Long-time Avon Rowing Club member dies

CHAMPION: Left to right: Charlie Flanagan, Warren Blazey and Dave Husband

The Avon Rowing Club community is mourning the death of one of its longest-serving members.

Ray Flanagan, who was known as Charlie, died unexpectedly at home aged 72.

Mr Flanagan had been a member of the club since 1967 and was successful on the water as a competitor and off it as a coach.

He went through the grades and was a member of the club’s winning junior eight in 1971.

Mr Flanagan then went

on to win the champion eight competition at Karapiro in


He rowed competitively until 1991 before turning his attention to coaching.

Close friend and fellow club member, Warren Blazey, said Mr Flanagan helped to make Avon a great rowing club on and off the water.

“He’s been a tireless worker and a life member.”

Mr Blazey said Mr Flanagan was “cheerful and charming” and “always had a good laugh.”

His life was celebrated at a service at St Mary’s Cathedral on Friday.

A post on the Canterbury Rowing Association’s Facebook page said Mr Flanagan led a number of rowing teams to great results.

“He produced many championship results in all classes of boats. A record any coach would be proud of.”

His coaching success at club level led to further success on the international stage.

He coached the New Zealand university eight in 1997 and 1998.

Then in 1999, he coached the New Zealand junior eight in Bulgaria. The team recorded the fastest time ever by a New Zealand junior crew.