Harry Mahon, 1942 - 2001.

Harry was one of the most remarkable rowing coaches and individuals.
His influence on the world of our sport cannot be overestimated, and he will be sorely missed.
The Rowing Service offers its sympathy to his family and friends, and is proud to be amongst the latter.

May the rowing community continue its endless quest for perfection, in memory and honour of Harry Mahon

The Rowing Service

To put your own message here, use the online posting form. Messages are collected and published regularly, most recent at the top. The page can still be updated if anyone would like to send more messages, it is a very unusual tribute to a very special man. Feel free to write.

Nigel Toy, Vancouver, Canada, Thursday July 12th, 16:58
A Tribute to HARRY MAHON
I have had the good fortune to have known Harry Mahon for nearly 40 years. We first met as teacher trainees, identifying a shared indifference to the tutors imposed on us! Our early lives seemed inextricably bound, teaching, flatting & playing sports together,as well as deriving so much pleasure from coaching, socializing & seeing the funny side of life. Harry was an immediate success as a coach & his 1st National Secondary School Rowing title was acquired in 1966.
Over subsequent years we were to travel & roam many parts of the world, often with no money & nowhere to sleep. Ontario became our eventual destination & it was from there Harry began to push his passion for rowing to new bounds. As they say, the rest is history.
In all the inevitable twists & turns that lives invariably take we never seemed far apart. He came to know my wife Carolyn as a great friend & was a virtual uncle to our children, Kelley & Neil. I have lost count of the hundreds of evenings we ate, talked & supped. Our last meeting at Easter this year seemed so much like the others.
Harry Mahon was the consumate friend; not just to me ,but also countless of others. He valued friendship & worked at it harder than most of us to strengthen the bonds. If I ever let my pursuits take precedence over all else, there was Harry's gentle presence to remind me that fellowship is more important than career building.
I am constantly drawn to analyze what make some people great. I truly believe it is the ordinary person who sets out to accomplish his very best in all things. Harry was a wonderful ordinary person; he had an urgency to his Coach of Rowing that belied his casual disposition. What was to make him unique & a colossus in the sport was simply that he coached everybody as if they were destined to become Olympic Champions. The world today fawns over celebrities, but it is the genuine person with a passion who changes our lives. Harry Mahon did that.
I will cherish from Harry so many intimate & personal memories. At the forefront are his incredible humour, compassion & loyalty. The cancer only seemed to lift those qualities in him. I know his courage staggered us all. The will to fight on, never feeling sorry for himself & finding so much time for others .... that will be his profound legacy.
Harry Maintained an ongoing respect for Rita, he adored his sisters & found a truly remarkably love with Sarah. On behalf of my family, we offer heartfelt sympathy to them but with the knowledge that you have shared part of your life with an extraordinary person. So many have mourned his passing with a great reverence as I also do.
God Bless.
Nigel Toy. Portions of this tribute were read out at Harry's memorial service at Radley College.

Mike Thompson, St. Catharine's Ontario, Canada, Thursday June 28th, 12:03
Hi Harry! We're just back from the Henley Women's Regatta. I know it's late, but I wanted to reserve this tribute for when we returned. As a former coach of our club, men and women from that time have gone on to personal glory under your tutelage, and, in turn, as coaches, have directed and inspired many of the next generation in like fashion. I had the opportunity to know you from the perspective of athlete and coach. I continue to coach using your methods, although several of the tributes recorded here have opened my eyes to new 'Harry-isms'!
In one ninety-minute training session, I learned so much by just listening to you quietly coach several athletes under my care on a cold, blustery November afternoon in St. Catharines. Your first words to each sculler were :"What do you feel?" Each of the three junior girls immediately relaxed and opened up to you: it was extraordinary! We were joined in the coach boat by Kathy Lichty Boyes, who couldn't pass up the opportunity to ride along with you one more time, even in the foul weather. I remember asking Kathy, who had been coached by you in her days as member of the National Team, if she heard anything new in your coaching: "No, pretty much the same thing as before", was her reply. The pursuit of perfection never goes out of style...
Harry, when we determined we would send a crew from our club to England to race at the Henley Women's Regatta, and coupled with the suggestion on this tribute page that perhaps something could be done at the HWR in tribute to you, we thought that a silent tribute would be most appropriate and best -- most in keeping with the person that is Harry. Our racing uniforms had 'Harry' included on the left strap, close to the heart. That's where you have been for so many of us, and where you'll be for generations of rowers far after we have joined you
Our trip was successful both on and off the water. We had outstanding racing versus excellent crews from England. Thanks for the privilege of knowing you, Harry. "Now, Now, Now!"

Matt Mannington, Monday June 25th 10:39
When growing up with rowing and sport in my school years Harry was always some one I looked up to, NZ was very lucky.

Tim Richardson, Tauranga, New Zealand, Sunday June 24th, 01:58

Saturday, 23 July 2001, 2.00 pm, Waikato Rowing Club, Hamilton, New Zealand.
This was Harry's party at his spiritual rowing home. Everyone was there - Harry's sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, a team of rowing folk from Wanganui where Harry started in rowing, neighbours and friends, rowing officials past and present, coaching colleagues, and especially athletes - from his own Waikato Rowing Club and from generations of national junior, Senior B and elite teams, in many cases there with their youngsters. And proudly amongst us were Harry's beloved Sarah and her Dad out from the UK.
Warren Cole, President of Waikato Rowing Club, said this was Harry's party. And so it was, with those pockets not so deep or Harry's arms grown a little longer!! This was Harry's "shout", the party he had himself organised in a series of telephone calls just a few short weeks ago. As had been his command, speeches were few, brief, and not sad. There was laughter as Harry had wished. This was to be a celebration of Harry's life and his tremendous achievement in helping so many fellow human beings. While most have been rowing athletes, or perhaps coaches like myself, Harry's talent lay beyond his sport, for he helped others too to manage their lives, set their goals, and embark on an expedition of achievement - and hopefully not cutting as fine as Harry did the check-in for those international air flights!
Niece Rebecca, long time friend and confidante (and a past New Zealand cricket representative) John Parker and yours truly, Tim Richardson, spoke within their allotted framework, of the quiet achiever, of the eccentricities, and of the lovable and loving qualities of a quite remarkable man. The success of the Radley crews at the British school nationals after his death did not go unnoticed as an example of the legacy Harry left the rowing community - and which we must not too quickly forget. Others have in their many tributes much more eloquently than I spoken of Harry's achievements in coaching rowing. Much more will inevitably be spoken of him in years to come. Harry and I both shared in the incredibly good fortune of coming under the influence of the late W H (Bill) Eaddy ONZM, whose simple explanation of the rowing stroke and the connection between water, boat and body in a quick, explosive movement, gave both of us the base from which to work in the quest for the faster boat. Harry's willingness to innovate, and his confidence in his understanding of bio-machanics and boat dynamics became the hallmark of the man so many in rowing admire and respect.
Some of us in New Zealand regret the inadequate use in later times made of Harry's talents. But even when the reign of Harry as chief coach, and of his two lieutenants, Sam Le Compte and Paul Westbury was coming to an end, the fleet of Rowing New Zealand vehicles outside my Tauranga home signalled not the makings of a coup d'etat in New Zealand rowing, but a meeting of friends in rowing, discussing strategies and re-affirming their mutual respect and support, as the brothers in rowing we all were. I guess that places Harry in the very midst of the international rowing family. In triumph and adversity, we share, albeit with our different emotional responses and our various personality traits. In it all we share one passion - Harry's passion - rowing and the perfect rowing stroke.
Yesterday was Harry's party, Harry's "shout" or "round". We celebrated the life of a remarkable human being and a rowing coach with out technical peer. We had a "bloody good time" and many a good laugh. Thanks, Harry.

