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|Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic to be Dedicated to Gary Smither|
LINCOLN CITY, Oregon, September 9, 2009, Behemoth, LLC today announced that the 2009 Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic will be dedicated to dear friend and Head Judge, Gary Smither.
Gary, who lost his fight to cancer in June, was a good friend, supporter, and judge for the Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic since the first contest in 2005, and will be greatly missed. The 2009 event will be dedicated in his honor.
Gary was born on December 19, 1951. He grew up on 'The Strand' in Hermosa Beach, CA, and started surfing on mats when he was 10 years old. He got a surfboard and started surfing a few years later. He surfed competitively from age 14 thru 18 and was sponsored by Hap Jacobs Surfboards. Corky Carroll, Mike Purpus, and Rolf Aurness sponsored him into the 'Windansea Surf Club'. He was arrested at Trestles for surfing on the Army Base, which was a right of passage in Southern California in the 60's.
Gary took a hiatus from surfing for nearly 30 years, until his wife Chris got him to return to the water again in 1999 in the Coos Bay area of Oregon. Shortly after, he started competing in Northwest contests, earning several podium positions, including a first place finish at the Cape Kiwanda Longboard contest in 2005. He also earned two first place finishes at the Cleanwater Classic in Westport, WA. In 2008, Gary took over the role of Head Judge for the PNW Judges, after judging all the events in the Northwest
Gary had a bout with a brain tumor two years ago and after completing Chemo and Radiation treatment, was able to bounce back to surfing. Gary went on a surf trip of a lifetime to the 'Mentawais' before the tumor came back and took his life at home in the arms of his loving wife Chris on June 23, 2009.
Gary leaves behind two daughters, Melissa 27, and Jessie 32, his wife Chris, and many friends. Gary will be missed, but not forgotten by all his friends in the surfing community. He was a loyal friend and his contributions and dedication to the Nelscott Reef Tow In and Big Wave Paddle Classic will not be forgotten.
Nelscott Reef 2009 Contest Dedication
The Nelscott Reef Tow In Classic is now in its fifth year. It operates on a threemonth holding period, October 1 through December 31st, and unofficially marks the opening of the North Pacific big wave season. The contest has amazingly been held each year it has operated, boasting a better record than any big wave event in history.