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Body Glove Co-Founder Bob Meistrell Passed Away at 84

A few days ago, on Father’s Day Sunday, the Meistrell and Body Glove families, together with the entire water sports community, have lost an important and beloved member. Body Glove co-founder and legendary waterman Bob Meistrell has suffered a heart attack just minutes after the start of the annual Rock2Rock race, two miles off of Catalina Island near Ship Rock. He was 84 years old.

As competitors took off from the start, the engines in Disappearance , his boat, failed- an abnormal occurrence that Meistrell told a family member had never occurred before. He climbed below into the engine room to change the fuel filters with family member Stephen Lockhart, when he collapsed. CPR maneuvers were performed, as well as an attempted to restart his heart with a defibrillator, but to no avail. After nearly two hours he was pronounced dead.

Meistrell and his twin brother, Bill, who passed in 2006, were the ones to invent the modern-day neoprene wetsuit in the 1950’s. The wetsuit which suited the body like glove later evolved into the Body Glove Company, one of the most renowned companies in the present day water sports industry.

Robbie Meistrell, Bob’s son stated: “It’s tough on all of us. But he had a great weekend and he died doing what he loved to do. After Daly’s birthday dinner at the Isthmus, he drove around Cherry Cove in his Zodiac talking to everyone in the harbor and giving them croakies. Coming home was the longest boat trip of my life. But when I reached the dock, I couldn’t go 10 feet without people coming up to me.”

The entire water sports community mourns terrible event and is close to the Meistrell and body Glove families.