Port Macquarie surfboat legend and boardrider Warren 'Wazza' Molloy returned to the ocean he loved for the last time on his birthday, October 13.
Wazza's ashes were spread offshore from Queenscliff Surf Club by family members, under an honour guard of 10 surf boat crews from various NSW Surf Life Saving Clubs.
Port Macquarie was represented by the 'magnificent over 70s' crew of Richard Barnett, Rob Worthing, Dave Cooper, Billy Martin and sweep Donny McManus in a borrowed North Narrabeen Surf Club boat.
"He was a legend of the Port Macquarie Surf Club and among all the surfing blokes, he even won Port Macquarie it's first state surfboat title," said Mr Worthing.
"More that that he was a great mentor for all the young teenagers and adults in Port Macquarie, a most respected policeman.
"May he rest in peace."
Wazza passed away on March 16 at Royal North Shore Hospital, he was aged 82.
Growing up in Sydney, Wazza joined the NSW Police Force and Garie Surf Club, becoming the boat captain and sweep at age of 19 in 1956.
It was a sign of things to come as he would later be recognised as one of Australia's best sweeps in surfboat racing.
Wazza later joined Queenscliff SLSC in 1967, holding the club president title in 1980 and 1981.
He made a name for himself as captain of the Australian Surf Life Saving Team competing in New Zealand during 1972. He won two Australian Open Boat Championships in 1971 and 1977.
In total he would collect more than 25 branch, interbranch, metropolitan, state, interstate and national championships as well as two international contests against South Africa and New Zealand.
He was inducted into the Australian Surf Rowers League Hall of Fame in 2006 and swept his last surfboat race in 2014 at the Lifesaving World Championships in Montpellier, France.
Wazza features prominently in the newly released book, Port Macquarie's History of Surfing. Author Keith McMullen said his ocean sport exploits continued well after finishing his surfboat racing.
"He originally came to Port Macquarie in the late 1950s as a policeman, when he turned up in town he brought a modern Malibu surfboard with him," said Mr McMullen.
"He was cut from a different cloth because he was a committed surfboard rider and he found other surfboard riders when there were very few in town at that time.
"He was both a Surf Life Saving Club member as well as a surfboard rider.
"In his 60s as longboards came back into fashion he started riding again and was active in longboard competitions along the coast. He told me he'd surfed his last wave at the age of 78."
During that time Wazza had managed to win a State Masters Cyclist of the Year award in 2011 and numerous state and national masters titles for kayaking.
Throughout Wazza's professional career he was appointed as a Probationary Constable in 1956, Senior Constable in 1967, Sergeant Third Class in 1972, Inspector Third Class in 1984 and rose to final rank of Superintendent before retiring in 1991.
He was thrust into the public spotlight as a Special Licensing Branch police officer during incidents involving passed Kings Cross developer Abe Saffron.
A scholarship was awarded to Wazza by the University of Sydney, allowing him to study and graduate law at age 55. He also received a Police Sportsman of the Year award in 1972.
Port Macquarie resident and former Port Macquarie SLSC chief instructor Derek Crisp said he remembers when Wazza arrived in town as a highway patrol officer.
"He arrived in a 1948 TCMG blue in colour, very flash in those days. He had a board sent up sometime after that," said Mr Crisp.
"He was an avid surfer, a board rider but first and foremost interested in winning an Australian or State title in surf boats, which of course he did.
"He joined the Port Macquarie Surf Club and swept the boats. He played football in the in the reserve grade with one or two first grade games on Sundays.
"Warren was a nice guy. He was pretty bloody fit, he wasn't a drinker and he trained the surf boat crews.
"He was keen to get the juniors going, which he did and he also swept the A team boat crew.
"Many people knew him as 'Floppa the Coppa' because he didn't swear, instead of the magic word he would say 'flopping thing'."
Warren is survived by wife Helen, son David and daughter Vikki, daughter in law Lisa, grandchildren Charli, Jordan and Jayden, and great grandchild Willem.
His wife, Helen said he had an unbelievable life.
"He was a high achiever in life and those were the things he wanted to do," she said.
"His saying was always 'second place is the first loser'.
"I wish he had of done his memoirs, I tried to get him to do it but he just never got around to it."
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