First Australian Surfing Champ Bernard ‘Midget’ Farrelly Dies

August 6, 2016, Bernard ‘Midget’ Farrelly Dies at age 71. Midget was the first Australian surfer to win the world title in 1963. In the early 1960s the World Surf League Championship Tour didn’t exist, but the Makaha International did. The young Midget Farrelly arrived in Hawaii in 1962 with a few friends from Australia to compete in the Makaha competition.

Bernard became the first face of surfing for Australia when he won the event early in 1963. His success played a key role in the growth of the surfing sport in the Land Down Under. Several years down the road, in 1985 he was inducted into Australia Sports Hall of Fame.

Midget was highly regarded as the world’s best competitive surfer from 1962 to 1970. After winning Makaha in 1963, he won the Inaugural ISA World Title in 1964, then he became runner-up to Hemmings in Puerto Rico in 1968 and then he was runner up to Rolf Aurness at Bells in 1970. His consistent performance has made him an important figure to the surfing world and the very reason why Australia grew to be one of surfing’s superpowers in the world.

Photo Credit: Matt Thistlethwaite via Twitter Surfers Paying Tribute to Farrelly at the Arrawarra Headland National Championship

Photo Credit: Matt Thistlethwaite via Twitter Surfers Paying Tribute to Farrelly at the Arrawarra Headland National Championship

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