John O'Loghlen, London, Wednesday June 20th, 20:23
The tributes keep flowing and the mere mortals down here keep reflecting in the afterglow you leave behind.
On the ergometer today I can not suppress the echoes of your insights and chattery coaching commentary: "let the machine come to you".
Superb memories and a lifelong chance for us all to apply what we learnt day in and day out.

Jim Wood, Wednesday June 20th, 11:11
Thankyou Harry for all the support and help for Charlie and Rosie.
Thankyou for all the kind words of support when things did not seem to be going our way. Thankyou for the long phone calls and the really positive approach to life. We will still talk to you in our heads. Jim Wood.

Leighton Smith, Invercargill Rowing Club, Invercargill, New Zealand, Tuesday June 19th, 01:41
When Harry Met The Invercargill Rowing Club:
1984 I think from my rusty memory, give or take a year. Mr Harry Mahon visited our club. A crew of 8 good keen blokes took to the water down at Bluff on a weekend morning. We all understood the expected protocol of the coaching session i.e. Mr Mahon would offer his advice to our coach who in turn would tell us what to do. We were all so nervous that Mr Harry Mahon was actually going to offer his coaching expertise to our coach from observing us that we certainly couldn't row with correct technique because we were probably just about tearing our wrists off the oar handle from sheer nervousness! Well what actually happened was so much like Harry Mahon it makes me chuckle now days. Instead of the normal coaching protocol that we all expected, Harry individually offered his time to all 8 of us in the boat that day. It was a day I have never ever forgotten. I couldn't believe his generosity to the club. This was the Harry Mahon our club will always remember and the Harry Mahon who our club and myself will continue to be greatly inspired by always.

Megs Mackintosh, London, Wednesday June 13th, 09:04
Harry we are all better having known you.
Thanks for your wisdom and your belief in what is possible.
You were an inspiration to us and we will not forget you.
Megs and Alastair Mackintosh.

Richard Newey, Wednesday June 13th, 08:11
Spending time in sarnen I saw harry leave at 5 in the morning to coach clubs , arrive home at 10 , spend time with e-mails and then be up at 6.30 and off to the lake the entire day, rubbing his eyes with ehaustion and yet always patient , and still throwing the odd friendly curved ball at you to see if you were thinking and always with a friendly chuckle,that sort of passion and dedication still amazes me, in waikato he would be out in the cold rain for hours at a time , and if you asked he would always go out of his way to make time to help you with coaching.
as I have read the tributes I see so many people that harry has helped to achieve their goals, even now Harry still makes us think!thanks for helping me in so many ways
may you rest in peace and still watch over us all , we will still here your words of wisdom as we forget to keep the hands moving or feel it on our feet
thanks harry
Richard N

Nicky S, New Zealand, Sunday June 10th, 10:07
5 Min of Coaching from Harry made such an impression on a 16yr old schoolgirl. He will be missed...

UBC, Wanganui New Zealand, Sunday June 10th, 08:02
o no no no no no no no no no no yes no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no...........

David and Dianne Rodger, Tuesday June 5th, 04:06
In 1977 a young Harry Mahon set out with a bunch of cavaliers from New Zealand. The sole purpose was to take on the world and win. This entebbe raid while his first for New Zealand was not to be his last and while the result was a silver the influence and achievemenbt was to put New Zealand rowing on a long time high. The athletes involved during that period no doubt estatic that after trying for so long Harry achieved the result of an olympic gold a life long ambition. For some we would have liked that result in 1984 but the time spent with Harry enabled many of us to grow not only in rowing terms but in life terms. Together we suffered defeat as well as victory, strategy as well social. Harry helped some to remain totally absorbed in the sport of rowing and to this end his legacy will remain. It was this single minded focus that enabled Harry to get to and stay on the leading edge. As we progressed through time occasionally the ledge was not big enough for all. Some of us left the ledge to persue other things. Some with smooth feathers some ruffled. Regardless of how we left this ledge the power and inner strength of harry will never be forgotten and for those with anguish may it turn to respect.
For Harry his name will be written in the book of coaching legends so may he rest in peace.

Alan Roaf, Victoria, B.C., Monday June 4th, 18:33
Goethe said: "Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being."
The number of ways of describing Harry's 'positives' are legion, and the testimonials to date speak eloquently of his contribution to our sport and the people within it. Harry helped others become what they were capable of being. I cannot imagine any finer tribute to this outstanding coach.
I consider myself honoured to have known him, to have observed his coaching mastery in action and to have shared some personal time with him lately.
The world is a better place because of his influence. Harry made a difference, not only in the techniques of rowing but also in the civility amongst people.

Thomas Studhalter, Sunday June 3rd, 18:15
you were great and what is best, we will still remember what you have learned us. Not only on the water but also in "real-life". Thank you very much.

Rob Waddell, New Zealand
Thanks for the big influence you had on us. Your unique and un-complicated way of thinking removed many of the barriers in our mind's, not just for rowing but also for life. We have been through much together from 1994, through to 1996, and since then you have become a close friend to us, and our families. There so much to write about knowing you Harry, and we will keep it all as fond memories. The first time I won the single at national championships, one of my proudest moments was seeing the look on your face. Thanks for encouraging that dream and many others.
We will all miss your friendship
Rob and Sonia Waddell

Donald Leggett, Saturday June 2nd, 00:31
5 Golds and 1 Silver made us quite certain you were watching Radley at Nottingham at National Schools.
You coached all these boys and they will not forget you in a hurry !!
Donald Legget

Dianne Countryman (Prescott),, New York, Friday June 1st, 19:37
Dear Harry,
Your inspirations and encouragement through my rowing career can never be matched by another. I hope that you are able to find peace.
God Bless
Dianne Countryman

Walter M. Zücher, Vice-President Swiss Rowing Federation, Friday June 1st, 08:44
Zum Hinschied von Harry Mahon
Auch in unserem Land, insbesondere beim Schweizerischen Ruderverband, hat uns der Hinschied von Harry Mahon sehr betroffen gemacht. Wir haben nicht nur einen wahren Freund unseres Verbandes verloren, viele Athletinnen und Athleten, trauern um einen einmaligen Ruderlehrmeister. Ebenso ist auch bei vielen Trainerinnen und Trainer seine hochstehende Rudertechnik nach wie vor in bester Erinnerung und wird nach wie vor zur Anwendung gebracht.
Harry Mahon hat in seiner Trainertätigkeit in unserem Land seine Spuren hinterlassen. Seine feinfühlige, auch zuweilen sensible Art, hat uns all die Jahre sehr beeindruckt. Selbst als er seinem Wunsch entsprechend, nach England zurückkehrte, war er mehr als nur ein willkommener Gast in unserem Land. Viele Ruderinnen und Ruderer, Clubverantwortliche und vor allem Verbandsfunktionäre freuten sich stets auf ein Wiedersehen mit Harry und waren glücklich und stolz, wenn er uns mit seinen unverkennbaren Hinweisen wertvolle Tipps in Sachen Ruderlehre gab.
Harry war ein aussergewöhnlicher Mensch, ein Nationaltrainer zum Anfassen, ein Lehrmeister der höchsten Ruderschule und eine Person, dessen Anweisungen jederzeit ernst genommen wurden. Oft brauchte er ein Unglaubliches an Geduld seine Ideen an die Leute zu bringen, weil diese oft seine hohe Schule kaum verstehen konnten oder wollten. Gerade in diesen Fällen bewies er seine Grösse, seine Einmaligkeit. Nicht umsonst, und dies kommt in unserem Verband sehr selten zur Anwendung, wurde er 1993 mit einer langanhaltenden „Standing ovation“ von den Delegierten verabschiedet und mit dem Ehrenruder des Schweizerischen Ruderverbandes ausgezeichnet.
Mit Harry Mahon verlieren auch wir einen grossen Freund unseres Verbandes, aber auch unseres Landes. Seine Liebe zur Schweiz hat er sehr oft zum Ausdruck gebracht und wann immer möglich kehrte er auch zu uns zurück. Die Beziehungen wurden indes auch nie abgebrochen, sondern unsere und seine Freundschaft blieben stets erhalten.
Wir werden ihn für immer in bester Erinnerung behalten und danken ihm für die grossen Verdienste, welche er bei uns erworben hat. Ihnen, liebe Trauernde wünschen wir Kraft und Zuversicht beim Verlust dieses grossartigen Menschen, Freundes und Lehrmeisters.
Walter M. Zürcher

