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RIP Maz – gone too early, the world of rafting is poorer without you

The world of rafting reals in shock at the sudden loss of well renown rafter, Andrew Mazurkiewicz, better known to most as Maz.

Maz passed away in Cairns Base Hospital on Sunday 8th of April 2018, failing to recover consciousness after he was taken off life support.

“The shock of Maz’s sudden acute illness and rapid deterioration from the man whom we knew as our strong, smart, articulate, progressive leader to one that has been taken from us and is still so hard to comprehend.” – Australian Rafting Federation Facebook page

Maz was a passionate and skilled riverman, the first guide to commercially “paddle” the mighty Zambezi. He was a Psychology graduate and then spent over a quarter of a century gaining global rafting experience, having initially trained and worked on the Tully, site for the IRF’s 2019 WRC. He then spent numerous years on rivers like the Zambezi, Peru’s Apurimac, Norway’s Sjoa and Italy’s Noce and Dora Baltea Rivers. He represented Zambia at World Championships as well as representing Australia in regional events.  He also enjoyed languages and cultures and was fluent in Italian and conversant in Spanish, French and Polish.

“Rafting was Andrew’s life. His love of paddling started early at around age 10, when we were visiting friends who live on a canal at the gold Coast, little bro grabbed a kayak and paddled towards the seaway like a pro, leaving his shocked family on the bank shouting at him to return or he’d be in ‘real’ trouble. Needless to say he ignored us and kept paddling, no doubt something a lot of you have already experienced with Maz. He returned some time later, exhilaration all over his face, the journey had begun! We are glad he has found such wonderful supportive friends in the rafting community and having met some of you has made the burden so much easier to endure, many thanks and regards from the Mazurkiewicz Family.”

Representing Australia at a raft race in India

As Australian Rafting Federation President Maz has been an integral part of the upcoming Pre-Worlds next month on the Tully, as well as the World Rafting Champs next year. Many from around the world were looking forward to catching up with him on his home river. His will be deeply missed.

Maz interviews his crew: North Johnstone River 1993

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