The versatile Albe Falzon is now an inductee.
The versatile Albe Falzon is now an inductee.

Best surfers set for battle royale

THE 27th annual Rhythm Kirra Teams Challenge hosted by the Kirra Surfriders hits the waves today in a ‘battle royale’ between the best boardriding clubs from all over Australia.

Organisers will be praying for another cyclone swell in order to run the event from Kirra Point but if the swell is small, D-Bah will be again provide the back-up venue.

Thirty-Two clubs have registered their best surfers in the teams format.

Last year the Snapper Surfriders were ready to claim victory in the last heat, only to be pipped at the post by the Werri Boardriders from Kiama, on NSW’s South Coast.

“History has shown the overall winner is not known until the last heat on Sunday,” event coordinator John Robin said.

Sydney’s Northern Beaches club and one of the oldest clubs in existence North Narrabeen is running hot after claiming its fourth Jim Beam Surf Tag last weekend from Byron Bay in second, Avoca in third and Snapper in fourth.

Narra’s team consisted of surfing stalwarts Nathan Hedge, Noodles Webster and young gun Davey Cathels pocketing the $15,000 winning cheque.

Byron Bay, with the help of former ASP world number two Danny Wills and aerial surfing specialist Beau Walker, almost overtook the winners in the dying moments.

Walker, who is the well-known TV personality named Nitro in the Shak, said: “Club surfing is a great part of the surfing culture in Australia, and not many other places in the world have boardriding clubs with the passion and support as what we do here.”

The Snapper Surfriders were dominant in the early rounds of the Surf Tag but couldn’t maintain their intensity going into the final.

Snapper’s side included Blake Ainsworth, Jay Phillips, Shaun Gossman, Mark Occhilupo, Mitch Crews and coached by Bruce Lee. Snapper have won the Kirra Teams event eight times and will again be in the final hunt.

Last Saturday evening, longtime surfing legend, photographer, moviemaker and original editor of Tracks magazine Albe Falzon was named the 33rd inductee into the Surfing Australia Hall of Fame.

Falzon, who grew up at Maroubra, started as a senior photographer for Surfing World magazine in 1962.

He worked for the owner Bob Evans who taught Albe how to shoot photos and movies during the early 60s.

This week’s Surf Scene photo was taken by Albe Falzon in 1963 of Bobby Brown surfing at Angourie, Yamba, during the filming of Evans’ movie ‘The Young Wave Hunters’.

Falzon was conscripted to the Vietnam War and upon returning resumed his photography career by starting a new national magazine called Tracks, then followed up with the groundbreaking movie ‘Morning of the Earth’.

He went on to produce the documentary ‘Crystal Voyager’ on legendary George Greenough and other movies like ‘Quiksilver Pro at G-Land’.

I recently visited Albe who lives on a farm outside of Scotts Heads. He said how humbled he was to accept the award and said by video: “Keep surfing, have a good time and have fun”.

Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore were awarded the best male and female surfers for the second year in a row, Kirra’s Jack Freestone was voted the rising star, Werri boardriders received the Simon Anderson Best Club award and surfing administrator Bushy Mitchell was given a Surfing Australia life membership.

To support flood appeal fundraisers please join in tomorrow for the Heartwave Beach walk.

It’s a one kilometre walk from Elephant Rock, Currumbin, to Tugun and back. Cost is a $10 donation to be collected for the Premier’s Disaster Appeal.

Walkers will meet between 7.30am and 8.30am on the Southside of Elephant Rock. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary has offered extra parking.

Heidi Bartholomew has organised this great initiative and feel-good fundraiser supported by Rabbit Bartholomew and Mark Occhilupo.

Gold Coast surfing legend Rick Neilsen will host a Windansea surfing expression session on February 21at 1st Avenue, Burleigh, from 9am.



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Sunny weekend set for the Tweed

Sunny weekend set for the Tweed

It's set to be a sunny weekend for the Tweed.

Tweed sporting clubs encouraged to apply for federal funding

Tweed sporting clubs encouraged to apply for federal funding

Clubs encouraged to apply for up to $500,000 worth of funding.

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