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ember RCC
RIP - George Flint : founder member RCC




It is with great sadness that I have to report to the club the death of my close friend and former kayak coach, George Flint. As the club will know (although the clubs published history is somewhat incorrect in the early history) George played a major part in the club's racing development and it was he, personally, who was responsible for the three Jigwood racing kayaks the club 'scrounged' following the 1948 Olympics. George looked after them like a swan with its cygnets, and nearly had a blue fit when one was cut in half by an out-of-control motor cruiser crashing against the club ramp.

It was through George's personal efforts at that time that the racing section developed and as it did so my close personal friendship with George, which was to last through the past fifty seven years, grew alongside it.

George was more than simply an enthusiast. He was a 'doer'. As a coach he was strict, and although only some five feet six, had a voice that echoed across the river through his megaphone as he rode an ancient bicycle along the towpath. We won our first race less than a year after the Olympics, and as a result of that a few of the older racing canoeinsts from other longer established clubs retired from competition.

George was British Team Manager in the 1950 World Championships in Denmark, and here too gave an example of how he viewed team members. Our boats were still the Olympic Jigwoods, and George, unknown to me, felt that my boat was not competitive with those of the Scandinavian countries. Two days before the races began, George called me to the ramp where the canoes were stored, and presented me with a Struer he had purchased

George died a fortnight ago, at the age of eighty. He had retired to Canada a few years ago and had a most attractive house on the shores of Cranberry Lake just a few miles from the Algonquin National park some three hours north east of Toronto. It had become his habit (condemned by almost everyone who knew him) of taking a late night sauna followed by a swim in the lake. He had telephoned me the previous day and was still hoping to pursuade me to join him on a sailing boat in the Carribean this coming winter. We don't know exactly what happened, but George's body was found the next day near a pontoon moored some thirty five yards from his jetty. He had a bruise on his forehead and may have slipped whilst on the pontoon. The Coroner's verdict was accidental death due to drowning.

If any of the club members wish to send condolences to his family, his son Colin Flint's address is: 29 Glenwood Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6P 3CF, Canada.

Best wishes to you all,

Bob Forrest-Webb (known by the club as Bob Webb).

Landsdowne Boathouse
81-83 Petersham Road
Richmond upon Thames
Surrey TW10 6UT
United Kingdom

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