American Brad Gerlach rides one of the biggest waves of the season at Todos Santos, Mexico, in late December.
American Brad Gerlach rides one of the biggest waves of the season at Todos Santos, Mexico, in late December.


Classic dump

THE 2006 Pippie Beach Classic at Yamba is again dead in the water.

The popular event restarted last year after a two-year absence, due to lack of numbers to form an organising committee.

It now has been washed off the surfing calendar.

"We just couldn't get a committee up and running who were prepared help to do the work," Angourie Boardriders' president and chief Pippie Beach Classic organiser Chris Jennings said.

"I've been trying for the past two months but no-one would commit.

"It's very disappointing, especially after all the hard work last year to get it going again."

Jennings said co-organiser Paul Curtis's unavailability this year due to work commitments with the RTA in Sydney further complicated matters.

The event's cancellation is extremely disappointing. For such an active surfing area as Yamba, with multiple surf shops, a heap of grommets and established surfers, being unable to find enough people to stage an annual surf contest borders on incredulous.

While the Pippie Beach Classic has been dumped, Angourie Boardriders will co-host the Far North Coast Regional Surf Titles next month.

Membership drive

ANGOURIE Boardriders will stage its first 2006 contest on Sunday, February 5.

President Chris Jennings is looking to boost membership and plans to visit schools in the Yamba, Maclean and Grafton area to encourage and promote joining the club.

"We'll have a breakfast and BBQ and new members are welcome to come along," Jennings said.

Charity boost

SEVEN-TIME men's world champion Kelly Slater's incredible surfing skills have aided a charity organisation, based in Melbourne, in Slater's home state of Florida.

Slater ensured an early Christmas present for the Space Coast Early Intervention Center (SCEIC) when he scored a perfect 10 during the Pipeline Masters in Hawaii.

Since 2002, every time Slater posts a perfect score in WCT competition, Jim MacDonald, a successful Californian entrepreneur, donates money to SCEIC, a therapeutic pre-school for children. Last year MacDonald donated US$5000 to the charity.

The Quiksilver Foundation has also donated US$1000 for each of Slater's perfect 10s.


CONGRATS to Coogee's Jessi Miley-Dyer on winning the inaugural women's Billabong World Junior Championships at Narrabeen.

While she now calls nearby Bronte in Sydney's south her home beach, the same as runner-up Nicola Atherton, Miley-Dyer's roots come from an area steeped in tradition.

"I was actually raised in Coogee before moving to my beloved Maroubra," she said.

While not noted for good surf, Coogee was once the home of one of the strongest boardriding clubs in the 1960s with the likes of Robbie Harris, Jim Shannon and Bronte transplant Robbie Puddick, prominent.

Twice Pipeline Masters and Coke Classic champion Larry Blair was also raised in Coogee.

Breaks like The Point and The Wedge at the northern end, the 'Bommie' and 'Southy' and Wedding Cake Island offshore, have been the spawning ground for many prominent surfers of previous eras.

Big waves in tow

LATE December, big wave aficionados converged on Todos Santos Island, Mexico, chasing a mammoth swell.

And after the epic session several contenders have been added to categories of the annual Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards.

In some of the biggest waves surfed during the season, both paddling and by tow-in via jet skis, world class surfers like Australian Ross Clarke-Jones, Greg Long, Rusty Long, Mike Parsons, Scott Chandler and Brad Gerlach rode huge swells.

The sixth annual Billabong XXL Global Big Wave Awards run through to the end of March with the biggest wave of the year award offering $1000 per foot to the winner.

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