The South African surfing community is in mourning after South African surfing champion and surfing legend, Dave Fish (65) passed away on Saturday afternoon.
Heartfelt tributes from fellow surfers and friends have been paid to the former Surfing South Africa Board member, former Border Surfriders President, multiple provincial and national champion, National Masters Team Member and South African Team Manager.
With only days to go before the start of the 2016 SA Masters Championships at his home break Seal Point, the 2015 Over 60 Division SA Champion had been practising hard for the event and friends who surfed with him late last week said he was surfing better than event. It was through his initiative and influence as the Chairman of the Seal Point Boardriders Club that Seal Point became the host of the 2016 SA Masters Championships but sadly he will not take his place in the line up when the event gets under way on Thursday.
A true surfer in every sense of the word, Dave played a role in South African surfing at club, provincial and national level as an athlete, administrator, coach, official and mentor to a host of surfers. Although he retired to Seal Point a few years ago Dave remained an East London surfer to the end and only represented his beloved Border Surfriders at National Championships since he first surfed competitively some 50 years ago.
His victory in the 50th South African Championships last year earned him the inaugural Over 60 Division title. Under his administrative guidance surfers from East London made their mark at numerous National and International tournaments and this is highlighted by the hundreds of messages that were posted on social media after the news of his passing was announced.
South African Surfing has lost a unique and dedicated waterman who was very much part of the tapestry that binds the sport together. The surfing community from far and wide extends its deepest condolences to his wife Judy, his daughter Amber and his son Simon at this sad time.
Dave’s life will be celebrated during the South African Masters Championships at the Opening Function on Wednesday night and during the event when all 140 competitors will participate in a traditional “paddle out” at Seal Point.
Rest in Peace, Dave Fish.