Walter M. Zücher, Vice-President Swiss Rowing Federation, Friday June 1st, 08:44
In Memory of Harry. . .
Here in our country and especially within the Swiss Rowing Federation we have been affected deeply by the passing of Harry Mahon. We have not only lost a true friend of our Federation but many athletes mourn for a unique master of rowing. His superb rowing technique is well remembered by coaches and athletes alike and will continue to be put into effect.
In his time as coach in our country Harry left many traces. His gentle and occasionally sensitive nature made a great impression over the years and even after he moved to England he was a more than welcome guest here. Many rowers, coaches and officials of the clubs and Federation looked forward to seeing him again and were happy and proud to receive his unmistakable and valuable rowing advice and tips.
Harry was an extraordinary man: a popular national coach; a master of the highest levels of rowing coaching and a person whose guidance would always be taken seriously. He often worked with amazing patience in passing on his ideas to people, some of whom struggled to grasp the essence of his style. And in doing so Harry revealed his greatness and his uniqueness. It was not for nothing, and this seldom happens in our Federation, that at his farewell in 1993 he was honoured with a long and deserved standing ovation and a place amongst the heroes of Swiss rowing.
Harry was also a friend of our country; his love of Switzerland meant that he often returned to us here. We had a relationship that can never be broken, instead our friendship will live on.
We will always hold him amongst our dearest memories and thank him for the great service he rendered us. We wish you, his bereaved, strength and courage in the loss of this great man, friend and coach.
Walter M. Zürcher

Ken Wakulich, St. Catharines, Canada, Friday June 1st, 08:05
When Harry was coaching and teaching back in the '70's in St.Catharines, I had the pleasure of being coached and influenced by this "quiet and small giant of a man"...when he spoke, the words were gentle yet firm; when he wanted to get a point across, it was often prefaced by a calm silence that meant a simple explanation was forthcoming amidst the chaos that had proceeded it...we shared many good times over and over again when he visited Nick Holmes in St. Catharines, whether he was here for the Canadian Henley or just to kick back after another stint with various National teams around the world...I'll never forget our short and sweet talk prior to the Canadian Trials in Burnaby in 1974 as well as one subsequent "bridge hoists" in Lucerne in 1974...a man for all seasons and a rowing man for all the right reasons...
we will miss you terribly Harry...Godspeed to you and may you make the angels faster rowers, which I know you will...
God Bless You!!!

Ronan, Thursday May 31st, 22:00
your strength made us stronger,
Thank you

Robin Williams, Cambridge, Thursday May 31st, 10:54
Harry, you were an amazing man and it was a privilege to have known and worked with you. Every time you visited us at Cambridge it was an inspiration to the squad of rowers and the coaches alike. You had the ability to refresh, simplify, and clarify rowing. You had a special insight which allowed you to unlock the potential of so many 'ordinary' people who then became extraordinary. You had an ability to communicate and connect with people and an unbelievable capacity for work which involved travelling the World, juggling requests for coaching from many different groups.
You are sorely missed but I am so pleased that the last years of your life were filled with so much happiness - in particular with Sarah, Charlie and Rosie, with us here at Cambridge, with Martin and the boys in Sydney. May you live long in all our hearts and minds.

Chris Chavannes, Thursday May 31st, 09:25
Simply the BEST !
Fidèle à ta technique, à ta philosophie oui mais ouvert et admiratif à autre chose, pourvu que se soit fait avec passion et précision.
Un exemple:
En stage avec le CA Vésenaz à Aiguebelette, tu m'as fait remarquer des équipages français à l'entraînement. Pas exactement ce que tu préconisait, mais admiratif et impressionné par l'uniformité et la rigueur, tu les as observé de longues minutes.
A + Harry

Willie Castle, Wednesday May 30th, 18:43
In Greek mythology, it is Charon who rows us across the river Styx and into the afterlife. Not only will he have enjoyed Harry's company on the crossing, but I'll bet his split times are down considerably and his stroke quite a bit cleaner.
Amici Harry, it was a joy and a privilege. Thank you, you are missed.

Josef Grossert, Ruder-Trainer, Wednesday May 30th, 10:57
Harry habe ich das erste mal bewundert, als er es verstand den "RUDER-BEWEGUNGSABLAUF" auf einem A4 Blatt zu dokumentieren. Er war der Begründer der heute vielerorts praktizierten Ruder-Technik. Leider haben es viele Trainer noch nicht begriffen. Ich hatte die enorm grosse Möglichkeit von Harry sehr viel zu lernen. Ich werde viel an diese Begegnung und an Harry zurück denken. Danke Harry.

Ross Gully & Lambert Marine Architects, Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesday May 30th, 00:30
Your tribute into making the boat faster and your unlimited vision of improving that 'perfect' technique to its full exent will soon be achieved, After months working with you and research technicians. We have almost finished the new rowing skiff, totally faster than the present day fastest skiff. Every nook and cranny is insprired from your ideas and we honnor the project after you as, 'Defiant Mahon'
We hope you can see all the achievement we have done with you being raced in in every corner of the world. Once again, Harry thank you for helping us getting started in the right direction, your kindness, your wisdom unlimited knowleadge in rowing techniques. Many thanks
Best Regards
Ross and the team
TEAM = Together Everyone Achieves More

Christian, Tuesday May 29th, 23:45
It`s 035 in the morning/at night in Hamburg, germany and i just start thinking about you.
I never talked to you, but it doesn`t matter.
You did it here, on this side, and you`ll go your way over there.
It seem`s like you were not just a coach for rowing - more for our lives.
see you Chris

Bruce, Cambridge, Tuesday May 29th, 18:03
I'll never forget your kindness. Thankyou.

Matt McQuillan, Tuesday May 29th, 10:45
How lucky we are that you chose to get involved in rowing. You'll be sorely missed.

Robert Waser, Tuesday May 29th, 08:15
Dear Harry,
We will always remember your time in Switzerland. You gave us a lot, not only as coach but especially also as human being and good friend.
Harry, we miss you.
Robert Waser
Seeclub Stansstad

Marr Family, Auckland, New Zealand, Monday May 28th, 09:45
Many thanks for your encouragement for our son, fraser to take up the sport, we will miss the exciting chats at various regattas at Karaprio.
We all hope to see you one day.

Philippa Baker-Hogan, Wanganui, New Zealand, Monday May 28th, 03:49
"Extraordinary People are simply ordinary people who do extraordinary things". I had many coaches with many talents, but none quite the "gift" you had Harry. You lived your life to the fullest and touched many people. Thanks Harry for everything and sorry about losing your air-points tickets back in 1995!!
Phil xxoo

Anonymous, Monday May 28th, 02:53
Whenever I'm finding the going a little tough, or I'm getting grief over being a lightweight and or a short a*se. I look back and remember the time that Harry looked at me and saw the bigger person inside the rower. For giving me that self belief and faith in my ability he lit a big flame. I thank Harry for that. RIP.

Alexander Peyer, Sunday May 27th, 15:08
Teamwork is working together even when apart. Quiet waters run deep, that's what you were all abou, Harry. Thank you for all you did for the sport of rowing. Alex Peyer RC Reuss Luzern.

