World Longboard Champion Stuart Entwistle Passes Away
lundi 4 février 2002 –
When diagnosed with severe Melanoma back in 1999, Entwistle was still competing actively and even winning tournaments. His last surf Surf #Surf , however, took place in July 2001, while competing in Hawaii for his good friend China’s Annual Longboard Longboard #Longboard Classic.
A proud local of Manly beach, ’Twiz’ truly became an icon of the surfing community there. His home break being the venue for the first official world titles won by Midget Farrelly (Aus) in 1964, and of course his very own victory in 1987. Since then many more greats have emerged from Manly, such as 1988 world champ Barton Lynch, 1990 champ Pam Burridge, four time consecutive (1998-01) world champion Layne Beachley, as well as a host of others, all of whom benefited from the tremendous support he always offered.
Beyond his illustrious surfing career, he also gave time and energy so generously to voluntary causes, and helped raise thousands of dollars for the Starlight ’Make A Wish’ Foundation, and later the Cancer Council of Australia. All of which was recognized at the highest level, when in 2001 he was presented the Australia Day Sportsman Citizen Award, and then on January 26th this year, a little over a week ago, he was named Australia Day Manly Citizen for 2002. Upon accepting his last award Entwistle broke down in tears, presumably from a combination of pride, as well as knowing his impending operation was going to be his last chance.
World Championship Tour (WCT) surfer Richie Lovett (Aus), a close friend and fellow Manly beach resident, visited ’Twiz’ last night in Hospital, only hours before receiving the news. Understandably shaken by the loss, he joined family and friends today at the Entwistle home to share stories of their mate, and help comfort each other.
"This is a huge loss to the surfing world, as well as the local surfing community," said Lovett. "He was such a massive icon to Manly and the local area. ’Twiz’ was a huge influence on me when I was growing up. He’ll be greatly missed, but his spirit will ride on with us forever."
2000 World Longboard Longboard #Longboard Champion Beau Young (Aus), who grew up watching his father Nat Young compete against Entwistle for event and world titles, was also saddened today. Following the recent losses of other significant surfing figures around the world, such as legendary Californian Miki Dora, big wave maestro Jay Moriarity (USA), and South African pioneer John Whitmore, Entwistle’s passing creates more of a void in the legacy they were a part of.
"He always seemed really happy and carried that surfing spirit," said Young. "He really loved all aspects of surfing and was always smiling, enthusiastic about life and living for the moment.
"It’s a sad day for the Australian surfing community when we lose someone like ’Twiz’," he continued. "Hopefully people can go out and catch a wave to remember him, as well as Dora, Jay, and John Whitmore. It’s really important for everyone to appreciate what they all did for surfing. It’s a sad thing they’re gone."
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