The annual Yallingup Malibu Classic (Yal Mal) will celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary at Yallingup on 29 & 30 November 2014.
In 2004 WA Surf Industry legend Greg Laurenson recorded his recollections of the first competition held in 1985. An excerpt from his recollections follows:-
“It was just a few mates, Tony Harbison, Johnboy Molloy, Bob Monkman and myself, and of course Loz – he’s the one that put soul into the event. We thought that it would be a good idea to have a little comp at our home break, any money raised would go back into the community – swings for the kids’ maybe, who knows. Anyway, that first Mal Classic little it was not. The bright sunlit crystal clear water of Yallingup lagoon in summer had given way to a heavy overcast sky and a larger than large raw southern ocean swell. Great, who’s in the first heat? Not me I hope was the consensus and it was amazing how many sprained ankles appeared. But the two days went off really well, we all got hammered, Clary Brent-White broke my new board into three pieces, Peter Dyson made us all laugh and John Clemenger, WA’s wandering surf legend took out the event. So that was that – the first one. Who would have thought that over the following years the event would develop and grow as it has into such a beautiful uplifting occasion”.
1985 Finalists in the first Yal Mal standing in front of the old brick toilet block at Yallingup. The photo taken by Loz Smith has been signed by the finalists and Greg Laurenson. It was purchased by the Burrow family at auction. L-R Bob Monkman, Robbo O’Brien (worst wipe-out), Peter Mac, John Clemenger, Ian Mitchell, Peter Dyson, Ross Tomsett, Cliff Hills, Gene Hall, Tony Harbison, Keith Campbell & Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland (surf photographer) – Loz Smith image courtesy of Vance Burrow.
Another excerpt from Greg Laurenson’s recollections of first Yal Mal follows:-
“Anticipation starts to fill the air as the day’s events draw to a close. It’s the back tie and boardies Surfers Ball at Surfside. Later that evening all the crew and their girls are fully buffed and ready to rock. Gina and her wonderful band were there – I could tell it was her from the first note. Memories of Caves House on a Sunday afternoon with Nance & Vance Burrow and Gina on vocals came flooding back – truly good times. So let the good times roll and roll they did except for one minor hiccup with the weather gods and as with any real surfers ball a visit from the police just after midnight just to give the show a bit of cred”.
1987 Yal Mal competition tent and competitors on the lawn at Yallingup. Photo courtesy of Andy Jones.
2014 Veteran Yallingup surfer Peter Dyson modelling Yal Mal 30th Anniversary t-shirt designed by Loz Smith – Photo credit Loz Smith.