MALIBU CLASSIC: Ron Hughes with the Brett Munro
MALIBU CLASSIC: Ron Hughes with the Brett Munro "logger" he won at last year's Malibu Classic. Christian Morrow

35th Anniversary Malibu Classic - surfing for the community

IT'S all about style, its all about shape and it's all about size.

At this weekend's 35th anniversary Byron Bay Malibu Classic the minimum board length is nine foot.

The shape can run from high tech modern right through to loggers - a thick railed heavy board shape that dates back from the dawn of surfing.

And the style is all about elegance and grace as surfers from the ages of 14-65 throw these big boards around on the waves at Wategos Beach.

President of the Byron Bay Malibu Club, Quentin Wright said club members all looked forward to the classic.

"Aside from the surfing, it is about raising money for local community groups," he said.

"We all enjoy the classic as we get to put back in for the community; it's not all about us."

Mr Wright is a relative newcomer to the sport himself, taking it up six years ago at the age of 59.

"The club was founded by Max and Yvonne Pendergast, Mark and Louise Tiernan, Anthony, Petria and Sharon Stroud-Watts, Mick and Lauren Wills, Ian Grant and Chris Milgate, several of whom are still involved in the club and we always surf at Wategos as there is always a good swell."

Club secretary Paul McCarthy said that every year a number of past champions hit the water.

"This year is no exception with five-time Australian champion Sput Keevers lining up once again along with another Australian champion Alan Atkins," he said.

"There is a contingent from Newcastle coming up along with several surfers from New Zealand including "Chief" Motiproctor, Guy Midford and Graham Breckell.

"I love the club camaraderie. You can be out in the surf with men or women aged from 14 years old right up to 70-year-olds.

"Age doesn't matter. We can all sit out there and have a chat about surfing.

"I have been surfing for 50 years and I will continue surfing for as long as I can paddle and stand up. As long as I can stay in the ocean that's a good thing."

Each year the club produces a souvenir T-shirt and club stalwart and treasurer Ron Hughes owns a collection that includes a shirt from every year.

The whole collection will be on display starting today at the Byron Bay Bowling Club.

"We already have around 130 signed up for the classic running across 12 or 13 divisions," he said.

"There may even be a couple of spots available for people to sign up on the day."

The heats take place on Friday and Saturday and finals on Sunday.

Entry fee is $65. For information, call 0429 863 599.