It is only natural that “the Godfather of East Coast surfing” was memorialized at the surfing capital of the East Coast on the morning of June 10th, 2017. In many ways, Dick Catri made this surfing mecca what it is today.
In the Atlantic waters off Sebastian Inlet State Park, the June 10 “Celebration of Life Paddle Out” will honor Catri, whose name is synonymous with U.S. surfing – especially on Florida’s Space Coast, where he helped propel the sport to new heights.
“The paddle out is such an important, time-honored ritual, there is no better way to honor Dick Catri and what he did for surfing and for this community,” said Eric Garvey, Director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism. “Many surfing heroes have passed through the Space Coast, but few will be as lovingly remembered here as Dick is. He was a trailblazer and ambassador of the sport and he put this area on the map for surfing, giving it worldwide acclaim and a personality all its own.”
A true pioneer and renowned surfing competitor, Catri was inducted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame in 1966, following a series of impressive career wins and title achievements. Catri moved permanently to the Space Coast in 1964, and would later own several surf shops in the area. Here, he helped organize professional surfing contests, co-founding in 1965 what is now the Cocoa Beach Easter Surfing Festival. In 1996, he was a member of the charter class inducted into the East Coast Surfing Hall of Fame.
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