Richie Allen Remembered on the Water

 Richie Allen Remembered on the Water

By Katie McFadden

The annual Richie Allen Memorial Surf Classic was hit with a number of obstacles on Sunday, September 10, but the spirit of the day came through regardless.

On Sunday, Rockaway came out to remember late Firefighter Richie Allen, a local surfer, lifeguard, firefighter, son, brother, uncle and friend to many, who died on 9/11, twenty-two years ago. Each year, the Allen family honors Richie’s memory with something that highlights his favorite activity—surfing. The event is typically held on Richie’s beach, Beach 91st Street, but due to dune construction activities, the contest was moved last minute to Beach 86th Street. The surf contest began with kids hitting the waves, but heavy downpours cut the contest short.

While there were no winners declared, it didn’t stop the kids from doing what Richie loved. “We started it, but the rain got the better of us,” his mom, Gail Allen said. “But it still turned out pretty good.” His sister, Maggie Allen added, “The best part was even though it was pouring rain and we were huddled under the umbrellas, the kids were still out here surfing.”

After the kids enjoyed some fun on the water, the memorial paddle out to honor Richie went on as planned. Surfers young and old paddled out on the smooth water and formed a circle before splashing water up in the air while family and friends threw red carnations into the water from the shoreline.

And at the end of the day, despite the rain and the hiccups, those on the beach were treated to a show by dolphins out in the water, as if Richie himself was giving a sign that all was okay.

The Allen family will be selling the event t-shirts at their home this weekend. For t-shirts, contact a member of the Allen family.

Photos by Katie McFadden and Maggie Allen.


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