Rich Salick to be honored at Cocoa Beach NKF Labor Day Surf Festival

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It has already been 10 years since Rich Salick passed away.

Venerable surfer, surfboard shaper and longtime National Kidney Foundation promoter Rich Salick Surf Fest, will be recognized at this year’s 37th annual contest in several ways — the event was named for him in 2012 — in addition to being the image on commemorative T-shirts.

“It was his son, Philip, who did the artwork,” said Rich’s twin brother, Phil, who turns 73 in October. “We will have a celebration of life all weekend.”

They will also honor their good friend, Mike Christian, who died in December after Phil and Mike Meyer closely watched their surf buddy, who was the first person the Salicks met when they arrived from Anna Maria Island across the State.

Phil will be at the Westgate Resorts Cocoa Beach Pier this Labor Day weekend, but won’t be wearing surfboards anytime soon after he “broke a whole bunch of bones” in a fall from the top of his stairs. He lay on the ground “at least 10-12 hours” hoping, perhaps, that the postman would hear him.

Instead, over time, he finally made up his mind and went to the hospital to have his left elbow and other bruises treated.

“Lucky it wasn’t my steering elbow,” he said, now able to laugh at his “Help, I fell and can’t get up” episode.

Salick said this year’s surfing event and related activities were “full”. Some 200 surfers in the pro and amateur divisions begin competition at 8 a.m. Saturday with the finals and awards ceremony stretching through Labor Day Monday.

The Ron Jon Men’s Pro is the main event of the weekend festival, which will feature shortboard and longboard divisions, as well as a fun team competition on Monday.

On Friday evening, late registrations will be accepted at the base of the Westgate Resorts Cocoa Beach Pier, beginning at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, from 7:30-9pm at the Pier, a large screen will be set up to show locally produced free surf films from NPI Productions.

The popular Taste of Brevard and Silent Auction fundraiser will take place Sunday evening from 6-9 p.m. at the Cocoa Beach Country Club near Minutemen Causeway. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. “We are doing our part to fight inflation by lowering the price this year,” Salick said. Last week, 18 restaurants signed up to deliver their delicious treats.

Tickets for the Taste of Brevard are available online at NKFsurf.org. For more information about the surf festival, call 407-894-7325 or visit www.nkfsurf.com.

NKF Rich Salick Labor Day Surf Festival Schedule

Thursday, 6 p.m.: Sponsor, press and VIP party at Fishlips, Port Canaveral

Friday, 6-10 p.m.: Latest Listings at Westgate Resorts Cocoa Beach Pier

Saturday, 8 a.m.: Pro-Am surfing begins; Noon: Exhibition of tandem surfing; 7:30-9 p.m.: NPI movie night

Sunday, 7 a.m.: Surf 8 Christians Sunrise Service; 8:00 a.m.: start of Pro-Am surfing; Noon: Exhibition of tandem surfing; 6-9 p.m.: Taste of Brevard at Cocoa Beach Country Club

Monday, 8 a.m.: Pro-Am surfing continues, followed by the finals; Noon: Exhibition of tandem surfing; 2 p.m. (provisional): Prize giving.

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