‘Paddle out’ to honour champion


Above: Susan Quick; Top: Quick was the female winner at the 2015 Avon Descent. |Picture: John O’Sullivan
‘Paddle out’ to honour champion
Above: Susan Quick; Top: Quick was the female winner at the 2015 Avon Descent. |Picture: John O’Sullivan

The champion kayaker (48) died at the Blackwood River outside Bridgetown, with her body discovered on Australia Day after a two-day search by WA Police, State Emergency Services and the local bushfire brigade.

She was the female winner of last year’s Avon Descent and took out the 2015 Wildwater State Champion title.

Ms Quick, a veterinary nurse at Kingsley Veterinary Hospital, leaves behind sons Liam and Simon, and partner Daryl Long.

In a statement, her family thanked volunteers for their efforts and said she was a “loving mother, sister and daughter from a large, loving family”.

Jane Liddle, vice-president of the Ascot Kayak Club, of which Ms Quick was a member since 2007, said her death was tragic and very sad.

“We heard on Sunday there had been an accident and once photos came out, we recognised the boat; it’s like being familiar with someone’s car,” she said.

“The river’s in flood, so it’s quite an exciting time to go down there and get in some white water. She was one of the most experienced white water paddlers in the state; unfortunately with extreme sports, accidents happen.”

Ms Liddle said the “quiet, private, humble and lovely” Ms Quick was an animal lover, wonderful mother and also enjoyed mountain biking, running and swimming. She was studying massage therapy, and enjoyed ocean, marathon and white water paddling.

“Most people just specialise in one area, but she embraced the whole paddling scene,” Ms Liddle said.

“There aren’t a lot of women paddlers and she was a real inspiration to most of us; she was often the benchmark, a lot of us wanted to paddle like her because of her bravery, her commitment. She really put in a 100 per cent.”

Wildwater WA chairman John O’Sullivan said the paddling community was devastated to hear about the death of Ms Quick, who had an “amazing smile and thirst for adventure and competition”.

The paddle out will be held on the Swan River from Ascot Kayak Club, Wednesday, February 3, at 6pm, followed by a sausage sizzle. Family, friends or people from the paddling community are invited to pay their respects in boats or from the shore.