We've lost a great friend.  Gary Kingham died Sunday, January 22nd after his kayak capsized near the Sycamore Access on the Des Moines River. 

The news of Gary's death came as a shock to everyone in the paddling community.  Gary was known and respected by many.  He'll be greatly missed and
fondly remembered.

Kingham enjoys scenery along the way to a win

Ogden Reporter (www.ogdenreporter.com)

Kayaker Gary Kingham paddles his way to another win.
Photo by Robert Hirschfield

May 16, 2015 marked the 58th running of the Des Plaines River Canoe and Kayak Marathon in Illinois. Historically, this part of Chicagoland was woods and open space. Back then the race had a “Northwoods” feel that attracted over 1,000 canoes. This year’s attendance was over 400 canoes and kayaks.

One of those competing was Ogden’s Gary Kingham. Racing in the under 18’ sea kayak class, Kingham dominated the field, placing first, 15 minutes ahead of the next competitor.

“The most amazing thing over this 18.5 mile run was the scenery, being half the width of the Des Moines River with very low banks, good parts of it dark and treecovered,” noted Kingham. “I expected to see “Yoda” watching me go by! My secret to success on this course is reading and riding the current. When you can do that, you’ll fly along at seven to eight miles per hour!”

Kingham’s prior race this year was March 22 on Perche Creek in Columbia, MO where he took a silver medal over the ninemile course.

Gary Kingham competes at the World Championship

Ogden Reporter

Gary Kingham finishes in the top 10.
Photo provided

On Sept. 24, athletes from around the world met at the Olympic Training Center and Race Course for the 2014 Kayak World Championship. The event took place at the ultra modern world class U.S. Kayak & Canoe Olympic training site on the Oklahoma River
at Oklahoma City.

Men and women athletes from across the U.S. train and even live there year round perfecting their sport in kayaks, racing canoes and
rowing shells.

“It’s all quite a spectacle to behold,” says kayak competitor Gary Kingham of Ogden.

Kingham was offered the opportunity to compete for the U.S. in August after a successful season of four out of five victories, including setting the course record in a tandem kayak at the 72 mile South Dakota Kayak Challenge and once again a gold medal at the Iowa

Gary Kingham is silver medalist at nat’l. championship

Ogden Reporter

Kingham’s new ocean racing Surfski kayak was developed in Australia as a lifesaving vessel, then later modified for racing. The 18’ long 21” wide carbon/kevlar/fiberglass body is designed to cut through the ocean waves.

Photo provided

By Kathy Pierce

Newago, MI hosted the USCA National Canoe & Kayak Championships on the Muskegon River Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 8-11.  Competitors were from 16 foreign countries and 38 states. The course included four miles on Croton Lake a portage over a dam and re-entering Muskegon River for eight winding miles of downriver rocks and rapids.

Kingham led his Sea Kayak division from the start until the last half mile when a rock damaged his rudder, slowing progress just enough to be overtaken at the finish by 12 seconds.

“I saw this guy coming up on me and we raced ‘boat-to-boat’,” related Kingham. “I tried to sprint to the finish but just couldn’t get any more speed out of the boat. My GPS was reading seven to eight miles per hours. I thought maybe I was tapped out. After we finished and lifted the boat out I saw the bent rudder and thought ‘oh boy.’ Well there is always next year.”

The following weekend at the nine-mile Great Iowa River Race in Iowa City, Kingham won gold in the Sea Kayak division.



02/07/2017 6:30am

I offer you my thoughts, prayers and well-wishes during this dark time in your life. I hope that our Lord brings you much-needed peace. I know he is already happy wherever he is. I will pray for his soul. Someday you will meet him again in heaven.

02/09/2017 7:40am

It's a huge loss for you. I am very sorry. It's hard to read this post.

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