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In memory of Gil Cawood

  • 12 Sep 22

Gil Cawood, an international representative through the 1960’s, passed away on 28 August 2022 and his life was celebrated by a large turnout of family, friends and rowing family members in the Sir Don Rowlands centre at Lake Karapiro.

Gil was one of life’s treasures who always had time for a chat, had a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile, and he would greet anyone and everyone in the same manner.

In his rowing life he began at the Hamilton Rowing Club and was one of the founding members of the Waikato Rowing Club when a group decided that a separate club was required in the city. At the 1964 New Zealand Championships at Lake Waihola, Gil was in the Waikato eight who won their club’s first championship title.

He was selected in the New Zealand eight who was placed first in three tests against Australia in 1965, and in 1966 was in the eight which contested the final of the eights at the World Championships at Bled, Slovenia, reaching the A final for the very first time.

This was followed in 1967, again in the eight, with the FISA North American championships, winning gold, then victory at the US National Championships, and then a four test series against Australia winning all four.

In 1968 Gil was again in the New Zealand eight at the Olympic Games in Mexico City finishing in fourth place and rounded out his participation at the 1970 World Championship eight at St Catharines, Canada, for a bronze medal.

Having retired from active rowing Gil then contributed to the development of facilities at Lake Karapiro and spent many seasons coaching the Hamilton Boys High school crews, as well as at Fairfield College. His mentoring of these students was evident when a large number of ex pupils were present at his farewell.

Gil Cawood, a fondly remembered member of the rowing community has departed but will not be forgotten. R.I.P.