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Bondi Longboarders Turn Back The Clock

By Marcus Braid on December 10, 2014 in News

Photo: Pat Cahill

Photo: Pat Cahill

Twenty years after members of the Bondi Longboard Club first started making a name for themselves out in the Bondi breakers, they’re getting everyone together, past and present, for an anniversary contest.

Formed in March 1995, the longboard club was established when 18 longboarders gathered at North Bondi RSL for its first meeting – the venue has now become the unofficial meeting spot for local longboarders.

“The club started in 1995 from a mutual camaraderie in the surf among a growing number of longboarders,” club president Paul Armstrong said.

The Bondi Longboard Club is steeped in history, with the current patron Barry ‘Magoo’ McGuigan surfing in one of the original Hawaiian longboard competitions as the Tasmanian champion.

“The Americans thought Tasmania was a country near Australia,” Mr Armstrong said.

Former members of the club are invited to help celebrate the anniversary contest next March to commemorate the 20-year anniversary.

“Over the years we’ve worked hard to contribute to the local Bondi community. We would really love to hear from anyone who has been associated with the club over the years,” Mr Armstrong said.

“The club now has around 100 surfing and social member. There is a contest every month and results are discussed over a barbecue lunch cooked by one of the club’s founders, Dave Byron.”

According to Joanne East, a key administrator at Bondi Longboard Club and member since 1995, membership is eclectic and by no means an insular Bondi affair, with longboarders travelling large distances to take part in the monthly contest.

“It varies; most are based around Bondi, Bronte, Tama and Maroubra, but some people live out of the area and travel,” Ms East said.
“There are probably only half a dozen who have been there since the beginning.”

The club really came of age in March 2000 when it hosted the Inaugural Bondi Longboard Classic, which attracted nearly 90 competitors from all over Sydney and up and down the NSW coast.

A registration form will be available on the Club’s website at www.bondilongboardclub.com. Past members can contact the club to take part in the anniversary event next March by emailing bondilongboarders@gmail.com.

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