Last Tuesday afternoon I packed my paddle and headed for the Central Coast to pay my respects and offer support to the family of Wayne Langmaid. We were gathered to acknowledge the passing of a multi-talented and passionate man who had earned the friendship and respect of so many people.
His loving family gave eulogies with a courage and intensity that were reminiscent of Wayne's finest qualities. His inspiration was so obvious in their words.
Wayne was a pioneering figure in the SeaKayaking community. He was a forceful and strident advocate for safety, and the standards that he set for himself and his business became benchmarks for the paddling community. He beleived that fledgling adventurers deserved a challenging but fear free learning environment. He insisted that safe and supportive guidance was a right rather than an option and reminded all aspiring instructors of their moral and legal obligations to these principles.
He shared these values with all concerned and was generous with his time and expertise. When I headed a review of safety and training proceedures as president of the New South Wales Sea Kayak Club, Wayne gave generously of his time and expertise. His positive influence over this organisation and many other kayaking groups, including my own training organisation, will live on.