Chris Perry, Sunday May 27th, 13:37
I sit and write this in Japan where crews from the Hong Kong Team are racing at the East Asian Games. Many of our athletes here were fortunate, over the last few years, to join the GB Team at training camps around the World where Harry was coaching. Always he was ready to offer a kind word of encouragement, a few well-chosen tips and precious moments to explain how great rowing should "feel".
Harry never made a distinction between the care and guidance which he offered to the world's greatest athletes or to those, like ours, from a developing nation. He always gave his undivided attention.
We will remember your spirit Harry and thank you!

Barrie Mabbott, Auckland, Sunday May 27th, 09:54
I suffered your porridge in the morning Harry; I hope you enjoyed my puddings at night. Thanks for the great rowing years 1979-1983.

Marie-France et Yves Dijamatovic, Club du Lausanne-Sports, Saturday May 26th, 19:02
Tu es celui qui a mis d'accord tous les entraîneurs de Suisse pour une technique du coup d'aviron optimale. Ce ne fut pas chose facile, car chacun d'entre nous s'était convaincu d'avoir trouvé les meilleurs gestes.
Tes apparitions en Suisse romande nous ont laissé de bons souvenirs et cela nous semblait réciproque.
Encore merci à toi.

Charlie Wood, Saturday May 26th, 17:54
Harry really has changed my life he helped me through some tough stuff at school. I really miss him and so does my sister rosie and my mum sarah. he was also a really good friend and easy to talk to.
Charlie 14

Rosie Wood, Saturday May 26th, 17:49
He was a great man!!! (not just a rowing coach!)
My mum (sarah) says that he has changed her life!
- Rosie Wood 13

Anonymous, Saturday May 26th, 13:48
"A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"
P to M.

Michelle Darvill, Friday May 25th, 17:05
An amazing person who lived life to the fullest by example. Throughout his illness he managed to keep up a schedule and enjoy a life that mere mortals could only dream of. Harry's spirit will live on in thousands of friends, rowers and coaches throughout the world. carpe diem
Michelle & Bernd

Anonymous, Friday May 25th, 15:00
Since Harry coached me there has not been a session that his words didn't echo through me ... finding expression in every stroke.
I would have given anything for just one more session with Harry, but I suppose after that "one more" there would always have been this insane hunger for another.
Now, that I am left with Harry's words, may his stroke and vision never leave me.
This is the highest compliment I can give anyone, and by no means an adequate return to the one he paid me.

Reto Fierz, Friday May 25th, 13:58
Dear Harry
When you came to Switzerland I was a Junior, who didnt realy know what he was doing in a rowing boat, when you left I won a medal on the 1993 world championships. When you came to Switzerland, I got to know you as "iron Harry", when you left, you have become "magic Harry". And today I'm coaching myself, trying to teach what you taught me over years. But I still wonder how you could see, whether I had the pressure on the feet or not, when I was rowing with almost 40 strokes a minute...
Not only in rowing technique but also in many personal skills you were an outstanding coach and mentor.
Thank's very much for all you did for me; you will always be in my best memory.

Alexander Koch, Friday May 25th, 13:56
Dear Harry
The way you taught me to row did influence not only my sports career but my entire life. You were not just a teacher of a specific technic, but you were teaching an entire life philosophy.
Rowing for you was simple, easy going, no unnecessary movements, always in perfect harmony with the boat and the elements around, action and reaction at the same time, it was focused and successful and so was your life.
I have learned much more from you than just rowing faster. I will do my best to continue teaching and living your "life and rowing style". As somebody else wrote before, "you are only dead when you are forgotten", I think that this will never happen. I will never forget that you, recovering from 6 chimotherapy treatments, went for a 90 minutes run at 40 degrees Celsius in Sevilla in 1999 in order to get fit for the London Marathon to raise money for a cancer foundation.
I will miss you as trainer, a coach and a friend.
Alexander Koch
Société d'Aviron de Fribourg

Marc Nater, Friday May 25th, 12:09
dear harry
thank you for everything you did for my frieds and me. we will never forget you.

AC (Sharkie) Davies, Friday May 25th, 11:42
February 1960. Many met Harry for the first time at Victoria University of Wellingtion. A fellow first-time student, geographer, rower (not I), rugby player, potential troubabour, laconic story-teller and, most of all, a life-long friend in the making.
Thank you all for your tributes to Harry.
You have captured his essence: his ability to give, his inability to think ill of mankind; his ability to see the potential in others; his denial of the impact of his own efforts to unleash that ability in others; his quiet humility and his humanity; but above all his abiding recognition of the worth of true friendship.
We have given many great people to the World - not many better than Harry.
Together,let's rejoice in the knowledge that we have been honoured to call him: "My friend".

Colleen & Helen, South Africa, Friday May 25th, 11:24
If ever money was well spent, it was that spent by the South African Rowing Union in getting Harry out to South Africa a number of times to coach our rowers and coaches. Even though he was never able to spend more than a few days with us, he did more in those sessions than any other coach we have worked with. Apart from his ability to capture the essence of rowing in a few simple words, his matter-of-fact belief in us and our potential pulled us out of many a downward-spiral. We believe that the turning point in our performance happened last July when Harry came over to Belfast, Mpumalanga,for a weekend to coach the SA Olympic crews. A couple of months later in Sydney, when we surprised everyone (including ourselves!) by winning our heat to go straight to the A final, Harry came looking for us afterwards. His pleasure in our win was almost as gratifying as the race itself! Harry, thank you for all you did for us - that final wouldn't have happened without you.
Colleen & Helen RSA W2- 2000.

Ross Hawkins, Friday May 25th, 08:59
Thankyou Harry for everything that you taught me, it will not be forgotten.

Marco, Thursday May 24th, 22:58
The blue sky is your lake now.
Forever grateful Harry.

Anonymous, Thursday May 24th, 21:53
Harry, I am just starting out in my professional rowing career. I have been watching a video of the olympic GB 8+ with you coaching and it truly is inspirational. If I am able to coach half as well as you (which is doubtful as you are possibly the best ever) i'm sure to succeed
The angels in heaven will be moving through the clouds with effortless finesse if you have anything to do with their technique.
You really are a great man and an amazing coach. British rowing will probably take a while to realise just how much of a difference you have really made. May you rest in peace.

Dai Ellis, Thursday May 24th, 21:04
Callous is the tide of spring that tears us from our mooring
None held so fast so long before and yet we now are loosed
Riding on the lip of flood, and menaced by the gyre

But mooring lost is guidance gained, cast off but unabandoned
A new body in our firmament fixed for those who care to see
So brothers in a shared pursuit our ways shall not diverge
Observing this Polaris
Across an endlessly intimate distance drawn
Thus he would make us all so like
By gentle exhortation

He set the mark
Unknowing, not for rowing,
But for our course
To ask with each spring tide returning
Can I be so

Christian Heierli, Thursday May 24th, 20:23
Dear Harry..
I will never forget the training in april 1990, when you were coaching my twin brother and me in the coxless pair on the Wohlensee. I never did so few kilometers in one training.. you let us row almost the whole time in a circle, always just rowing one of us at the same time.. With my "sweet" sixteeen years, I wasn't able to understand you. Today I teach YOUR technique to our "sweet" sixteens.. thank you
Christian Heierli, Rowing-Club Bern

David Parnwell, Thursday May 24th, 19:34
I shall never forget sitting in the stands at Penrith in total silence to hear the announcer say that GB were leading the field. And that's how it was. After the race the eight paddled over to us, got out of the boat and standing in the water quietly sipped a can. I stupidly asked Rowley what rating they went off at. Smiling he replied; "Flat out!"
What a tribute to Harry. Well done men!

Melissa Bray, Austin, Texas, Thursday May 24th, 15:51
To transcend all expectations
To stand tall until the end
To be supple enough to bend, but not break
To choose the path absolutely
and follow it unassumably.
I salute your talent, your spirit and in my rowing you are one of my guides.

