A West Coast legend has fallen. Gerrit Burger – the guardian, and namesake of the crunchy reef break, Farmer Burgers – unexpectedly passed away at age 67, on Monday, 20 February. He will be fondly remembered as a staunch environmentalist and for keeping the more enthusiastic campers in line in the early days.
Having hosted many local and international surfers at his farm and campsite accommodation, Farmer Burger was an iconic figure in the West Coast community. Anyone who’s made the pilgrimage up the R27 has spent time at the oasis he created, situated mid-way between the left-hand mecca of Elands Bay and the fishing town of Lamberts Bay.
Farmer Burger forged a space for the ragtag bunch that frequents the rugged West Coast, and for this, we are eternally grateful. You can’t beat his campsite for West Coast authenticity, and relaxing around the pit fire with ice cold beers and red hot kreef, after a good day of surf, has become an integral part of the Wes Kus experience.
He leaves behind a legacy of hospitality and kindness, and his accommodation of surfers will be greatly missed. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends. He may be gone but his name lives on – In the land that he carefully preserved, and particularly in that special ledge of rock that will continue hurling walls of water at those brave enough, for millennia to come.
*Featured Image By John Van Vliet.