Australian former professional surfer Chris Davidson died Saturday after he was punched outside of a pub in South West Rocks, New South Wales. He was 45 years old.
Police found Davidson unconscious on the sidewalk outside the pub after he had been punched in the face by another patron. Davidson was transported to a local hospital, where he died shortly thereafter.
A 42-year-old man was arrested in connection with Davidson’s death and charged with assault causing death. He was denied bail in the Port Macquarie Bail Court on Sunday.
Davidson grew up in Sydney and shot to fame after beating world champion surfer Kelly Slater in the 1996 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia.
Tributes to Davidson have poured in online, with the World Surf League writing that the organization “and the surfing community at large, are saddened to learn that former CT surfer Chris Davidson, of Narrabeen, Australia, tragically passed away on Saturday. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Rip Curl shared that Davidson was “a supremely talented surfer who inspired a generation when he burst onto the scene as a teenager.”