Anonymous, Thursday May 24th, 13:29
'The dead are not dead until they are forgotten'. Harry, we will never forget you, you will live on in all of us who had the privilege to know you and be coached by you. A truly great man, in every sense. Thank you, Harry.

Toni Dunlop, Thursday May 24th, 08:46
Very few people have been involved with so many athletes the world over, I believe you have helped us all and we all owe something of our successes to you.
Sorely missed.

Ruedi Ulli, Thursday May 24th, 08:08
Dear Harry,
I wish you all the best for your last travel. i thank you for lerning me, what rowing-technique really is. it was always a great experience to train with you. Thank you and good bye.

Stacey Hogan, WERC lightweight 8 Thursday May 24th, 01:36
your impact on NZ rowing will have the same lasting effect as Rusty's has had - without taking away from your huge success.

Noel Donaldson, Australia Wednesday May 23rd, 13:50
I will always remember the quiet nights at regattas where many of us would share in rowing thoughts and you would be the leader; not in any verbal way but more by way of quiet and accurate advice that we would all listen to. I, like so many others, have benefitted from the great man Harry Mahon. RIP.
Noel Donaldson.

Chris and Marki Nilsson, Wednesday May 23rd, 13:50
Harry - if there was ever a man who changed another man's pathway in life, it was Harry who so dramatically changed mine. I will be forever grateful for the inspiration and the will he gave me to walk away from a lifelong commitment to sheep farming in New Zealand to pursue a love of rowing. My regret is that more New Zealander's in recent times were not able to have the same privilage of the expertise, the personal touch and the strength of mind that British Rowing, Cambridge University and Radley College have had over the past number of years. New Zealand's loss has been the rest of the rowing world's gain - what an outstanding legacy to leave behind.
We will forever miss his friendship, his fleeting visits to the farm, the odd game of golf and most of all, 'his vision of the perfect stroke' - I am still searching for it Harry!
Our heartfelt thoughts go out to Sarah and to the family in New Zealand.
Forever grateful Harry, Chris.

Miklós Irmay, Wednesday May 23rd, 10:28
Dear Harry,
If somebody on this world could make one feel what rowing really is, it was you!
I always think at you, when I'm out on one of these beautiful Swiss lakes, where we spent so many time together following junior crews.
After 9 years, since you left Switzerland, I still can feel your enthusiasm to help rowers to improve their technique and to push them to reach their limits. Your goal was always a bit higher then the one of the rowers you were "guiding". Harry always meant, NO LIMITS!
You are no more among us, but your spirit will go on to guide our rowing. Thanks for everything you were teaching me.

Holm Miehlbradt, Wednesday May 23rd, 09:56
I will always remember the too few opportunities to see coaching through your eyes.
See you sometimes wherever you are now.

Mike and Annie Spracklen, Wednesday May 23rd, 06:21
Harry's life was rowing. His greatest pleasure was helping athletes to succeed, a skill at which he excelled with quiet confidence. Never promoting himself by criticizing others was a quality which lifted him above the rest.
Harry was a fine person and a superb coach. He will be missed by many people.

Brett Smith, University of Waikato, New Zealand, Wednesday May 23rd, 01:09
Harry not only coached me but provided me with a unique opportunity to develop myself personally and professionally for which I will be eternally grateful. Many years ago I moved to work at the Waikato Polytech and while the job was a disaster the time spent with Harry and the NZ rowing team sustained and motivated me. I have so much to thank you for it would it is difficult to write it all.
Naku Noa e Hoa - Tohunga o nga Waka Tere.
Brett Smith (sport science and medicine coordinator - NZRA, Lecturer - University of Waikato)

Linda de Jong, Tuesday May 22nd, 22:22
Always in my thoughts as the coach who could relate the stroke in a way I could feel and touch. I will remember Harry as a friend, coach and mentor who always had time to help anyone at any level understand the joy of feeling the boat. Harry was a true champion and inspiration in all senses of the word to the very end. Thank you for being who you were.

Hilary Vella, Oamaru Rowing Club Tuesday May 22nd, 21:51
Thanks Harry,
Oamaru Rowing Club, New Zealand.

Paul Daetwyler, Tuesday May 22nd, 20:08
Thank you for all you brought to our rowing-family.

Martin McElroy, Tuesday May 22nd, 19:32
Just 11 days ago Harry came out with us. He struggled to get in the launch and I held the megaphone as he coached. It was as always - simple and effective. The crew paddled from Hammersmith to Chelsea bridge and back. Harry didn't miss a beat. Each time he spoke the boat moved on "yeah, that's it. Look, you just made the boat go faster."
At the end we all knew that it might be the last time, but Harry was happy. A week later we trained at the docks and many times I thought to myself what would harry say? I didn't know the news then but I was thinking a lot about him and when I was told later that day all I could think of was the glisten in his eye a week earlier. Even then Harry could see all the possibilities of the crew.
Thank you Harry. You made our dreams come true.

Carl Douglas, Tuesday May 22nd, 19:04
A man of great courage and tenacity, he fought and never quit.
An outstanding coach, motivator and exemplar.
An irreplaceable loss to rowing.
His memory should be honoured in a very practical way.

Marko Banovic, Cambridge '95 & Croatia Tuesday May 22nd, 16:35
Dear Harry,
When I was privileged to be 'Harried' for the first time on a windy afternoon on the Ouse, I thought of myself as a man who had just discovered that the Earth was not flat and was not carried on the backs of giant elephants. All of my defenses collapsed, and you started to open for me new horizons in rowing.
Shakespeare said, 'Some man are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.'
Harry you were a great man in every sense.

Becky Caroe, Tuesday May 22nd, 16:06
I would like to suggest a public tribute from rowers to Harry - would Henley Womens Regatta or Henley Royal Regatta consider a mass row-past in one of the lunch breaks?

Henry Morris, Captain RCBC Tuesday May 22nd, 13:40
I am very sad to hear about Harry. He inspired us all here at Radley with his modesty and bravery. I have been fortunate enough to have been coached by Harry for two years, and all I can say was that he was a legend. He saw the potential in everyone and enabled us to fulfill it. Last year he managed to mould our motley crew into a very fast eight, and whenever he came down to Radley we seemed to go lengths faster in just one outing. He had a genius of being able to make people row well. We were so lucky to have him, and will deeply miss him. He can be damn sure that we will do everything we can to make him proud of us this season. Harry, whatever we make of this year and years to come, is dedicated to you.

Jan-Willem van der Wal, Tuesday May 22nd, 13:21
It was February 1998 when I met Harry in South Africa. As a young coach I had the strange idea of building a South African junior eight. The inspiration and great believe of Harry made it possible to start of this project and make it to the success it was.
While walking over African markets, enjoying the gardens and everything there we had lots of talks that has changed my life and coaching. Harry was the inspiration to learn to believe in what you can achieve by just doing it and go for it.
Harry, thank you for everything, you will live through in the coaching and rowing of many of us.
Rest in peace.

Paul Persad, Tuesday May 22nd, 13:19
Harry..I never had the opportunity of being coached by you, but your philosophy on Rowing/Sculling has reached many athletes at all levels. I have never experienced such exquisite & relaxed technique as has been defined by the crews & scullers you have helped to influence. May this continue for many years to come. Thank you and may God Bless your soul.

Anonymous, Tuesday May 22nd, 12:30
The Best!

Xavi Boix, Tuesday May 22nd, 11:42
Thank you for your contribution to make rowing a better sport and rowers better sportmen.

Peter Haining, Tuesday May 22nd, 11:00
When I met Harry in 1987 in Switzerland he had a clear picture of what rowing and friendship should be and he stayed the master of both disciplines until the end. I think the rowing fraternity has lost a great coach and obviously my thoughts are with the people he has left behind.

