With the 2016 SA Masters Surfing Championships due to start at Seal Point early today, some 150 surfers gathered last night for the welcoming function at Cape St Francis Resort. Addressing the assembled surfers, Robin de Kock, SASA President paid tribute to renowned East London and more recently Cape St Francis surfer Dave Fish (65) who passed away so suddenly last Saturday. Following a minute’s silence, de Kock passed on condolences on behalf of those present to wife Judy, son and daughter Simon and Amber and the rest of the Fish family before reflecting on much of what Dave meant to the development of surfing in East London, Border and indeed South Africa. Dave, a the former Surfing South Africa Board member, former Border Surf Riders President, multiple provincial and national champion, National Masters Team Member and South African Team Manager will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.

It was through the efforts of Dave as the Chairman of the Seal Point Boardriders Club that Seal Point was chosen to host of the 2016 SA Masters Championships and he had been hard at work honing his skill to defend his title as the over 60 title he won at last year’s championships.

Local Seal Point Boardriders club member Mickey Lindsay who grew up East London and surfed under the mentorship of Dave took to the podium and related several anecdotes, some humorous some more serious. Known as “Fishman” amongst many other nicknames there can be no doubt that this remarkable man will be sadly missed by the entire surfing community.

Closing off the evening’s proceedings de Kock read out a moving letter from South African Surf Legend Shaun Tomson before dedicating the 2016 championship to Dave Fish. He announced changes in the programme with a paddle out will be held at 2:00pm at Seal Point on Saturday followed by a memorial service at Cape St Francis Resort at 4:00pm. Because of the paddle out and memorial service there would changes to a very full surfing programme that would now kick off at 6:45 each morning. Some 100 heats and finals will be held over the next four days and spectators are encouraged to come along and watch some of the great ‘masters of the surf’ compete. De Kock also thanked Cape St Francis Resort for the support they have given the event and for accommodating both the judges and other SASA officials at the resort as well as thanking Fasie Malherba for putting up two great prizes, a three day stay Cape St Francis Resort and a three day stay at Casa Malcampo in the small fishing village of Tofo in Mozambique.

After the function participants and family gathered in the Joe Fish pub to catch up with old mates and to enjoy hot snacks provided by the Resort.

Dave Fish tribute

Border surfers donned “Live Like Fishman” T-Shirts as a tribute to Dave Fish

Read other tributes to Dave Fish

South African surfing community mourns the passing of a surfing legend Dave Fish

Legendary East London surfer crests final wave