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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Dusting off the retro boards

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World Champion of 1999 Mark Ochilupo competing in the Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Classic in 2011. Photo Simon Williams

Surfers and sporting celebrities will be dusting off their retro boards for the upcoming Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Festival, which will take place over three days from January 4 to 6, at the Gold Coast’s iconic and internationally renowned point break, Burleigh Heads.

The single-fin competition caters for surfers from 10 to 50 years of age, all surfing on pre-1985 boards. Some grommets will be ripping on boards twice their own age. Burleigh local ripper, Kyle ‘Dvex’ Robinson, also known as ‘three-in-a-row Deveccio’ after winning the event three consecutive years, is also a finalist.

‘I received my first surfboard for Christmas in 1983, an MR single fin. The Single Fin Classic is held after Christmas each year, so every year I dust off the old single fin and re-live some of the golden times! I get to say Happy New Year to my mates, surf my favourite contest, at my favourite place on Earth.’

Dwayne Harris, the ‘Sheriff of Burleigh Heads’, is a life member of Burleigh Boardriders. ‘The single fin is a fun contest; a reunion for all the old crew and an opportunity to remember our fallen brothers and sisters. It is not a pro contest, it’s all about fun,’ explains Harris.

Football stars like Nathan Brock, Jarrad Brennan (Gold Coast Suns), Dave ‘The Coal Train’ Taylor (Gold Coast Titans), and shaper to the surf stars Jason ‘JS’ Stevenson, and team riders will attend the Burleigh Boardriders Charity Luncheon on Friday, before taking to the water on pre-1985 surfboards against the likes of world number one Joel Parkinson, legend Mark Occhilupo and local professionals Jay ‘Bottle’ Thompson and Dave Rastovich.

Funnyman Freddo Lang will host the charity luncheon at Burleigh Bears Leagues Club on Friday, with funds raised going to the Burleigh Boardriders Junior Development Program, the ‘White Christmas Fund’, supported by the Gold Coast Suns, and other charities (TBC).

Guest speakers will include Brock, Brennan, Taylor, Parkinson and a guru of modern surfboard design, Jason ‘JS’ Stevenson. With Freddo leading proceedings, funny stories are a guarantee. There will also be a bumper sports memorabilia auction and giant raffle, including a signed Joel Parkinson ‘JS’ surfboard.

The 16th Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin Classic, presented by Billabong, will kick off on Saturday at Burleigh Heads. Everyone is invited to attend – with a huge display of antique surfboards and memorabilia, and modern surfboard shapers displaying their retro-designed craft.

The Burleigh Boardriders Charity Luncheon will be held at the Burleigh Bears Leagues Club, 12pm on Friday, Jan 4.
Tickets are $100. For more info, contact Andrea Ford on 07 5535 4349 or [email protected]

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