Former surfing star Chris Davidson gained fame at the age of 19 after being given a wildcard admission into the 1996 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia. He defeated Kelly Slater, the reigning world champion, twice there. Sadly, the surfer died on Saturday, and he was just 45-years-old.
Following complaints reporting an attack, authorities say they went to a South West Rocks bar around 11 p.m. on Saturday. After being punched, a man who was later identified as Davidson apparently banged his head on the ground.
TMZ reports that authorities claim that they discovered the man unconscious when they got there. He allegedly died shortly after being taken to a neighboring hospital. According to police, a 42-year-old man has been taken into custody in connection to the incident. He has since been accused of assault resulting in death.
Kelly Slater expressed his sorrow over his passing in a post on his social media, saying, “Lost another soldier yesterday. #RIPChrisDavo,”
“Had many a good battle with this guy. One of the most naturally talented surfers I ever knew.”
Surfing Australia called Davidson “an incredibly talented surfer and a true individual in our sport and community,” the organization continued, “Our thoughts go out to his two children, friends and family at this time.”
Police have not released any other information about the incident in South West Rocks. According to local media, the 42-year-old man was denied bail on Monday and will appear in court again in November. Stay tuned to Thirsty for more updates.