Tribute to Andrew Martin


Andrew Martin, one of the Nelson region’s most versatile and successful athletes, died in a multi-car crash last Sunday.


The crash, on State Highway 6 north-east of Nelson, also resulted in Andrew’s daughter Lucy, 18, being helicoptered to Wellington with critical injuries. His former wife Jane was also injured.

Over his long sporting history, Andrew has been a national champion in many kayak and surf lifesaving disciplines. In New Plymouth he established the company Andrew Martin Kayaks, going on to Legend Paddles before setting up Flow Kayaks in Nelson in 2011 with Richard Ussher.

Flow Kayak's co-owner Chris Stagg said “there "has been no one else in the multisport industry that has done or innovated as much as he has in the last 30-odd years".

"Pretty much all of the kayaks and paddles that we paddle with today came from his innovations and designs and that's through persistence over the years."

Andrew also had huge success as a multisport athlete, cyclist and in recent years as a swimmer, winning medals in many national open water swim events.

A dedicated father to his daughters Lucy and Hannah, Andrew was also one of the most modest of men, loved and respected by his training mates and fellow competitors.

As a regular member of the Nelson Triathlon Club’s swim training squad at Nelson’s Riverside pool, Andrew was fierce in training, but always had time for a kind word or a joke. We waved him goodbye after training on Saturday morning never suspecting the tragedy that was to come.

He will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.

By Peter Gibbs Nelson Triathlon Club