The Palm Beach Boardriders celebrate 40th Anniversary this Saturday night, 6th June, at Elevations
Palmy MC comedian/surfer Steve Alison cleared of Swine Flu to entertain gala re-union evening with new material!
Photo of proud Palm Beach Boardriders member, Daren “Dazza” Scott
Gold Coast, Queensland – The Palm Beach Boardriders will be celebrating their 40th anniversary on Saturday night at Elevations, Tallebudgera from 6pm until midnight in 60’s and 70’s fancy dress. It will be a massive re-union party Palmy style together with live music from the Gas band and the MC will be their very own super talented comedian surfer Steve Alison and Lindsay Webb. Although Alison almost didn’t make it, his last comedy gig was on the ill-fated P&O Cruise Liner that contracted cases of swine flu. As a proud competitive member of the Palm Beach Boardriders who turned full time professional comedian Alison has had a tough trot in the last 12 months surviving triple heart surgery and earlier this week was briefly quarantined after disembarking at Brisbane with a sore throat and forced to stay at home with a mask on. However he was given a clean bill of health after testing negative to the swine flu by Wednesday and will no doubt have plenty of new material for his Saturday night stand-up routine! The celebrated evening will also unveil the iconic Palm Beach Boardriders honor board showcasing past Presidents, Secretary’s, Treasurers and Club Champions since 1968 until the present.
The boardriders clubs in Australia are second to none – they are a uniquely Australian subculture and one that doesn’t exist in the rest of the surfing world but nowhere is it more predominant than from Northern NSW to the Tweed Coast/Gold Coast/North Stradbroke and the Sunshine Coast. In that 300 kilometre stretch there are as many as 17 clubs who represent the grass roots of short board surfing and where on a monthly basis get together from groms to grand masters in a club round ritual which is as much about camaraderie as it is about competition. All the top GC/Tweed pros’s credit their clubs with their early development like Parko, Dean, Kersey, Stephanie (Snapper), Fanning (Kirra), Munro (Alley) Bottle (Burleigh), Durbo (Point Lookout) and the list goes on. Kirra Surfriders who are the oldest club on the Coast will celebrate their 50th next year and the Alley boardriders celebrated their 25th two years ago.
“We haven’t had the champions like Snapper and Kirra,” said Glen Elliot, a guiding father of Palm Beach who holds the most amount of open club championships (7) and adds, “But we’re had our share of unbelievable surfers and we have that type of respect that when u draw a Palm Beach competitor, you have good reason to worry!”
Elliot is one of the success stories of Palmy, now the Surfing Australia Judging Manager and ASP Australasia Head Judge, Glen was a mere grommet when the club was founded and sanctioned by the ASAQ ( now Surfing QLD) in 68, affectionately known as El Roy, he has seen the ups and downs and enjoyed all the good times,
“All clubs go thru the up and down cycles, Palmy’s hit bottom and lost it’s identity but now its back big time with the new President James Brydon and the boys have been frothin in some of the best surf held in club rounds so far this year!”
Palmy are the character club of the Coast, while Kirra has the Eagle, PB has the chaotic Vulture as their insignia mascot taken from the KAOS Vulture in the TV show Get Smart and Maxwell Smarts opposing villains! They were the original Palmy Army but then their name was plagiarized by the local surf club who were awarded with the best clean-up beach award and then the name turned sour when a bunch of vandalus gangs used the name detrimentally, consequently the boardriders dropped the tag to totally dissociate themselves from the bad reputation. Like the Burleigh Boardriders who hold the Point dearly as their tribal meeting place, the Palm Beach Boardriders have established their own beach head religiously at 25th Avenue for monthly club rounds. When GCCC (Council) talked of building an Artificial Reef there in 2004, the Palmy crew who were never properly consulted was incensed with the idea and feverishly opposed it, protested successfully having the project scrapped. “The recent beach erosion from the mayhem May storm swells would not have been stopped by the artificial reef,”said Elliot who together with Palm Beach surfer/engineer Mark “Trout” Traucnieks (the 78/79/80 club champ), the Club rallied with the community against the idea. They will propose new ways to restore the beach since the last bout of erosion with sand outlets attached to the groyne rock walls. During the last Queensland State Election the members successfully opposed the above ground powerlines proposed by State Government. The other major achievement for the Boardriders was their very own sports club at the All Stars sports clubhouse, Mallawa Drive, Palm Beach which has been freshly renovated for the end of the year 40th Club Presentations and will be available to hire out to the public for functions! Not many boardriding clubs can boast about owning their own bar!
As Elliot said there have been many great surfers in the Club including the legendary Graham “Blackie” Black a former 1969 Queensland State open champion and super legend surfer/glasser now Grandfather who was a club champion in 1976-77. While not winning a club championship, one of the favorite Palmy sons, Ryan “Hippo” Hipwood a former pro junior champion is now a well known tow-in champion having won a World rated event with Bra Boy Koby Abberton in Chile last year. Hippo also featured doing the craziest airdrop floater at Tasmania’s ShipSterns and was nominated in the recent Billabong Odyssey Big Wave awards. Third generation Gold Coaster, Dru Adler, a World rated aerial surfer has won 5 club championships and has been the club champion for the last three years but according to Glen will face some tough competition in 09 from the rising talents who take their competition very seriously but as Glen says, “Not taking the fun out of it!”
For more info call Jenny McDougal on 0437648278 or you can buy tickets on the door at Elevations, overlooking Tallebudgera Creek.
Press Release written by Andrew McKinnon
Photo supplied by Brad Nielson