More photos below
Burleigh Boardriders once again will be bringing back the laidback times of the 1970s, with the 18th annual Burleigh Boardriders Single Fin festival from January 9 to 11.
This year will be a special year for the Single Fin Classic, as it is also Burleigh Boardriders’ 50th year as a boardriders club – their first event was held in 1965.
Friday will see the charity luncheon at Burleigh Bears Leagues Club, with the Saturday and Sunday action moving to Burleigh Point for the competition.
The Single Fin Classic is a unique surfing contest, where all surfers compete on single-fin surfboards made before 1985, which means that every board that is surfed on in the event is an antique and a unique part of surfing history. The shoreline is like a surfing museum over the contest, with all the boards there for one and all to see.
Thousands gather on Burleigh Point to watch the event, which has a special spirit to it as well. Six-man heats and a really cool attitude from all the competitors in the water, means hassling is at a minimum and cheering on your fellow competitor as they surf a wave is mandatory.
The event is like a Who’s Who of surfing with past competitors including: Gary Elkerton, Rabbit Bartholomew, Mick Fanning, Luke Egan, Mark Occhilupo, Cheyne Horan, Matt Hoy, Jack Freestone, just to name a few.
Billabong is the major sponsor of the event this year and have confirmed Dave Rastovich, Mark Occhilupo, Creed McTaggert, and Jack Freestone as just some of their team members who will be competing.
The 2013 champion, Dave Rastovich, embodies the spirit of the single fin: cool, relaxed, and surfing with that bit of style and class. Dave grew up surfing at Burleigh Point before embarking on his journey of being a soul surfer, and championing many other environmental causes.
‘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,’ says Dave.
There also is an under-18 division, and the young grommets really impress onlookers with their style and poise on boards more twice their age.
The whole thing is about surfing for surfing’s sake, remembering lost friends and, for the Burleigh Boardriders, it is their major fundraiser for the year.
The Single Fin Classic is the first event of 2015, and Burleigh Point will once again be crowded with people from the Gold Coast and the northern rivers to check out classic surfing on classic surfboards.
The level of surfing at the event is incredible. Not only will there be pros and semi-pros competing, they will have to deal with a field of local Burleigh rippers, and red-hot local and interstate surfers.
It is a prestigious title to win; you only win a single fin surfboard, and the glory – it is all about the glory, the title and the fun. Last year’s champion Tim Hyland won the event for the second time in 2014, last winning it as a 17-year-old grommet. The local Burleigh Boardrider was a favourite with the crowd, and on his backhand showed all and sundry how it was done.
After the contest there will live music on the Point played well known surfers and musicians Neal Purchase Junior and Jamie Kastagalis, playing some cool, mellow tunes for the thousands that grace the point for the final day of competition.
Competition starts at 8am on both Saturday and Sunday, with the final scheduled for around 1pm on Sunday.
Entry to the contest (January 10 & 11) is open to all surfers, $70 for opens and $20 for juniors, enter via www.surfingqueensland.com and go to the events page. There are limited numbers and the field always fills early.
Tickets to the luncheon are $120 and available from Burleigh Bears League Club.