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2 surfing legends join Australian Surfing Hall of Fame

Peter Townend, pic by warmwinds

Surfing Legends P.T. and the late P.C. Honoured at the Australians Surfing Hall of Fame Awards last Night

Two of Australia’s greatest surfing legends, Peter Townend and the late Peter Crawford, were acknowledged at the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame gala dinner awards in Newcastle last night.

Townsend, who was the world’s first professional surfing champion, winning the inaugural title in 1976 was the 2001 Australian Surfing Hall of Fame Inductee joining many of his peers as one of the sports acknowledged illuminaries. The 48-year-old, who honed his surfing skills on the point waves of the Gold Coast, was one of Australia’s most consistent competitors throughout the seventies both domestically and internationally.

Townend bought a new level of professionalism to the then wayward sport forming the first ever, professional surfing team the “Bronzed AussiesEwith founding members Ian Cairns, Cheyne Horan, Jim Banks and Steve Jones.

“To be acknowledged by my peers in my home country is very special,Esaid an emotional Townend. “My mum died last year and it was always one of her bones that I had not been acknowledged so she will be happy and my Dad actually left the Gold Coast for the first time in 15 years to be here tonight. He came down with Gordon Phillipson who also played a major role in my formative surfing years.E

“To join my old Coolangatta co-horts Rabbit (Wayne Bartholomew) and M.P. (Michael Peterson) is also very special.E

Townend, who has lived in the USA for the past two decades, has enjoyed an illustrious career having been the Marketing Director for the US Rusty Brand, Associate Publisher of Surfing Magazine. A sports broadcaster on ESPN and also served as President of the Surfing Industry Manufacturers Association. In mid 2000 P.T. became the Publisher of the Surfing Group and lives with his partner Shirlee Gage and three of their five respective children including Tosh who has become one of the world’’s foremost up and coming street skateboarders.

Justin Crawford accepted the Media Honour Roll Award for his father Peter, who passed away in late 1999 from a venomous, snake bite in Bali. P.C. was one of surfing’s most loved and colorful characters Ea surfing genius, eccentric, artistic, creative, hyper active, full of tricks and also the best the baby sitter in town. P.C. was equally famous for his brilliant photography as what he was for his futuristic kneeboarding and he had enormous respect from the sports elite in both areas

The three times Australian kneeboard champion was the father of hi-performance knee-boarding and he dominated the sport for well over a decade. He developed his amazing skills at his home break of Dee Why Point, where he became famous for his incredible deep take-offs. He was the first photographer to take surfing shots from the water, capturing the essence of the sport. His photography was innovative and set new artistic levels in the world of surfing photography.

Infamous big wave surfing legend, Ross Clarke-Jones won the ‘Surfing for 2000EAward in recognition for his ‘Quiksilver in Memory of the Eddie AikauEvictory and his trailblazing big wave exploits during the year.

Sydney’s Gary Blaschke (Enfield) received the Administration Award in his role as Executive Director of the Disabled Surfing Association where he has provided outstanding commitment to the task of promoting opportunities for his members. His self-sacrifice and charisma has attracted a number of high-profile surfers to his DSA programs. He has now bought his expertise into Surfing Australia where he will contribute the national surfschool system programs.

G-Boards (Australia) won the Innovation Award for their soft surfboards that come complete with both soft rails and fins and have become a major asset to the surfschool system cutting the accident rate dramatically.

The Quiksilver Airshow Series won the Pioneering Award for their 2001 ASP Australasian Series. The Airshow format, that promotes radical surfing has captured the imagination of the surfing public resulting in large crowd attendances at the events. Air Specialists now have their own niche in the sport of surfing.

Surfing Victoria’s and Surfing Australia’s Vice President Mal Gregson received the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku Award for his outstanding services to Surfing Australia. The affable and amicable Gregson has been s string contributer to the sport for the past 25 years in his various roles as Contest Director for the Quiksilver World Grommet Contest in Bali, to Phillip Island Boardriders Member. Despite having a full rime career in the computer graphic industry, Mal manages the huge job of overseeing the computer service section of Surfing Australia. This award, is voted upon by the state branches of Surfing Australia.

The Geraldton Boardriders Club in West Australia received the Simon Anderson Premiere Club Award for outstanding performances in organization, junior development, competition and community service. The club, was founded in 1976 by Leon Norris and the club has staged the Rip Curl/Corner Surf Shop Sunshine Surfing Festival contest for the past 24 years. GBR is the most respected club in WA due to its consistent and innovative approach to development of regional and state surfing

Life Membership to Surfing Australia was presented to Rod Brooks for his enormous contribution at club, State, National and international level. For 30 years Rod has been a foundation stone in Australian surfing administration including a 20-year stint as President of Surfing Australia as it progressed through a major development phase from volunteer to a professionally staffed operation, the envy of all world surfing nations. Rod also represented Australia in his roles as Chairman and Technical Director of the International Surfing Association and also as Contest Director at numerous events throughout the 80’s.

Mandy McKinnon / Press release


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