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David ‘Baddy’ Treloar is pictured with Dan Ross. Image: Contributed

Our community lost a legend yesterday

Geoff Helisma |

The above headline refers to David ‘Baddy’ Treloar, who suffered a fatal heart attack while surfing his beloved Angourie Point on Thursday March 28.

It was coined by Yamba surfer Jeames Young, who wrote: “My best memories are you yelling ‘GO’ when a set was approaching the line-up.

“You always pushed me; some of the biggest take-offs I ever had as a young fella was because of you, whether it was a close out, or the wave of the day, you always made sure I went it, and if I didn’t, you made sure I never pulled back again.”

Born in 1951, Treloar’s passing has resonated around the world of surfing.

Surf journalist Sam George wrote this on the US-based Surfline website, about Treloar’s lifestyle as depicted in Albert Falzon’s classic surf film from 1972, Morning of the Earth: “In one beautifully composed, thoughtfully edited (though somewhat crudely shot) sequence, Treloar was the subject of perhaps the most articulate profile of a particular surfing era, and a particular surfer’s place within that movement.”

Treloar lived that lifestyle till last Thursday, making his living in the ocean as a fisherman.

When Angourie was declared a surfing reserve in 2007, Treloar told the Independent: “Angourie has always been mystic to me.

“When you came here it just had a certain feeling about it … there was just something special.

“The place will never change in my heart; I’ve always got a special place for it.”

In 2008, when Angourie was named in Sean Doherty’s book, The Pilgrimage: 50 places to surf before you die, as one of those waves, Treloar revealed how he came to settle at Angourie after leaving Sydney’s Many beach scene in the mid 1970: “I thought if I could get a house here with hot water, I’d never leave.”

As it turned out, that sequence in Morning of the Earth¸ cut to John J Francis’s song, Simple Ben, captured Treloar’s essence, an essence that will forever remain a part of surfing folklore.

Jeames Young’s tribute continued: “Thanks for all [your] wisdom over the years, you pushed Dan [Ross] to get on [World Championship] tour, you made sure Lawrence [Towner] was chasing his dream and you always bought excitement in and out of the water.”

Al Morrison posted on his Facebook site: “The Guardian of Angourie Point will be sorely missed in the line-up.

“This fellow charged every swell and his voice yelling ‘go’ to friends, to take off on the biggest wave, meant you had no choice but to go.

“He even saved me one day when I got washed onto life and death at the point when it was 10 foot.

“He was in my restaurant [The Mexican in Yamba] only a few days ago and signed my legends surfboard, now a shrine to the legend that will always be.”

Cory Helisma: “It was an absolute honour to grow up surfing with and learning from this iconic Angourie legend!!

“He had a massive influence on my surfing, along with a lot of others growing up around Angourie.

“I’ll never forget you, legend! RIP.”

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