It wasn't his multiple brushes with death that pushed former Russell McVeagh lawyer Winston Cowie to do the multifarious things he does, but they certainly shaped his approach to life. The "Herald's" Susan Edmunds reports on the Good Keen Man.
From Otago To Oxford, from a top Auckland law firm to working among schooling sharks in the Arabian Gulf, from running on to the rugby field at Twickenham to surfing in Indonesia, Winston Cowie is the 21st century's answer to the Good Keen Man. Now, he's taking on the heavyweights of publishing. Susan Edmunds goes fishing with him.
Towing a speared kingfish back to his mate's boat, Winston Cowie yells for help to drag it on board. He has been struggling with it in the water for 20 minutes, towed around by the thrashing fish as he tries to hold on to his float.
Then the spear slips out and he is forced to take matters into his own hands. He grabs it by the tail and manoeuvres the 24kg fish on board.
Partner Lucy Jones rolls her eyes when Cowie says he'll never forget that New Year's Day fishing trip. "No one else will, either," she groans.
The photo of Cowie with the fish is on the couple's fridge, and 18-month-old daughter Izzy demands that it's in her line of sight when she eats breakfast every morning. "She might not know me," Jones sighs, "but she knows 'Dad' and 'fish'."
But fish isn't the only thing Dad does. The great-grandson of New Zealand's first Olympic medal winner, Harry Kerr, Cowie is a lawyer, marine scientist, rugby player, surfer, shotputter, historian and self-published author. And he's only 29.
Asked how he has managed to fit so many accomplishments into fewer than 30 years, the Whangaparaoa jack-of-all-trades says he's always had a lot of energy: "My Mum says I didn't sleep for the first five years."
CARPE DIEM - sieze the day. In the past 10 years Cowie has been in five car crashes and was almost electrocuted while sanding the family mullet boat. Those half-dozen brushes with death are what drive him to fit as much into his life as possible.
Once, he and his surfing mates were on the way to the beach in Dunedin when their car slipped on black ice. Another time the car he was in, towing a boat, collided with a tourist driver who had fallen asleep. The boat was left teetering on the edge of the cliff. Another time he was in the car with a drunk driver who went off the side of the road.
"I guess I am of the attitude that you never know what's around the corner so I try and make the most of life. I reckon I'm up to about 6 lives."
Source: NZ Herald