It is with great sadness that I have to report that Andrew Martin has died following a car crash. Sarah Swallow has graciously written the following about Andrew.
Andrew Martin, our lovely friend from New Zealand was very sadly killed in a car accident on Sunday 28th September 2020 driving home to Nelson in New Zealand. He had just bought his daughter Lucy a car and she was driving it home with Andrew in the passenger seat. Evidently they were going around a bend and a car came around the corner on their side of the road and it just ploughed into them. Jane was driving in the car behind and Lucy’s car and her car were pushed into a ditch along with another car behind them both. Andrew died at the scene. Lucy is seriously injured and is in hospital. Amazingly Jane only received minor injuries.
Andrew first came over to Europe in 1984 and stayed with Melvin and I in Chester. He was already an experienced wild water paddler but was new to international competition. He lived with us for around 18 months in Chester and during that time completed a full UK season (1984 to 5) and became UK National K1 Champion. He entered the World Championships in 1985 and finished 33rd. However he improved quickly and in 1986 he finished 4th in Seo D’Urgell at the Europa Cup Final. He came over to Europe at regular intervals over the following 10 years often staying with us in Chester and I have found a few of his results. He was 8th in a World Cup in 1991 in Ramingstein and he came 13th in the Worlds in Mezzana in Italy. However his best results were obtained in 1995 when the World Wild Water Champs were held in Bala. Andrew stayed with us again in Chester and trained as much as he could on the course and it paid off for him when he finished 7th in the individual event and he was joined by Aaron Cox and Phil Dooney and they won the team event for New Zealand, a great achievement. He came back to Europe the following year and finished 15th at Landeck in Austria at the World Champs.
Andrew has lived for the last 20 years or more in Nelson on South Island in New Zealand where he lived with his wife Jane. He and Jane have two daughters Hannah and Lucy.
Andrew was also very well known for making his Legend paddles. They were really outstanding paddles, very well constructed and very popular. Many paddlers who paddled through the 1980’s and 1990’s will have used Legend paddles.
Andrew was a lovely guy and was very easy to live with. I think the photo of Andrew in the car is how I will remember him, looking smiling and relaxed. He had a lot of canoeing friends throughout the world, many of whom had been out to New Zealand to stay with him. He will be very sadly missed by everyone.
New Zealand publication Stuff has published an article on Andrew highlighting his major impact on the world of kayak paddling both in New Zealand and around the world.
A facility has been set up to send online tributes to Andrew.