Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ma and Pa Easter Date New Date for Surf Memorial; Memorial to Become Part of Caloundra Festival

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Ma and Pa Easter Date New Date for Surf Memorial; Memorial to Become Part of Caloundra Festival

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman

ONE of Australia's most iconic surfing competitions will bloom this year into a festival that celebrates the sport's importance to Caloundra.

Windansea Boardriders Club will run the 2012 Ma and Pa Bendall Memorial contest, with help from Caloundra RSL, as part of a Caloundra Surfing Festival over the Easter weekend in April.

Launched in 1974, a year after Pa's death, the contest is the second-longest continuously staged surfing event in Australia behind the Bell's Beach Classic.

After Ma's death eight years ago the name was changed to reflect her contribution to the sport.

The $1500 prize money offered in its first year was the largest purse in Australia at the time.

The event attracted Hawaii's Gerry Lopez and the best of Australia's surfing talent including thruster designer Simon Anderson and former world champion Wayne Bartholomew.

Past winners include one of Australia's finest surfers Michael Petersen who added a aPaa title to his belt during a barnstorming two-year domination of the sport in the 1970s.

Charles Ben (Pa) Bendall and Marjory (Ma), who settled in Caloundra in the 1950s, quickly established themselves as the mother and father of Sunshine Coast surfing, forming the invitation-only Moffateers club in 1966 from which Windansea emerged in 1970.

Windansea president Terry Landsberg said the club had an obligation to celebrate and honour the town's sporting heritage.

The Caloundra Surf Festival will add to the annual music festival in October, bringing another highlight to the town's sparse events calendar.

While Noosa has its Festival of Surfing which is longboard focussed, the Caloundra festival would be very much a celebration of shortboard surfing.

Shifting the competition from February to the Easter weekend would not only allow it to be run in conjunction with the bigger tides and swell at that time of the year, but also make organisation easier for the club's volunteers. …

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