Next month will see the surfing of the 33rd Annual Byron Bay Malibu Classic at Wategos Beach, Byron Bay.
Originally established as an offshoot from the Byron Bay Seahorse Boardriders Club in 1980, the Byron Bay Malibu Club (BBMC) took the lead in providing events and social activities for the growing Malibu – read longboard – riders in the town and adjacent areas.
With the Seahorses running the annual Easter Classic, the Mal Club decided to establish its first Annual Malibu Classic in 1980 and has maintained its drive to this day.
From the beginning, the Club has centred its activities around Wategos Beach – which is a great venue for viewing and presents a serene environment for surfing, often turning on long well shaped waves, perfect for the longboard.
The Mal Club brings together over 100 members. On the second Sunday of each month you can find them all in the Wategos barbecue area socialising and running their pointscore event. With a strong family involvement, there is a growing cadet membership (the Keikis) and they have their own little contest. The juniors all surf with the oldies in the main events of the morning.
BBMC has had its impact outside the shire over the years, with significant competitive successes and its surfers have reached many national finals and championships, among them being Gareth Donovan, Jason and Ronnie Blewitt, Sandy Day, Louise Tiernan, Ian Williams, Jackson Close, Angela King, Sput Keevers, Alan Atkins, Ian Pearson and John Giles – with the list increasing with each season.
The support of sponsors is a major asset in the daily running of any voluntary community club such as the BBMC. We have been very fortunate to have widespread support for our activities, especially for the major ones like the Byron Bay Mal Classic, which is held every year.
As well as a fun event for participants, the annual Byron Bay Malibu Classic has a serious community side, in that major community charities are nominated each year for donation of significant funds from the proceeds of the event.
Over the years over $100,000 has been distributed to worthy community charities including: Byron Bay Hospital, Byron Preschool, Cancer Care Lismore, Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol, Cape Byron Trust and the Variety Club of Australia.
A huge number of local and national businesses generously support the Mal Classic and many have been sponsoring the event since its inception.
The Headland Reserve, which includes Wategos Beach, is dear to their hearts, as it’s there that they hold the monthly club contest and is, to most of the members, their ‘home beach’. The barbeque facilities were built by club members for public use and financed from funds raised by the club. Each year some of the event proceeds are allocated to the Headland Trust to assist in the maintenance and beautification of the Wategos Beach area. We have recently upgraded the barbecue facilities, compliments of the 2004 event.
This year the Mal Classic will run from April 5 to 7. It is a popular event for single fin boards and has attracted up to 200 competitors in the past from all over Australia and overseas and hopes to do so again.
Divisions include the popular Open division, various age divisions from Over 30s to the venerable Over 65s, Junior, Senior and Over 40s Women, Junior Boys, the hugely popular Big Boys (100kg and over), Open and Over 40s. Old Mal, that is pre-1967 original longboards, and the new Logger division for new glassed in single fin specific ‘Logger’ shapes.
There will be a band and raffles and giveaways including McTavish and Munro surfboards at the Bowlo in the evenings.
Vacancies still exist in various categories. Entry forms available online at [email protected] or from Surf Central Surf Shop in Jonson St, opposite the bus stop.
Enquiries: Warwick Bracey 0418 250 163 or Ciaron Carolan 0413 331 492.