Stuart Thomson, South Africa, Tuesday May 22nd, 10:57
He didn't invent rowing, but he strove to perfect it in the athletes he touched. I was fortunate enough to be coached by Harry, and I have never had a greater inspiration for attaining perfection. What a great asset the rowing community has lost, what a great man the world has lost. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Anonymous, Tuesday May 22nd, 09:50
I will always feel lucky that I had met Harry. My deepest sympathy is with those who were closest to him.

John Wilson, Nottingham, Tuesday May 22nd, 09:29
I, like so many others, owe so much to Harry. When we were coaching together at Cambridge he showed me how to make rowing simple and beautiful. Ever since, I have viewed the sport completely differently - (pardon the cliche) 'my eyes were opened when before they were closed'. Harry was a great friend and I will miss him dearly. The biggest tribute I can pay to Harry though is to repeat the words of Sarah, his partner "Even when Harry dies a part of him will always be with us".

Andrew MacFarlane, London UK, Tuesday May 22nd, 09:06
I have had many rowing coaches in my rowing career thus far and none have touched me or inspired me more on and off the water than Harry Mahon. His frank and at times demoralising coaching style usually inspired me further in pursuit of attaining Harry's rowing technique, the perfect rowing stroke. He will be sorely missed all over the world and may his legacy live with us all forever.

Christian Felkel, Johannesburg, Tuesday May 22nd, 08:42
Thanks Harry.
I wouldn't be the same without you. You gave me food for thought and i guess it will take me a lifetime to digest.

Marnie McBean, Tuesday May 22nd, 03:12
a curious eye for a technical style, a warm friendly hug and a mischievous smile. oh how I will miss those post regatta beers that we once shared among friends, I will remember you fondly.

Lene Hansen, Tuesday May 22nd, 03:12
Meeting Harry
I had just completed an erg in the Men's Boat House and was laying on a pile of mattresses recovering when I heard this wonderful New Zealand drawl. Over and over I heard the voice bark, repeating the same instructions to some poor hapless soul.
When I recovered my ability to stand I decided to venture over and save the berated party from what was obviously this terrible, terrible tyrant. As I approached the end of the boathouse I also noted the new fangled double-movement rowing machine that I had not laid eyes on before. It was of course the RowPerfect.
I carefully approached the 'tyrant' and decided to deal with the situation by proffering my coaching services (!) and started with the introduction of "Hi... my name's Lene..." I reached out my hand. He paused, and turned... "Harry" (I think that you can imagine the slow smile even now... A sweaty dishevelled girlie with the impudence to interrupt!). Me.. "Hi, what's your name?" (referring to the rower) "Jon". Jonathan Bull, who incidentally is looking at me as though I am slightly insane...
I gritted my teeth and decided to take the high road. I asked Harry if it's okay if I "help out" as it appears that "Jon isn't quite getting what you are trying to tell him." Jon is by now looking at me as though I am COMPLETELY insane but Harry is smiling broadly. "Sure. Why not!!"
It was so much fun. Afterwards Harry said "Why don't you swing by tomorrow and we'll have coffee?" Me. "Sure!". I returned home and rang a coaching friend in Australia to tell him of this great new machine that I'd just seen During the conversation I mentioned that I'd been "helping Harry out" and he asked "Harry Who?" I said "Err Harry Mann, Macmahon" His response "Lene, you complete IDIOT - That was Harry MAHON - One of the, if not THE greatest, coach in the world, and you were "helping him out".
Of course I was horribly embarrassed and had no intentions of turning up for the coffee the next day, but my friend insisted that I do it, if only to remind Harry that THEY had met at a party many years before. So I rang the boatshed "Can I talk to Mr. Mahon?" (squeaky little voice) His response. "Call me Harry".
We went for coffee and stayed on talking about rowing at that wonderful coffee shop beside the Cam, for FOUR hours and the shadows grew long and he had to get to work. He laughingly noted that he had never met anyone apart from himself who was so fascinated with rowing.
Since that time Harry and I have kept in contact via phonecalls, faxes, emails and Sarah. He visited me here in Hong Kong a number of times and they are very dear memories to me. I still recall him jogging effortlessly 18 kms along the Shing Mun River as my regular coach sweated on a bike beside him and acted for all the world like a lovelorn puppy.
Harry was the dearest kindest gentlest friend with the most wonderful joy of life and its many offerings. He always treated me and it seems to me, every other with whom he came into contact with, with the greatest respect. This and his almost childlike enthusiasm for the world are the things for which I have always held him in the highest regard and shall remember so fondly.
There only seemed one link missing in his life though, and with Sarah I think we are assured that that was met. I was so pleased that they had the chance to visit Hong Kong. and for Harry to meet Mark, my current boyfriend who it would appear is destined (poor man) to be in my life for a very long time. Harry, Sarah and Mark are all such wonderful people and I have to say I was very, very happy to have them all under one roof.
Aaah anyway, enough of me. I was crushed with sadness when I first got the call on Sunday but there is such a joy in sharing some of the wonderful memories of Harry. My thanks again for the chance...

Rodney Fong, Tuesday May 22nd, 03:55
it is a great shame that such a rowing guru has passed away. Rowing will miss you.

Ethan Ayer, Tuesday May 22nd, 00:25
It is with an incredibly sad heart that I reflect on the life of the great Harry Mahon.
Those of us who rowed for Harry are a lucky bunch. Whether it was his "hands on" erg coaching technique, his positive negativity on the water ("naw.. naw.. naw.. come on guys, you are pretty smart guys, right, so just do what I tell you") or his challenging coaching requests ("place the oar parallel to the boat and leave it there during the drive"); we always knew that he was a "one-of-a-kind".
Harry was much more than just a great coach. He exemplified humility, perseverance, honesty and courage. Harry should always be remembered as a hero of our sport.
God bless him, he will be sorely missed.
P.S. I hope the web now reaches to heaven so he can read all of these heart-felt comments.

Sean Leyland, Monday May 21st, 23:22
I met Harry at the FISA conference in London, Ont a few years back. I was starting off coaching and was in awe of the other coaches and material being presented. Harry's presentation was the best at the conference. Simple, useful and to the point. I was amazed and asked if I could sit with him at lunch. We talked and talked. I picked his brain and asked if I could ever come listen to him coach. He didn't think twice before saying, "yes, of course".
That was the only time I had the pleasure of talking to Harry personally but a few emails back and forth were an inspiration to an aspiring coach.
As stated already, he was an amazing coach, but an even more amazing person.
See you again sometime Harry.

Estevão Pape, Monday May 21st, 23:07
I heard about Harry Mahon today on worldrowing.com,and after read all of this messages and tributes to Harry I can see that rowing lost one big man,coach and friend.It would had been a pleasure to have knowed Harry Mahon and learn with him.So I want to send the utmost heartfelt consolotion to his family and friends.
Rowing in Portugal.

Paul Kölliker, Monday May 21st, 22:59
I hope you remember still a few words in Swiss German: Harry, du bisch de Gröscht!.

Gerard O'Flynn, Monday May 21st, 22:48
Sorry to hear of your passing, thanks for your contribution to rowing, especially here in New Zealand. Rest in Peace.

Paul Sanders, Hollyport, Monday May 21st, 22:33
Just two simple words that mean the whole world to me and have a whole world of meaning in them:

The 1998 South African Junior 8+, Monday May 21st, 21:03
Thank you for taking a group of clueless, arrogant schoolboys and not only turning us, individually, into athletes; but into a strong, efficient, working unit.
Thank you for identifying our collective strengths and talents when no one else had and making us believe we had it in us to make our first final. Thank you for both the encouraging words and the frank realities [Just put the *$%^%$# thing in the water!!!].
Harry, rest in peace and watch what you planted, grow into GOLD! Sincerely Rich, Karl, Tony, Matt, Jeff, Chris, Aubs, Stu and Tom. (HIGHER, FASTER, LONGER!)

