My copy is old and dog-eared, but it still contains information that I have not yet incorporated into my skill set. It is one of the best all around reference texts written about sea kayaking and I don't believe it will ever be surpassed. After all, who today could one-up a textbook with a cartoon-like drawing of a kayaker and a thought bubble that reads, "Thinks: A vertical paddle is vital, otherwise I will damage my wrist, I might even stun a passing friend or - worse still - spill my coffee!" to drive home the important points about a one-hand scull.
Hopefully, in the years to come I will learn more about my favorite sport by re-reading and interpreting what Derek attempted to pass on in his writings. Hopefully, I'll be able to pass this information on to others along my way. I might even learn how to do a one-hand scull to make drinking my morning coffee on the Bay more comfortable.
Derek died October 10th, 2012. He has taught many kayakers the essential skills of kayaking; both by hands on instruction and through his many writings and videos. He was a Senior coach (BCU's highest award) for the British Canoe Union and considered by many to be the Father of Modern Kayaking. I do not know the details. They aren't important. What is important is that another legend has passed into memory.
For more on the life of Derek Hutchinson, see Eric Soares biography of Living Legends.