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CHAMPION yachtsman Matt Owen died on Sunday (October 7) after living with terminal gallbladder cancer for about four years.
Mr Owen was well known in the community for his work supporting underprivileged kids and people with disabilities.
He was the CEO of the Canberra Yacht Club for more 16 years and through his work at the club, was instrumental in promoting sailing on the lake but also supporting and developing Buoyed Up with Tackers, an initiative which assists vulnerable at-risk children and helps them build confidence, self-esteem and engage in an active lifestyle.
Mr Owen also had a successful career in sailing.
Along with sailing partner and “best mate” Andrew Reed, he’s a three-time Australian national flying fifteen champion and a two-time national champion in keeled boots.
He won more than 25 ACT championships in sailing and is the current NZ flying fifteen champion.
He has also finished in the top five of the world championships on two occasions.
Friend of Mr Owen, MLA Jeremy Hanson says he was not only a champion sailor but a champion of underprivileged kids in the community through his charity work.
“Despite his own diagnosis Matt advocated for cheaper treatment for others with rare cancer and remained the humble, generous and positive person we all loved,” he says.
“He lived life to the fullest over the last four years defying his prognosis and enjoying the support and love of his amazing wife Karen and his son Will.”
Mr Owen is survived by his wife Karen and son Will, who, Mr Owen said in an interview with “CityNews” in August, gave him great strength.