Yancy Spencer III begot Gulf Coast surfing. Every Gulf Coast surfer that endures worse flat spells than their East Coast brethren has Yancy to credit as their Godfather. He was the 1972 East Coast Champ, and he was from Pensacola, Florida.
Yancy passed away from a heart attack this past Valentine’s Day after surfing in Southern California. From all accounts it was the way Yancy wanted to leave this world, surfing. While he was only 60-years old and still in great surfing shape, it did come as quite a shock that the Duke of the Gulf could be struck down.
As his brother John points out in the below footage from the paddle out, “Yancy dignified surfing on the Gulf Coast, he made it something to be proud of.” Yancy paved a path for Gulf Coasters like Cory and Shea Lopez, and even his son Sterling, to go on to international success in the surfing world. Without Yancy we might have never been graced with all the classic …Lost videos of Cory which were incredibly influential. This is merely one piece that Yancy helped to create.
Yancy once wrote in a SURFER editorial, “Doing a maneuver with style is doing it the right way and not the easy way, and is the difference between mediocrity and greatness.”
Yancy showed the world that greatness can even come from the wave-starved Gulf, and in doing so influenced generations of surfers to never settle for less.—Ryan Brower
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