Merimbula Mallelujah for surfers

• Former event winner Dave Pimm is shown carving up the crest while riding the tip of his board.
• Former event winner Dave Pimm is shown carving up the crest while riding the tip of his board.

Organisers of the Merimbula Malibu event are in the hands of the surfing gods this Saturday. 

The Merimbula Sailboard Club’s second major event of the year, this time being hailed as “Mallelujah”, is in its 28th year. 

Sailboard club president Glenn Brunette said he is excited - weather permitting. 

“We’ve been blessed with always having workable weather,” Brunette said. 

“I can’t remember a year not having enough swell to run the event.”

“There was one year where there was arguably too much swell,” he said with a laugh. 

The malibu competition is a one-day long board event which hosts around 50-70 competitors each year. 

Brunette said the event had maintained solid numbers for the last decade. 

“It’s all about having fun and I thnk that’s the main reason it’s been a success.”

Meanwhile, organiser John Smythe said the event attracted surfers from all over. 

“This event attracts surfers from up and down the coast, from Sydney to Victoria,” Smythe said. 

“Plus a host of keen local surfers of all ages.”

Brunette praised Smythe for his organising prowess. 

“In the interest of the event being called Mallelujah he should be called John Almighty for eveything he does,” Brunette said. 

The surfers will get to contest at least two rounds before they can be eliminated in a new double elimination format. 

Smythe said the event will be a spectacle for everyone to watch. 

“It is a great day for spectators to see Mal surfing by some of the best exponents of the long board.” he said. 

However, be prepared to travel as the event can shift depending on the weather conditions. 

“Competitors meet at 7am at Main Beach, Merimbula, where the venue is decided according to the conditions,” Smythe said. 

“If the event is moved notices will be posted at Main Beach.” 

The extensive history of the club’s two major events has seen volunteers falling in to their organising roles with ease. 

“The club falls in line to make it a good social and fun event,” Brunette said. 

“We’re like a well-oiled machine and most members pretty well know their duties and the event just happens.

“From my prospective we’re a bunch of crusty old salts and we just band together and put this thing on,” he said. 

However, Brunette said he would like to see some younger members from the club coming through to organising roles. 

“We’re all getting a bit long in the tooth and would like to encourage some of the younger kids coming through the club.”

Brunette said surfing is something locals are passionate about and has a number of members who have gone the long haul. 

“After 34 years [of the Classic] we’ve got several competitors that have been to every single event. 

“The likes of John Smythe, David Prowse and Henry Jones haven’t missed one yet.”

Brunette said he was proud to be involved with the club. 

“I got on the scene in 1985, I’ve been a member ever since and been to every Merimbula Classic since,” he said. 

The nature of surfing events brings people together Brunette said, after meeting his wife at a Merimbula Classic. 

“We now have three kids and they won’t be far off competing themselves,” he said. 

Brunette said a number of prizes were on offer across a range of divisions. 

“Luckily we’re supported by a good group of sponsors,” he said. 

The major prize will be a brand new surfboard courtesy of Bushrat.

Entry forms are available at the Merimbula Surf Shop, on the Sailboard club website or call John Smythe on 0407 260 015.

A sign-on and draw will be held at the Royal Willows Hotel [Pambula Bottom Pub] from 5.30pm on Friday.


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