Richards Memorial Paddleout

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer started the topic in Monday, 2 Mar 2015 at 8:45pm

If you have surfed the Yorke Peninsula over the past 50 years you may remember meeting and surfing with Richard Thomas who sadly passed away just after Xmas last year.

In the early 1960's Richard's family bought a shack in Marion Bay and he soon discovered that the area had perfect uncrowded waves. Richard and his brother Mike would often go surfing at nearby Pondalowie Bay. One day they eyed off a perfect shaped reef down the beach from the main break and walked down to surf it.
The two argued about what to call it. Richard wanted to call it Richard's, Mike wanted to call it Mike's but as his younger brother spent more and more time surfing down there Mike eventually gave in and the name Richard's Reef stuck.

To celebrate Richard's life a memorial paddle out has been organised for 11:30am on Saturday 21st March 2015 down the beach at 'Richard's Reef' in Pondalowie Bay. His ashes will be scattered at the wave that bears his name by his friends and family who wish to see him return to the ocean that he loved.
Anyone who has surfed the Southern Yorke Peninsula over the years and would like to know a bit more about one of the early surfing pioneers of this coast is also welcome to come along and celebrate Richard's life with us.

Following the ceremony a gathering will take place at the Marion Bay Community Hall to share stories and memories. Those who are able to are encouraged to bring a plate of food but everyone is welcome to come along and hear about Richards life. He was quite a character!

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Monday, 2 Mar 2015 at 8:50pm

Here is some info about the memorial paddle out we have organised for Richard Thomas who sadly passed away just after Xmas 2014.

mothart's picture
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mothart commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 7:55am

Hope it 2-3 ENE and mid tide.
Should be a good gathering of the tribe.
Sure it's just a typo, but you got different times on what you wrote & the flier.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 8:13am

Ah shit well spotted moth. It was a typo, the paddle out is at 1:30pm on Sat 21st March. Yeah I hope it's one of those perfect offshore days with a nice little swell running. Richard loved those days!
Here's a pic I took of one such day in the late 1980's. You would know all of these guys from our time surfing West Beach moth.

mothart's picture
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mothart commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 8:52am

Can't make out the heads on that lot.
Is there any chance they had THC in their system?

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 3:36pm

Seeing as all four grew up surfing Westies I'm sure they all had THC in their system moth. That's Johnsy, Battersby, Creber and Dowdy. I know Johnsy lives at Streaky these days but I haven't seen the others in 20 years?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 4:28pm

Weird angle there YS.

Looks like you'd have to be down past Pondie to look into it like that, but then Richards would be miles away with that angle.

That or they're standing on sand covered Pondie.

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 5:01pm

The camera angle probably just makes it look a lot closer than it actually is, Craig.

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Craig commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 5:10pm

Yeah LD, or that's actually Pondie right in frame and not Richards..

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 5:15pm

Nah that is Richard's. I took that shot up the beach a bit with my 600mm telephoto lens that used to create some different perspectives.
It's funny how digging up that old pic has brought memories flooding back for me of crazy weekend camping trips to Pondie many of us South Australian surfers did as teenagers back in the day.

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Craig commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 5:17pm

Nice, yeah like that Ledge perspective, love that photo!!

mothart's picture
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mothart commented Tuesday, 3 Mar 2015 at 8:00pm

Ah.., the A team, WBMs decided to send over some of their finest that weekend.
Air would have been thick on that journey.
Looks like Richards is doing that semi sidewinder wedgie thing on the inside... I reckon that's when it's at it's best.

Hope the 23rd goes well, there will be sadness, but hope you can also get some good vibes & classic tales.
Can't get a much better send off, ashes scattered at the wave named after you.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 at 11:31pm

Well it turned out to be an amazing day to surf, remember Richard and return his ashes to his favourite wave in Pondalowie Bay. The swell was 4 to 6ft and perfect.
A huge crowd of surfers as well as Richards friends and family came down to share the moment and surf pumping Pondie.

Despite some pretty solid wash throughs at least 50 surfers formed a circle down the beach next to Richard's Reef. Even a large pod of curious dolphins joined us which made it even more special. We scattered his ashes and surfed a few waves to remember our mate.
It truly was a magic day that all who were present will have etched in their memory banks and it will be talked about as being one of those classic days at Pondalowie for all time.
Thanks for the memories Richard!

Sheepdog's picture
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Sheepdog commented Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 at 8:44am

yorkessurfer wrote: Well it turned out to be an amazing day to surf, remember Richard and return his ashes to his favourite wave in Pondalowie Bay. The swell was 4 to 6ft and perfect.
A huge crowd of surfers as well as Richards friends and family came down to share the moment and surf pumping Pondie.

Despite some pretty solid wash throughs at least 50 surfers formed a circle down the beach next to Richard's Reef. Even a large pod of curious dolphins joined us which made it even more special. We scattered his ashes and surfed a few waves to remember our mate.
It truly was a magic day that all who were present will have etched in their memory banks and it will be talked about as being one of those classic days at Pondalowie for all time.
Thanks for the memories Richard!

That's beautiful, yorko...... Thankyou for sharing....

Sheepdog

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spencie commented Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 at 12:46pm

I surfed Yorkes in the early 80s and Richard was a top bloke and a pretty good surfer. Real gentleman and very accommodating to a travelling surfer. Hope his legacy lives on with the new generation.

easterly

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Walter commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 at 8:42pm

I am from Austria, and I was at Innes Nationalpark in December 1994.
I can never forget Richard, he invited me in his home and he gave me one of his surfboards to try some surf.
We had a very good time with his friends Paul, Sean and Bobby.
In mourning for Richard...!
Walter (from the other side of the world)