I will always remember Rod as the gentle man with warm smile in the back seat.
In a double, Rod was a regular feature in the back seat of the TK2 he shared with Bert Laurendet. Together they were the most erratic performers of the time trial series. One month they would be six minutes down, the next nine minutes up.
He always had a story to tell and was quick to laugh at himself. Which was good considering some of the things that happened in boat 167. 167 being the combined aged of her crew Rod and Bert. A notable incident from a few years back… when Bert asked if Rod was ready to go and didn’t get a reply, he assumed Rod had his hearing aids out simply hadn’t heard him. Rod hadn’t replied because he was still on the beach, but Bert paddled off in the Tk2 by himself. A few months later the situation was reversed when Rod set off without Bert, and I can only assume it’s because every good joke needs a punch line.
The conversations we had about his trips to the cardiologist to have his pacemaker adjusted for racing will always make me laugh. He complained that the upper limit on the device was set too low and stopped him racing hard. By his account, the cardiologist turned it up 20bpm and I can confirm that his time trial handicap did improve. Rod loved life at the red line.
He was the self appointed grounds keeper of the Sutherland Shire Canoe Club, tending to the watering of the lawn and pulling of weeds. You can mark Rods absence by the dying grass around the club building.
Farewell old friend…