lives in Cornwall and has no idea about this article! His illustrious career spanned 7 years, 1963-1970, representing Britain. Highlights, below, included winning 8 National Championships.
1965 – * National Champion: Spain
1966 – * National Champion: Spain
1968 – * National Champion: Britain, Spain * Captain: British team
1969 – * National Champion: Britain, Spain * Captain: British team
1970 – * National Champion: Britain, Denmark * Captain: British team
His reputation took off in Spain, his dominance came from winning one race the most, the Sella, where he took three K1 victories. Below is the featured piece of news at the ABC Newspaper at that time.
From the Spanish Federation's 1970 Annual (image below), SPORTSCENE contributor Gonzalo Melero found that Evans won a silver medal at the Cares-Deva descent, a race sadly not held for the last few years. The competition finish line was only 50 metres away from Gonzalo's family home, he was yet to be born by 4 years though! 'Canoeing is like a small village, everybody is connected;' he very aptly quotes.
Even now relatives of those paddlers continue to be successful. Willem Van Riet (RSA) initiated the first Berg River Canoe Marathon in 1962 and one of his sons Ernest won a silver medal at the Masters K1 35-39 in September this year at the Marathon World Championships in Rome.
After paddling professionally, Charles then served in the British Royal Navy from 1963-2004 representing them at sequential Interservice Championships, achievements unrecorded. The trail stops there for the time being. Sadly Charles' newspaper cuttings and his medals were stolen some years back.
Therefore if any readers have any further information about his paddling career on the world stage or in the armed forces, please contact SPORTSCENE.