12.1 C
Byron Shire
May 19, 2021

Rasta wins 2013 Single Fin Classic

Latest News

Midnight Oil to help reignite Bluesfest’s fire

Just seven weeks after Byron Bluesfest was cancelled at the eleventh hour owing to a COVID scare, the event has bounced back with a new line-up featuring some of Australia’s most revered musical talent.

Other News

Interview with magician James Galea

James Galea is no ordinary magician. He’s not the smarmy guy in purple velvet with a cage full of pigeons sawing women in half. In fact, James is proud to say he has never cut anyone in half.

Byron Comedy Festival launched with a laugh

At a hilarious sold-out launch of the Byron Comedy Festival, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki had the entire Byron Bay Surf Club giggling last night

All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Alcohol consumption up

The data, from Roy Morgan’s Alcohol Consumption Report, showed that there were significant increases for wine and spirits (up...

School Strike for Climate next Friday

Next Friday from 10am Byron Shire students will be demanding political action on the climate emergency in what they and their supporters say is our present, future and reality. 

Marvell Hall’s ‘Dangerously Poetic’ fundraiser

This Sunday Marvell Hall will host a tribute to some of the street-named fellows with poetry, music and portraits as a fundraiser for the hall.


 Brothers in surf and sounds, Ash Grunwald and event winner Dave Rastovich spent the morning on the waves and the afternoon entertaining the crowds with some tunes at Saturday’s Single Fin opener. Photos Tree Faerie.

Dave ‘Rasta’ Rastovich has won the open division of the 16th annual Billabong Burleigh Single Fin Festival, trumping an incredible field of 96 surfers that included the who’s who of Gold Coast surfing talent.


Stars like former ASP world champion Mark Occhilupo, world number two Luke Egan, reigning world junior Champion Jack Freestone, junior standout Thomas Woods, Wade Goodall and West Australian ripper Creed McTaggert lined up alongside local legends and Burleigh Boardriders champions – all surfing pre-1985-made single-fin boards in classic Burleigh conditions.

Surfers traded barrels throughout the unique two-day event, thanks to a pulsing east swell generated from a pressure system situated in the Coral Sea. Wave after wave turned inside-out over the ruler-edge sandbank running the length of the famous point and hundreds of spectators took up position under the pandanus palms and enjoyed two free, live sets by famed Aussie blues musician, Ash Grunwald.

There were plenty of perfect 10-point rides handed out by the judges with Soli Bailey (Byron Bay), Jack Lewis and Jack Freestone among those locking in perfect scores. But it was grommet Noah Deane who stole the show, registering a perfect heat – 20 out of 20 – thanks to two tens in his quarter-final showing.

The Open final was decided by less than a point, with Rastovich just edging out Freestone, who finished second ahead of Noah Deane, Noah Lane, Woods and Anthony Pols.

Rastovich received his first-place prize, a coveted gleaming, hand-shaped single fin made by master craftsman, Dick Van Straalan.

‘It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to come down and pull out these old relics and have a lot of fun on the point’, said Rastovich, before giving a nod to the next generation. ‘I want to thank Dirk for shaping the incredible board. He’s like a second dad to me and one of the legends of the culture. Looking at the board, wow, what an absolute gem!’

Rasta grew up in the area and moved away about ten or 12 years ago. ‘I really miss the headland and the community,’ he said. ‘To come back and see the amount of grommets here – that semifinal and final display from the groms was amazing. It’s so great and it’s important to have events like this and to keep inspiring them to do what they’re doing.’

Fittingly, the Burleigh Single Fin festival culminated on the same day the break was officially recognised by the organisation, National Surfing Reserve (NSR).

‘You travel around the world and see that there is only one Burleigh and this is a place to protect. Everyone here is doing a great job and has the responsibility to continue to help preserve and protect the area’, said Rastovich.

An incredible collection of vintage single-fin surfboards were on display across the weekend; sourced from the Gold Coast’s Surf World museum and various private collections. Contestants either rode their own boards, or shared their equipment with others.

Former world number two and Newcastle transplant, Luke Egan, rode a board his dad, Sam, shaped in 1978. Egan discovered the board and bought it at auction 15 years ago.

Billabong’s Shannon North took to the waves on a very special model – the actual craft that pioneering Gold Coast surfer Joe Engel rode in the seminal film Storm Riders, which was released in 1982 and featured Engel surfing a new discovery – the perfect right-hand break of Nias, located in North Sumatra.

Another popular model was a six-channel model shaped by legendary Novocastrian, Col Smith, for his son Rique.


In all, dozens of boards lay strewn on the grass for people to pick up and check out – a tactile representation of surfing’s design evolution and the pioneers who rode them.


‘Because of the boards and the way they perform, it forces everyone to slow down and focus more on the wave’, said Rasta. ‘It becomes less about high-performance, technical surfing. And it’s so great to see some of the young kids riding these boards; there’re junior surfers riding equipment that is three times their own age.’


It’s the 16th year the event has run, and it maintains a vibe and authenticity like no other. ‘People come up and say, this event is big enough to have grandstands and I go, “Nup, we want to keep it retro, old-school”; we don’t want that crap, we want to keep it like it is,’ said Burleigh Boardriders president Edward Lindores. ‘Everyone enjoying themselves, looking over each other’s shoulders, cruising on the grass. That’s why it’s such a good event. People get close, they talk, they hang out – friends, family – we don’t want infrastructure. We do it for the community of Burleigh – brothers, sisters, friends, mums, dads, grommets, cats, dogs, that’s what we want.’


FINAL RESULTS – 16th Annual Billabong Burleigh Single Fin Festival


1st Dave Rastovich (wins brand-new, hand-shaped Dick Van Straalan single fin)

2nd Jack Freestone

3rd Noah Deane

4th Noah Lane

5th Thomas Woods

6th Anthony Pols



1st Luke Hynd

2nd Luke Gyory

3rd Lachlan Garland

4th Maddy Job

5th Liam O’Brien

6th Taj Prasad


Specialty Awards

Best Barrel – Noah Deane

Spirit of The Single Fin Festival – Matty Job

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Sapoty Brook, Wilsons Creek I am releasing my currency called Igits. Initially, Igits will be worth nothing, and from then on they will double in...

Cartoon of the week – 19 May, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 19

‘This Life’ is the first single off Jesse Morris and the Shakedown’s forthcoming and first ever vinyl release titled The Children of the Sun. 

Interview with Peter Castaldi

The Quad in Lismore presents its first outdoor cinema event – programmed by nationally regarded film critic and programmer, Peter Castaldi. Peter told The Echo about the vision.