LINDSAY Lewis celebrated his 64th birthday only a few short weeks ago.
He received a well-deserved belated present in the form of a first-ever NSW state gold medal when he took out the surf race in the 60-64 age division at Blacksmiths Beach last week.
After numerous third and fourth-place finishes over the years, Lewis finally removed the monkey off his back when he caught a surprise wave just after rounding the cans.
"When I got around the can I didn't realise I was on a wave and the next minute I was going down a wave," he recalled.
"All my mind was saying was 'don't blow it Lindsay, keep your head down, kick your feet'."
The 64-year-old has been there and thereabouts over the years and admitted the achievement was still sinking in.
"It's one of those stories," he said.
"I can go home to bed and think 'that's a real dreamer'; it's something that wouldn't happen in 100 years and it's taken me 64 years to get it.
"It's still buzzing in my head; I'm still on a high."
Even after the Port Macquarie product had popped his head out of the water and made the run to the finish line he still couldn't believe it.
With a thousand thoughts still running through his mind he gave race organisers the wrong name when they cross-checked his details.
It was only after he started to emerge from his daze after wandering away from the officials tent that he realised his mistake.
"I could have been disqualified if I didn't realise I gave them the wrong name," he said.
"When I got back to the (club) tent everyone was giving me a high-five, saying 'Mr state, Mr state, Mr state' and the phone has been running hot in the last couple of days."
Former Australian surf title winners and Uncle Toby's Nutri Grain competitors were in the field that Lewis beat.
"It's taken me six decades to knock off those first half a dozen guys who were all legends," he said.
"To beat them is incredible."
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