Evans Malibu Classic finishes 23rd year and popular as ever

WHETHER you were a world-class surfer or a novice on the waves, there was something for everyone at this year's Evans Head Malibu Classic.

This year's event once again attracted hundreds of longboard competitors from across the eastern states, testing their skills at the village's Main Beach.

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Among those in action at the three-day event was Jared Neal, who was brushing up on his skills ahead of forthcoming world titles in China.

The 30-year-old, who recently returned from the ISA World Longboard Championships in Peru, was enjoying the tournament's relaxed atmosphere.

"I won't be relaxing at the Worlds with a beer or two with my mates the night before my surf.

"This is one of my favourite events to come to.

"There's a great bunch of people and it's great to come here."

This was the 23rd staging of the annual event, which wrapped up yesterday and featured scores of separate divisions.

Sapphire Beach-based Neal said he got the same thrill from hitting the waves, no matter where he was.

"Every surfer knows that feeling of getting that 'special' wave," he said.

"When you get that wave you want, it can turn a rubbish day into a special one."

Matt Moyle, who has been helping oversee the event for about seven years, said surfing provided the perfect antidote to all life's troubles.

"It's about working away your worries," he said. "It's a great stress relief.

"It's more than the surfing here. It's about catching up with friends and enjoying yourself."

Moyle thanked everyone who assisted the competition.

Malibu Classic veteran Mark Fuller says it's all about respect

NOTHING was going to stop Mark Fuller enjoying this year's Evans Head Malibu Classic - and nothing ever will.

The Scotts Head contestant has attended the Classic more than 20 times and still enjoys his trip north.

"They'll have to carry me away in a box to stop me coming here," he said.

Hundreds of longboard surfers once again flocked to this year's event, which wrapped up yesterday.

The three-day competition at the village's Main Beach, featured various divisions and age groups.

Fuller, who took to surfing as an infant, was competing in the over-55s section of this year's tournament.

"The title means nothing," Fuller said. "It's about that respect between fellow competitors.

"Surfing is about friendship as well. You know you can walk up to another surfer and say, 'how you going, you rode that wave well'. "It doesn't matter who you are here. We all hang together."

Fuller said the event, which has run for 23 years, was about more than competing against other surfers.

"It's all about the people and the atmosphere," he said. "People here are so friendly and they always welcome you.

"I love it here."

Organiser Matt Moyle said it had been another enjoyable event.

He thanked everyone who assisted the titles.

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