Canoeing SA mourns loss of Alick Rennie
Canoeists around the world mourned the tragic death of Olympian, international slalom paddler and former president of Canoeing South Africa, Alick Rennie, who died in an light aircraft crash on Wednesday.
FILE PICTURE: General view of a large crowd watching the padddlers as they paddle through Mission Rapid during day 1 of The Unlimited Duzi 2013 from Camps Drift to Duzi Bridge on February 14, 2013 in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Picture: Anthony Grote / Gallo Images
He was 54.
A hugely popular figure in river racing, slalom and wild water circles, Rennie represented South Africa at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 as part of the team assembled for the nation’s readmission to the Olympic fold, and was a multiple national slalom and wild water champion, as well as being a particularly skilled marathoner in rough water.
He was a tireless administrator and ran the discipline of slalom racing at a provincial level before assuming the role of president of Canoeing South Africa, where his open and accessible style of administration won him the respect of the paddling community in South Africa.
“We are devastated to hear of the passing of a great athlete, a highly respected administrator and a remarkable, selfless individual. The canoeing community is significantly poorer for this untimely loss,” said Canoeing South Africa’s president Christo Horn.
Rennie, who was widely respected as an extremely accomplished pilot and was chief flying instructor at the Pietermaritzburg Aero Club, was flying back to his farm in Underberg with trainee pilot Dave Grosvenor, when they were forced to make an emergency landing in sugar cane around Richmond that claimed their lives.
He leaves his wife Caron and year-old daughter Alison, as well as children Katy and Iain from his previous marriage.