Robin Pedretti farewelled after shark attack death

Robin Pedretti rode the waves of life with a smile, laughter and compassion, mourners at his farewell in Jan Juc were told on Friday.

His zest for the outdoors saw his service held among trees, a short drive from Winkipop and Point Roadknight where his passion for surfing grew as a young boy.

Mr Pedretti, 60, was surfing at Kingscliff in northern New South Wales earlier this month, when he was killed by a 3m Great White shark.

But the pages of his story were filled with laughter.

Like the time he was part of a group that flung a fish out of a Kombi roof onto a group of burly truck drivers while driving through central Geelong.

Born in Footscray, Mr Pedretti and his family moved to Geelong in the mid-1960s.

Memories from those years were recounted at his farewell; like the time he drained the pool of a Highton school and used it with mates as a makeshift skateboarding ramp.

An adventurer at heart, Mr Pedretti was often spotted "jumping from roof to roof" playing Superman as a kid.


Robin Pedretti grew up in Geelong.
Robin Pedretti grew up in Geelong.

That spirit translated to surfing where friendships were made and kept.

As a teenager after his parents dropped him at school, he'd slip out the back gate, hop into a mate's Kombi and head for the nearest break, his sister Lily Lancaster recalled.

"You can just picture Rob and his cheeky grin knowing he was on a mission. Mind you this happened quite a few times before Mum and Dad found out that he was wagging school," Ms Lancaster said. "As long as he had the sun and surf he was content."

When the Pedretti family moved to Burleigh Heads, Queensland, Mr Pedretti's yearning for the water grew stronger after joining the local boardriders club.

Mr Pedretti's nieces and nephew recalled the lessons his life had taught them: be kind and respectful; don't sweat the small things; laugh; be adventurous; and master your own destiny.

Mourners heard Mr Pedretti always had a surfing trip in the works.

Long-time mate Tim Buckley remembered eight surf trips with Mr Pedretti.

"We had some great times in Indonesia. We'd start off in Bali and the swell would drop. Then Rob would say 'What do you think, let's go to Java?' The next thing you know we are on some small aeroplane that sounds like a tractor."

"We went to New Guinea ... and Rob took two surfboards to give to the kids ... there was no way they could buy surfboards.

"Anyone who met Rob once would remember him for some reason. They fell in love with him."

Some of Mr Pedretti's remains will be kept in Geelong while others will be scattered at his hometown, Tugun in Queensland, during a paddle out.

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