I have known David Mcgregor for about 20 years now. I met him when I was teaching CARR (Computer Aided Research and Reporting) at The Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University in South Africa. We were doing groundbreaking work at the New Media Lab at Rhodes Journalism, putting newspapers online. None of the big papers were that interested at that stage because they couldn’t see a way to make money out of it. But in the local area, many newsletters, news agencies and small grass roots organizations were in on it very early. We put the first newspaper in Africa online. We were very much first in the field and Dave, who worked for the local news agency was always around the Journalism Department because he was very interested in new media and wanted to use it in his work.
It was kind of obvious from the beginning that Dave was a surfer. I grew up around surfers and learned very young that it is not just a sport. It is a lifestyle, a religion, an ethos. It’s not what you do, it’s who you are. I spent most of my teens hanging around with surfers in Port Elizabeth so I knew a lot about Dave as soon as I saw that he surfed, before we even got to know each other. I have always called him Dave the Wave or Wavy Davy.
Dave’s dad, Stuart Mcgregor is also a surfer, so he taught Dave to surf. One year they went to Bali together to surf and I thought that was so amazing.
Dave has two sons – Cuan who is 17, and Kye who is 11. And they are both keen surfers. Dave has taught and encouraged and supported them but I reckon that it is that it is in their blood. They were born having that affinity with the sea.
This year I am happy to report that Dave is the South African Longboard Champion, and Kye and Cuan are winning competitions left right and centre. Kye is 11 years old and ranked 3rd in the under 14 division. Cyan, at 17, is 3rd in the junior longboard division and last year was the under 16 champion.
These boys will go far. For me it is just great to see three generations of surfing Mcgregors. That love of the surf and the sea and being just a rider, a board and a connection to something at your core, something deep and beyond comprehension. And how nice it must be to do something you love with your family.
Here I am at East Beach the day I left South Africa for Sweden. I cried at the thought of not seeing it again for a long time (hence the tissue). It was three years before I stood there once more.