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Alby Falzon into Australian Surfing Hall of Fame...

Alby Falzon © Kane Skennar 

Surf History

Legendary Surf Filmmaker Alby Falzon to be Inaugurated into Australian Surfing Hall of Fame

Surfersvillage Global Surf News
, 2 February, 2011 : - - Boardsports will be replaced with suits this Saturday with the 2011 edition of the Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame to be staged on the Gold Coast. In front of a large gathering of past and present surfing champions, legendary surf filmmaker Albert “Alby” Falzon will enter the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame as its 33rd inductee.

“It’s a great honour to be inaugurated along with so many of the great surfers and people who have contributed to surfing in various forms over the years,” said Falzon. “To be selected by the other inductees, I’m really humbled and just participated in surfing because I have always loved it.”

“It’s a really priceless position we’re in as surfers; we surf because we love it.” Growing up in the beachside suburb Maroubra in Sydney, Falzon did not begin surfing until age 14, when the family moved to the New South Wales Central Coast. In the early 1970s, Falzon was a young surfer, photographer and magazine publisher who decided that he wanted to make a really beautiful film about surfing.

Scraping together just enough money for petrol and a few rolls of 16mm film, Falzon began periodically driving up the north coast of New South Wales with a couple of surfing buddies and ended up creating one the classic surf movies of all time - Morning of the Earth.

The film portrays surfers living in spiritual harmony with nature, making their own boards (and homes) as they travelled in search of the perfect wave across Australia’s north-east coast, Bali and Hawaii. This inaugural feature film was the first Australian film to receive a gold record for album sales.

Falzon's career in film making was a natural progression from international still photography, and later combined with magazine publishing. In 1970, he was co-founder and publisher of the surfing newspaper Tracks and and was the only photographer at Makaha when Greg Noll rode the legendary swells that hit there some time ago.

Like George Greenough, Albert has achieved a kind of mythical status not only as a film-maker, but as an adventurer, opening destinations such as Indonesia and the Maldives to surfers. While filming Morning of the Earth, Albert and his crew were one of the first groups of surfers to ever travel to Indonesia, starting what has since then been a constant flow of surf-tourists to the region.

Falzon still lives on an eco-friendly farm he bought in the early 1970s near the mid-North on his 60 acre property at Grassy Heads, where he cares for and feeds injured wildlife, before loading up his boards and driving to the beach for a surf.

And it seems that the Morning of the Earth lifestyle he so expertly captured in the early 1970s, is still very much a part of the man today. Falzon’s induction is one of a number of awards that will be presented as part of the Australian Surfing Awards.

The Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame Inductee is to be held at The Arts Centre Gold Coast on Saturday 5th February and will include the presentation of the Male and Female Surfer of the Year, Rising Star, ASB Surf Industry, Pioneer, Peter Troy Lifestyle, Simon Anderson Premier Club, Stan Couper Administration, Surf Culture, plus Event, Movie and Photo of the Year awards culminating in the Induction of Falzon into the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame.

The awards night will also include the presentation of Robert “Bushy” Mitchell a Life Membership.

Finalists (top 3) for the remaining award categories are as follows:

Male Surfer of the Year:
Julian Wilson
Mick Fanning
Taj Burrow

Female Surfer of the Year:
Sally Fitzgibbons
Stephanie Gilmore
Tyler Wright

Rising Star Award:
Jack Freestone
Tyler Wright
Mitch Crews

ASB Surf Industry Award:
Surfaid – 10 years Tsunami Relief Effort
Global Surf Industries
Billabong Surfaid Schools Program

Stan Couper Administration Award:
Ross Slaven
Kieren Perrow
Mark Lane

Pioneer Award:
National Surfing Reserves
Global Surf Industries - Meyerhoffer

Peter Troy Lifestyle Award:
Rex “China” Gilbert
David “Mex” Sumpter
Barry “Magoo” McGuigan

Surf Culture Award:
Surf World Gold Coast
Salts & Suits – Phil Jarratt
Surf World Torquay

Simon Anderson Premier Club Award:
Werri Beach Boardriders
Bondi Boardriders
Noosa Malibu Club

Surf Movie of the Year:
Scratching the Surface
First Love

Surf Event of the Year:
Noosa Festival of Surfing
Manly Festival of Surf
Boost Mobile Surf Sho

Surf Photo of the Year:
- Top 20 photos to be released on the night

The 2010 Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame is proudly supported by the Australian Sports Commission, Surfing Australia, Suncorp, Connecting Southern Gold Coast, VB, Coastalwatch, Australian Surf Business Magazine (ASB), TravelSIM and Business GC.
Please note: Press and accompanying images, plus a VNR will be distributed on Sunday 6th February from the awards night.

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Jake White
Surf Culture - Surfersvillage


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