Marty Aitken, Monday May 21st, 18:56
Without doubt Harry was one of the great influences in World Rowing . Few people have a influenced so many people in so many ways than Harry did. When he was first diagnosed with Cancer the phone rang red hot in his hospital room and the calls came from every where in the world he had helped so many people. He will be missed by everyone in rowing and especially by those he has coached and influenced. I am proud to be one of Harry's friends and he has been a great influence in my career. A loss to rowing, and to Sarah, Charlie and Rosie especially.

Alex Scott, Monday May 21st, 18:24
It is hard to believe that you have moved on to a better place. I thank you for noticing me and giving me the inspiration to have a crack at something I would never have dreamed of otherwise.
See ya

David Searle, Monday May 21st, 17:52
With some peripheral involvement with rowing at Radley and at the CUBC, I had occasion to witness the results of his efforts with both Boat Clubs and will be forever grateful for his part in the successes achieved by those clubs in the past few years. But what about his contribution to GB in Sydney?
Last summer I saw him at Henley and asked him if he was going to coach the VIII in Sydney...
"I haven't been invited yet."
I hope you are, I said. After what you did in Canada in 1999, I am sure you would be a great help. Besides,it would be fantastic to go to the Olympics, especially in Sydney.
"I've been to four Olympics" he said. "The Olympics is just another regatta."
With the greatest respect to Harry, the hell it was.

Anonymous, Monday May 21st, 17:51
Someone once said that we can achieve immortality by living on in the memories and thoughts of those still living, and if this is the case Harry will be with us for a long time to come.
I will never forget how Harry saw that I was not just on the water to be another oarsmen, but that he saw how I defined my rowing and not the other way around, or at least how I ultimately wanted to shape it. The greatest compliment he paid me was his complete honesty with no other motive than to make me faster.
I hope that I have expressed this in a way that those who knew him can understand. Although I don't feel that any thing I can say will do him justice, still now Harry demands only the best from those he came into contact with ... pure exellence.

Alan Every, Monday May 21st, 17:43
A testament to your abilities will live on in all those rowers and coaches influenced by you.
The smooth and relaxed 'Harry Mahon' style will be continue for a long time.

Christian Stofer, Monday May 21st, 17:41
Dear Harry,
I'm so sad that you lost your "last race" on Saturday. You stay in our memories as the man who learned Swiss Rowers how rowing has to be done, as the man who required a lot of concentration and as the man who could be so pleased when he saw one of his crews rowing how he told them.
I remember you sitting in the bow of our junior quad in 93. We were pushing our legs the best we could, but you stated that you are the only one who makes the boat go fast. We felt as a kind of handbreaks. But your special training sessions had a pay-back one year later when our junior eight won the gold medal at the Junior Worlds. Then I saw in your eyes the same kind of happiness as in Sydney when your British eight picked the Olympic Title and I saw you for the last time.
I just can say thank you for what you have done for me personally, for Swiss Rowing and the whole rowing community.

Justin Webb, Monday May 21st, 16:53
Harry is and was a legend. He inspired, he worked and he succeeded. We will miss in Harry what we all wish we had: his passion. Thank you Harry for all the help, thank you for your inspiration, may you rest in peace.

Igor Grinko, USA and former Soviet coach Monday May 21st, 16:34
Harry was a great man and outstanding coach.Harry we will remember you.

Tracy Davenport, Monday May 21st, 16:16
I met Harry 6 years ago when he came to stay at our house to look for a US Rowing site. I was just trying to get better at sculling and he offered to come up to the River and coach me. I was sooo nervous, but he was GREAT. He told me that he just likes to see EVERYBODY get better, no matter their skill level. That was so cool... I will always remember that he said, "It is O.K. to feel like you are just relaxing, in a rocking chair when you scull!" I still think about that analogy all of the time.
For 2 nights, we (John Hunter, Harry, my husband, and I) played the most competive scrabble you can imagine. We had so much fun. I am grateful that I got a chance to know him.
Tracy Davenport.

Anonymous, Monday May 21st, 15:40
There are a quite a few excllent rowing coaches in the world. But surely what set Harry apart was the number of people who would count him as a Friend. He always had time for everyone. You could ask him anything and he would spend time answering and helping. A kinder Christian sole you will not find in any walk of life. May he rest in peace. He lives on in the minds and perfomances of the people he touched.

CB Sands-Bohrer, Monday May 21st, 15:34
Dear Harry,
My american teammates don't know what they missed having never been coached by you. Some of my fondest memories will always be of taking the train to Sarnen every weekend, waking up among a houseful of rowers to the sounds of you making oatmeal, and heeding your no-nonsense coaching and advice. Time trials in Sempach, stages in Zug, high altitude in St. Moritz; you were generous to me to a fault, as the tag-along American among your Swiss and the Kiwi teams, giving me time, rides, equipment, a place to train, friendship. I have vivid memories of working with you trying to master moving my 1x efficiently. One weekend that you came to Geneva to coach me, during several long sessions, with stroke-by-stroke commentary of "yes, no, no, almost, yes, almost" you made me do a series of changes to get me to make the boat plane off and keep the bow out of the water, and gain control of that feeling. You wouldn't let me off the water on Sunday until every single stroke was a 'YES!' from you. Despite already being a seasoned rower, that weekend, everything I knew about rowing suddenly made perfect sense. I've thought about that day on the river every time I've rowed since. You can count my gold in Bled among the many that you deserve credit for through the years. Although I have told lots of people on this side of the pond that I've considered you one of the world's greatest coaches, I'm regretful that I probably never said it that directly to you. Or thanked you enough. It has been a privilage and a pleasure to have known you as a coach and a friend.

Ann-Maree Patterson, London/New Zealand, Monday May 21st, 14:36
I would like to personally congradulate Harry on his life, during the time I knew Harry he definatly changed me as a person as well as a rower.
Harry will be missed by people all over the world.

François Longchamp, Geneva, Monday May 21st 13:46
I am sad, really sad. If one person on the earth gave me the love of rowing, it has been Harry. To go on in english is too hard and Harry used to try to speak french with us, so ..
Harry c'est celui qui m'a donné l'amour de l'aviron, Harry au grand coeur qui donnait tout à celui qui voulait recevoir. Petit bucheron comme on l'appelait. Que c'était génial que d'être suivi par lui. Je me souviendrai toujours de la première fois, à Schiffenen en deux-sans barreur; en deux heures, nous avions bien réussi à faire 100 mètres mais plus de 100 tours sur nous mêmes ...
Harry tu m'as donné l'envie d'entraîner, toujours j'ai essayé de respecter ta philosophie en transmettant l'amour de l'aviron et de la technique.
Cela fait longtemps que nous ne sommes pas vus, mais toujours j'ai pensé et je penserai à toi près d'un bassin d'aviron.
Maintenant, là-haut, entraîne bien Saint Pierre ainsi que toutes les légendes de l'aviron qui sont parties. Fais-le "just for fun". Ils ont de la chance de pouvoir mainteant manger des muffin's et du poridge.

Neil Aldridge, Monday May 21st, 13:03
Harry, the South African Junior Squad of 1998 will never be able to forget your valuable lessons. Your influence enabled us to achieve our goals and transformed South African Rowing.
Personally, thank you for the time that you spent with me out on the water at Roodeplaat Dam, helping me learn the fundamental principals needed to move a boat.

Bernhard Stomporowski, Monday May 21st, 12:37
Hallo Harry,
strange days - thanx for your support and advices to katrin and me.
katrin and bernhard rutschow-stomporowski.

David Ballard, Monday May 21st, 12:15
After a lengthy spell in the doldrums, recent Cambridge crews have been a delight to watch. Other coaches have played a major part but the arrival of Harry Mahon seems to have been the critical factor in turning things around. His international record speaks for himself. The way in which he faced death was a lesson for us all. His influence appears likely to last for decades. I am sorry that I never had the chance to meet him or learn from him directly.

