Pictured are the winners of the 1987 Robbie Pryde Memorial Classic – Paul Poncini, Spot, Grant Boyce, Cliff Speed
This year marks the 33rd year of the ‘Rainbow Beach Memorial Surf Comp’ previously named the Robbie Pryde Memorial Classic. The event started in 1986 as local friends came together in memory of their good mate and surfer Robbie Pryde.
Sadly there were other well loved locals who joined Robbie so the event became a memorial to remember and honour many friends.
Jamie ‘Spot’ Stone was the instigator of the first comp as he was such an avid young surfer at the time.
Dennis Parton took on the role of organising which was an absolute success due to his experience with sport and wonderful people skills.
There was usually a good crowd of spectators on the hill near where the propeller now sits. It was something we looked forward to every year as a chance to get everyone together and spend the day surfing and catching up.
Over the years the annual event has seen many changes. With the formation of the Board Riders Club, the competition location changed to ensure better waves, along with the addition of the grommies and ladies divisions.
It has seen wonderful contributions from many locals including past presidents Dennis Parton, Smiley Mick, Theresa Dargusch, Joel Mahon, Jake and BJ Parton.
Over recent years the event has included camping at Freshwater to work in with the tides, which has been a great addition to the social aspect of the competition.
Each year there has been a different coloured shirt for surfers and supporters as a memento of the event, which board riders wear proudly and look forward to adding to their collection each year.
The competition name changed to the Rainbow Beach Memorial Surf Comp in 2002 to reflect the focus of the event being on family, friends and the community getting together, remembering our past and celebrating connections with Rainbow Beach.
The next Rainbow Beach Memorial Surf Comp will be held on January 18th. It usually kicks off up on the Teewah side of Double Island Point around 7am and the finals are often not finished until 3-4pm.
Entry fee includes a shirt and barbecue lunch. Presentations are held that night at a party for everyone and new President Terry VanOirschot and Vice President Paul Ladas will ensure it’s a wonderful event.
The first comp in 1986 had 24 surfers compete but in more recent years, there has been between 60-80 surfers so it is a full day of surfing with eight divisions from grommies through to veterans.
Anyone interested in joining the Rainbow Beach Board Riders Club or surfing in the Memorial Comp should jump on the Rainbow Beach Board Riders Facebook page for all the details.
The Memorial Comp is a fantastic day out with friendly competition, some great quality surfing and lots of good chats, laughs and great memories. See you on the 18th!!