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A Tribute to Wayne Deane by Andy McKinnon

Posted on Monday, September 03, 2018

Wayne Deane -1952 - 2018

Wayne started surfing in 1960 with his oldest brother Robye Deane and their Dad John taught them to surf at Rainbow Bay.

Deaney was an extraordinaire water man and iconic surfing legend from Coolangatta, perhaps Coolangatta's greatest ever waterman.

He represented QLD in numerous National Titles from 1966 and won 10 National Longboard titles in a row during the 90's, a record that's never been broken.
He won a World Longboard title in 1990. It’s something that I have shared with Deaney, that we are the only two Australian World ISA Longboard champions to this day that share a World ISA Longboard title, mine in 1988 and Wayne’s in 1990.

Deaney could surf all types of waves from small to big, was a standout at Snapper Rocks where he had been President of his beloved Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club and one of the best tube riders at Kirra Point. He was a fearless charger, surfing Cyclonic swells on the Tweed Bar and Snapper outer banks where one time he lost his board and had to swim to North Kirra from Snapper Rocks outside the shark nets to get his board back.

Apart from his surfing genius, he loved his motor bikes and dirt bike racing. Wayne was an action man.

I have one special memory of Wayne Deane during the Billabong Pro 1998 when Wayne Deane was the designated water security guy. Deaney was sitting in the line-up at Snapper Rocks when Kelly Slater hit the line-up but his Brazilian opponent Peterson "The Animal" Rosa had miscued the timing of the heat and left Kelly in the water by himself. Kelly suggested that he and Wayne have an unofficial man on man heat together. They swapped boards with Deaney surfing Kelly’s short board and Kelly surfing Wayne’s longboard. Deaney caught the first wave and was ripping on Slater's shortboard but Kelly wasn't used to riding a longboard and struggled on what was a way oversized board than he was used to. Deaney literally stole the show with the locals at Snapper Rocks cheering him on! 

And then "The Animal" turned up late and flustered while Kelly got back on his shortboard winning the heat, won the event, and the World Title his 6th before retiring momentarily.

Wayne was a reserved guy, incredibly intelligent, gifted man, master builder, made some of the best surfboards and was so respected.

A proud humble family man, he was Coolangatta Surfing Royalty (the Hawaiians loved Wayne and he ripped in Hawaii). Wayne had dedicated his whole life to surfing. He'd joined the campaign to save Kirra as the President of Kirra Point Inc., his intimate knowledge of surfing and the sea was second to none. Wayne passed away peacefully early Friday morning 27th July. He was a 66.

Wayne is now a Surfing God. God Bless you ol’ mate. My deepest condolences and commiserations to his wife Colleen, his family members and his worldwide friends.

MP was the King of Kirra but WD was the King of Coolangatta.
RIP Champion, you're the Best.

Post tribute

On Friday 10th of August, a celebration of Wayne’s Life was held at Kirra Hill Community Centre, site of the Coolangatta School that he had attended and had successfully fought with the local community to save and was attended by a massive crowd. Heartfelt tributes were given by close family friends Sally Paxton, Michael Cain, his beloved wife Colleen and fellow Coolangatta surf legend Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew.

One of the biggest paddle outs ever seen followed at Kirra Point, where his ashes were laid to rest at one of his favourite breaks. The Ceremony continued at the Rainbow Bay Surf Club where his home break Snapper Rocks came to life with pumping waves after 3 week flat spell. There’s no doubt that the Wayne Deane Snapper Rocks Cup at the end of the year will be a hugely prestigious event for his Club that he had been both Club Champion and President.

We will always remember you, respect you and love you Deaney. You are in our hearts and minds. Aloha and Mahalo.

Reproduced with kind permission of Andrew Mc Kinnon, local Surf Writer.

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