Adam Carter, Hull University BC, Monday May 21st, 12:05
Although I was only fortunate to be coached by Mr Mahon once I was able to appreciate the skill that he possessed as a coach. This skill has been reflected in the wonderous results that his crews have achieved over the years. British rowing owes him a debt of gratitude that will, sadly, never be able to be repaid. The greatest epitah for a man of Mr Mahons stature was the way that the Olympic eight rowed in the final. No-one would or could beat them, and they did it partly for Mr Mahon.
Rowing will miss him.

Andy Ripley, Monday May 21st, 11:49
Harry, I have no words, you were and are loved. Keep a berth open for the rest of us when we get there. Andy.

Steven O'Connor, Monday May 21st, 11:45
I never knew Harry Mahon but the tales of his unending passion for the sport have inspired me to continue along and strive for success.
My thoughts and prayers and with his family and friends.
With deepest sympathy.
Steven O'Connor, Senior Men's Captain, Leeds University BC.

Ed Green, Staffordshire University, Monday May 21st, 10:36
Earlier in the year I was having a discussion about the boatrace with an Oxford rower. A few points had been made then he said, " and they have Harry Mahon..." that was it, Cambridge were going to win. Everything I have heard about him was inspirational, I never met Harry but his influence will be with me forever.

David Rachel, Eton College Boat Club, Monday May 21st, 09:34
Harry taught me two big things,
1) How to make crews go fast
2) (and far more importantly) you do it for the athletes; not yourself.
Harry was "THE MAN".

James Felt, Monday May 21st, 09:20
Many condolences and deep regret for the loss of a real rowing legend who was an example to all who wish to achieve in life.

Stefan Forster, Monday May 21st 08:50
My words are failing whenever I try to express how sad it is that you left us; however, your impact on rowing will stay forever!! Thank you for all the time we were able to spend together; I will miss you, the greatest coach I ever had the pleasure to work with.

Michael Edwards, London, Monday May 21st, 08:48
Harry Mahon brought the smoothest style and skill to the UK. Thanks Harry for teaching Brits how to row well.

Neil Watson, Auckland, New Zealand, Monday May 21st, 04:58
Thanks for the help when starting out . It is appreciated.

Damian Hammond, Sunday May 20th, 20:01
First may I send the utmost heartfelt consolotion to your family and friends.
Thankyou Harry for having the faith to show me how to coach, inspiring me and all those around you at that time how to strive for upper echelons of performance.
I will work hard in my career to further the work that you arduously showed me and put me through hell for as I have seen the direct benefits.
Thankyou also for a very different friendship, I cant say it was always easy but it was certainly honest, candid and sincere. Harry, you backed me when others didnt and YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN by all those who had your company.
I have had the honour of your company through your battle which you never let on to the athletes or myself apart from only a few occasions. I saw you inspire people when you were struggling , this was one of lifes great lessons.
Even now you come through in my coaching, I hear you on a daily basis and always will I think.
Good bye and God bless you. See you on the other side, no doubt you will have some choice words for me, as ever.

Adam Gray, Sunday May 20th, 18:54
Nearly a decade of Cambridge rowers have had the privilege of being technically dressed-down and then built-up by Harry, and I will never forget my time spent with him. Memories of being flung around on the row-perfect in a direction which at first seemed alien, and then not so, always seeking a 'yes' amongst the 'no's.
He would most likely have shied away at the idea of being a legend in the world or rowing, but through his actions and demeanor so he has written himself into the collective memories of generations of rowers.
Firstly a great man, secondly a legendary coach.

Paul Stuart-Bennett, Sunday May 20th, 17:57
Harry was quietly inspirational and I could only watch in wonder at the effect that his presence had on the crews he coached. We have all lost a great man.

Xeno Muller, Sunday May 20th, 17:53
Dear Harry,
Thank you very much for having taught me how to row a single scull. Learning to move the Skiff was a long process in which you accompanied me in my "young years." My father and mother also enjoyed your company very much, when you came to visit me in France to further my career. It was great having you at Brown, where we spent time on the Seekonk River in Providence and where you shared your knowledge with my freshman eight back in 1992. I would have loved to make the finals at the 1992 Olympics for you, but also for my father who had been battling cancer that year and lost a few months later. Thank you Harry for shaping me into a single sculler. I so greatly enjoy my life as an athlete, father and husband. Rowing gives me a tremendous freedom which I spend with my wife and children. I want it to be known that you have a huge part in that. I am happy for you that you have been able to "enjoy" life another few years during your battle with cancer. It was great to see you in Brisbane and I am so happy that you have brought the magic touch to this great British eight that triumphed in Penrith. Now you can kick back and eat some Muesli in company of my father who most likely will be smoking one of his cigars with a glass of Chivas whiskey.
PS: I will NEVER forget the countless circles I rowed, one oar at a time, in order to learn how to set the blade in the water for a perfect catch. I will never forget how often you said: "GO" to let me know that I was too late catching the water for optimal boat run. And I will NEVER forget the day when my catches were right on with your "GO".
Thank you, for having been there for me.

Loretta Cantwell, Sunday May 20th, 14:43
Harry was a very fine man and a friend whom I got to know through rowing which was his passion. I shall miss his warmth, his impish smile and his soft words.

Paul Reedy, London, Sunday May 20th, 13:12
thanks mate for your support and guidance.

Tobias Beyer, Sunday May 20th, 13:11
Thanks Harry for the good times we had. We will always remember the 6th of August 1994 in Munich.
The members of the 93 and 94 swiss junior national eight.

David Biddulph, Sunday May 20th, 12:14
I'm delighted that the two last major crews he was involved with (the GB 8 & this year's CUBC crew) both gave him results of which to be proud. We will all miss him.

John Aiken, Sunday May 20th, 12:05
I never met Harry Mahon, but this morning I share in the same grief at the loss of one of the world's most respected coaches and gentlemen. I nearly got to meet him at the end of last year when he was to come to Dublin to speak to us , but alas he was unable to attend.
My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and those who were coached by Harry at this very sad time of bereavement. "Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h-anam dílis" "Requiescat in pace"

Anna Van Leemputten, Sunday May 20th, 11:49
All men and women are created equal and then someone comes along and breaks the rules.
Thank you Harry for everything you taught me and laughed with me about.

C.D. Riches, Westminster School Boat Club, Sunday May 20th, 11:47
Harry, The still small voice of calm, How great the victories you bring. Inspiration for many you'll never know.

John Holland, Saturday May 19th, 21:40
May you glide over the waters of heaven for eternity. You will be missed. May you rest in peace.

Donald Legget, Saturday May 19th, 20:35
Harry had a huge impact on my coaching ability and self-belief ever since I first met him in late 1992. He never stopped developing his ideas, whether on the water or on the Rowperfect. He was forever working on a new idea which would make a crew go faster.
He was one of the most modest of coaches who loved to work within a team at the CUBC, Radley and GB. I was so pleased for Harry when the GB Eight won Olympic Gold after his disappointment with the NZ favourites in 1984. Equally he derived pleasure from Radley's successes at National Schools and at Henley and from the CUBC's domination of 8 of the last 9 Boat Races. When he was finally given 1 - 3 months to live in April, he started planning his next month. This was to include coaching Radley in Banyoles, visiting friends in Canada, seeing his sisters in Switzerland and visiting a healer in Karlsruhe. He did all this with his partner, Sarah, with whom he has found such peace in his last years.
I feel very privileged to be counted amongst his closer friends and will miss having him around.

Mike Owen of LRC, Saturday May 19th, 20:05
Although I was never coached by Harry himself I felt very close to a man that had profound and positive on British Rowing through his efforts on the international scene on with the Cambridge squad.
I am sending out heart felt sympathies to his family and friends. He is a man that will be sadly missed by everyone that he has had an influence on either directly or indirectly.