The Australian surfing community gathered in Manly last night to honour surfing pioneer Ted Spencer who was inducted into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.
Spencer became the 37th inductee into the Hall of Fame.
Ted Spencer was 19 when he won his first Bell at Bells Beach in 1968 from Keith Paul and Midget Farrelly. He won again the following year, this time from Frank Latta and Nat Young, with Peter Drouyn fourth, Midget fifth and Wayne Lynch sixth.
In the opinion of the most influential surfers of the time, Ted’s contribution in terms of creative, powerful and innovative surfing and surfboard design has never been given due recognition. A true leader and path-setter, he chose to step away from the spotlight on his own terms and remains one of surfing’s most elusive and enigmatic figures.
Ted, who lives in Hawaii, was unable to attend tonight’s ceremony and the honour was accepted on his behalf by fellow Australian Surfing Hall of Fame member Doug Warbrick.
Spencer’s induction was one of a number of presentations as part of the 2015 Australian Surfing Awards. The judging panel included 11 members of the surfing community including competitor, industry and media representatives.
Six-time and defending World Champion Stephanie Gilmore and three-time World Champion Mick Fanning won the Female and Male Surfer of the Year awards, while new World Surf League Championship Tour qualifier Matt Banting won the Rising Star Award.
Big-wave surfer, invitee in the 2014/15 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event and paddleboard champion Jamie Mitchell was named Waterman of the Year.
The Peter Troy Lifestyle Award to the person who has given their life over to surfing and in doing so has enriched the surfing culture was awarded posthumously to Bondi and Central Coast great Barry ‘Magoo’ McGuigan. Barry was a true surfing pioneer and passed away last year at age 85.
The ASB Surfing Spirit Award for a project or campaign that has given back to surfing through charitable, humanitarian, environmental or philanthropic pursuits was won by Surfrider Foundation Australia.
The Surf Culture Award for a project that captures and explores a quintessential element of Australian surfing culture was won by Byron Bay Surf Festival.
The Simon Anderson Club Award went to Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club who celebrated its 50th Anniversary and won Series 1 of the Australian Boardriders Battle.
Ray Collins’ dramatic image showcasing the force of a breaking wave taken from above was named the Nikon Surf Photo of the Year and Spirit of Akasha, a film by Andrew Kidman to celebrate 40 years of Albe Falzon’s surfing masterpiece Morning of the Earth won named Nikon Surf Movie of the Year.
Operated with the support of Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s Tourism and major events agency, the Australian Surfing Awards is renowned for recognising the best in surfing talent.
The Australian Surfing Awards is also supported by the Australian Institute of Sport, Nikon, Toyota, Original Source, Australasian Surf Business Magazine, OnStone, Corona and Andrew Peace Wines.
2015 AUSTRALIAN SURFING AWARDS RECIPIENTS
Australian Surfing Hall of Fame Inductee: Ted Spencer
Male Surfer of the Year: Mick Fanning
Female Surfer of the Year: Stephanie Gilmore
Rising Star: Matt Banting
Waterman of the Year: Jamie Mitchell
ASB Surfing Spirit Award: Surfrider Foundation Australia
Peter Troy Lifestyle Award: Barry ‘Magoo’ McGuigan
Surf Culture Award: Byron Bay Surf Festival
Simon Anderson Club Award: Snapper Rocks Surfriders Club
Nikon Surf Movie of the Year: Spirit Of Akasha
Nikon Surf Photo of the Year: Ray Collins