Tragic drowning of a surfing legend

A photograph of Guy McIntosh in action.

The surfing fraternity is in shock after the drowning of Guy McIntosh, 69, on Wednesday October 23 while surfing at Clovelly Beach.

Mr McIntosh’s body was found at 5pm abbout 100 metres offshore from the Silvermine River mouth after an extensive land-and-sea search was launched.

Lifeguards were alerted at 4pm after his board was spotted floating off Clovelly Beach.

The lifeguards were assisted by Shark Spotters, off-duty NSRI members, Cape Medical Response and SAPS.

Friends and family described Mr McIntosh as an outstanding surfer whose love for the sea had started when he was a child.

His wife, Imogen McIntosh, said his first passion had been the sea and it had given him his zest for life.

“He died doing what he loved the most,” she said.

The couple, both from Fish Hoek, met when they were 16 and married at 21 in 1972.

Their first-born, Cherie-Dee Hann (* ée McIntosh), was born in 1977, and, in 1988, they welcomed their son, Luc Mcintosh.

He also has one granddaughter, Rebecca Hann, 7, and son-in-law, Joseph Hann.

“He adored our family, and we meant the world to him, including his two dogs, Messi and Dash, that he would religiously take to the beach every day, weather-permitting. We will miss the unconditional love that we openly shared and the incredible times we spent together,” said the family.

He established his own roofing and repairs business, Guy McIntosh Roofing, in 1990 and Luc joined the business 10 years ago.

Luc will continue his legacy by providing the same exceptional service that the business is renowned for.

In 1968 Mr McIntosh won the South African title in the junior men’s division and was the reserve for the South African team sent to the world surfing champs in Puerto Rico.

He was the Western Province senior surfing champion for three years in a row from 1971 to 1973, and was part of the Western Province surfing team that represented at the South African championships on numerous occasions.

“One event that stands out in our minds is his heroic rescue of two children in very rough surf at Long Beach, Kommetjie, in
1971.

“For us, as a family, he was a hero for the many courageous achievements in his life,” said Ms McIntosh.

Good friend and fellow surfer, Paul Botha, said Mr McIntosh had been an outstanding surfer and an eternal non-conformist: a leader of the pack during the “tune-in, turn-on and drop-out” era of the shortboard revolution.

Nicknamed the Mudshark, he pioneered many of the surf spots on the Cape Peninsula and won every contest in Cape Town for a four-year period during the mid-70s.

Mr Botha said it was during that time that he had became a well-known name in South African surfing, before shunning competition surfing.

Also a master craftsman, Mr Botha said, he conceived, designed and manufactured multiple forms of innovative wave-riding craft, and created a prototype surfboard-shaping machine in the late 70s.

“His pithy pronouncements on the world and its foibles, outrageous dress sense and the naughtiest laugh you ever heard will live on forever in the memories of all he endeared himself to. Sincere condolences to his loving wife Imogen, son Luc, daughter Cherie, son-in-law Joe and granddaughter Rebecca,” Mr Botha said.

Ms McIntosh said details for his memorial were yet to be confirmed.