Flatwater canoeist Franz Johannsen finished seventh over 10,000 metres at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games. Four years later in Melbourne he finished fifth in both the 1,000 and 10,000 metres events. In the years 1949-59 he won 16 West German national titles. Over 1,000 metres he won in 1950-51, 1953, 1955-56 and 1958-59 and captured the 8,000 metres title in 1954. He also earned the 10,000 metres title in 1950-53, 1955 and 1957-59. In addition, as a member of the Hamburger Kanu Club, he won the German Team Championship in 1951-52, 1954 and 1957. Johannsen was awarded the Silver Bay Leaf and later became head coach of the West German ‘Canadian’ canoeists.