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In memory of Fraz Champion

Fraz, Full James, NZ. In memory of Fraz Champion who left us on May 21 2005.

Fraz, Postman Falls, Upper Kokapotahi, NZ.

Fraz Champion left us on May 21 2005 whilst paddling on the White River in Newfoundland (read Andy England's email below for some background on the tragic circumstances of the accident).

We met Fraz a bit more than a year ago when paddling on the West Coast in NZ. He was most fun to hang out with, full of energy and had a great sense of humour. All our thoughts are with his girlfriend Rosie, his family and all his friends in Hokitika and elsewhere. We miss you, buddy...

JP Renaud and Jenny Godfrey, May 27 2005

Btw, I have copied two emails by Dave Kwant and Andy England about Fraz below. Also, I have put some photos of (or from) Fraz in the gallery attached to this article. Please contact the editors if you want to provide more pictures. Thanks, JP.

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All I want to say is that he was a fucking good guy, a true champion who always smiled, had a great sense of humour and was the best companion both on and off the river I could ever have dreamed of. He was humble, funny, motivated and motivational. He loved people and he loved fun. I am going to miss him like crazy. It is not often you get boating buddies like Fraz...

Dave Kwant, May 26 2005

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I'm very sorry to send bad news by email, but it's impossible to track everyone down by phone, scattered as you are.

Fraz Champion died kayaking last weekend, on the White River in western Newfoundland. He was attempting the first full descent of some serious upper sections, with my brother Kevin England, Seth Warren and Matt

In one of the most difficult sections, his spray deck imploded and he was last seen trying to roll upstream of a portage. The team chased him but never caught up. He was located by helicopter the following morning.

Fraz had been particularly excited about this trip, even though it meant taking time out from his increasingly happily settled life here in New Zealand with his partner Rosie Pongratz and dog Toa. He will be missed greatly by this community, from the school children and staff he has recently made a big impact on, to the heli-pilots, rafting companies, farmers and everyone else he's worked with - not least his friends and family.

Sorry again to be the bearer of bad news.

Andy England, May 24 2005

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