Alan Atkins proved his pedigree when he won the over-65 National Surfing Championship in Coffs Harbour last week.
The surfing veteran has lived in Byron Bay for 20 years, and has another nine national tiltles to his name as well as 12 major placings.
There was a good shoulder-high swell running into Coffs for the heats, but it had started to fade for the finals last Thursday, he said.
In the big event Alan fell off a few waves after a good early ride, but he was able to pick up a bigger wave in the last minutes of the final to snatch victory.
‘You have to fight to the very end, unitl you hear the final siren. You just never know,’ he said.
Alan has been competing in the National Titles since 1979 and first paddled out as a 10–year–old in Lorne, Victoria, tiding a board close to 10 feet long.
For 20 years he was the chief executive for Surfing Australia. This kept him off the competitive circuit, but since retiring he has dived right back in.
‘It has been a great time to be invovled with surfing because the equipement is developing all the time. The design of the boards just keeps on improving,’ he said.
Alan’s boards are designed and shaped by Brett Munro, who operates out of the Byron industrial estate.
Malibu Club winners
Alan is a member of the Byron Bay Malibu Club and does most of his surfing at Wategos and The Pass.
Fellow club member Nigel Canterbury from Emerald Beach was crowned over– 40s Longboard Champion, while Jye Whyatt picked up an award for the Best Nose Ride, as well as winning the Junior National Logger Title.