Summer Colours at St Clair

Summer Colours at St ClairBuy or view the Ōtepoti | Dunedin gallery

Another wee trek I had taken in the sun was to adventure across the rocks beyond the St Clair Salt Water Pool at low tide. This is usually an area covered in water and pounded by swells as waves break on the point. However on one such occasion with the sea calm combined with a low tide, I spent an enjoyable hour scrambling over the rocks. It was during this time that I came across something altogether unexpected. There, sitting attached to a rock, surrounded in seaweed sat a plaque to Rex Von Huben. Just who Rex was I wasn’t sure, but clearly he must have been a person of note to be remembered in such a way. I decided to find out. 

A short time later, having left the rocks behind and thanks to the wonders of Google, I discovered that Rex Von Huben was one of New Zealand’s earliest recognised big-wave surfers in the deep south who at the age of 43 lost his life in a car crash in 1998. The following year, as a memorial to Rex, his widow Lorraine and friend Kyle Davidson organised New Zealand’s first big-wave surfing event the following year called the Quiksilver Rex von Huben Big Wave Challenge. And if I learnt nothing else during summer, that was good enough for me.

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