History of the Merimbula Classic 1981 - 2017

The posters and T shirts have always been an integral part of the contest.. a cheeky and sometimes provocative reflection on the mood and the issuesof the timesor of the past and sometimes a peek into the future. Always fun and a definite talking point.
Part 1 The Eighties
links to part 2 The Nineties, part 3 The noughties, Part 4 The new decade


The Eighties
Although the club started in 1980, the first sailboard contest in Easter 1981 wasjust a small event and it was in November 1981 that the Classic was born. Little did we know that we had bred an offspring that we would still be nurturing well into middle age....










1980/ 81 The Merimbula Sailboard Club was formed by a handful of keen surfer/sailors. We held a competition at Easter 1981 and Mike Maguire won.Another contest was held in the November to coincide with first Rip Curl multi fins sailboard classic to be held in Torquay. We got t-shirts from Dare Jennings of Phantom, called the contest the Wave Flight contest and made our own poster. 36 sailors arrived most of whom were on their way home from Torquay. An expression session was held when the SE wind came up and democracy ruled as we voted for the best sailor at Pambula pub. Scotty won, or was it Mark...??

November '82 Midget's company "Surfblanks" sponsored us. There was now a contest circuit, Torquay-Merimbula-Sydney. Dare gave us a cool poster (bears on thong) and 50 sailors plus Randy Naish competed in an expression session at the airport beach.We voted at the pub... won by Mark Paul

November '83 Features, cat poster, serious waves at the Bar, Mallacoota, Ford Oval.Craig Yester, Richard White, Suzie Gedayloo, Malte & Klaus Simmer, Randy, Alan Cadiz, Fraser Black, Clare Seeger. It was won by Craig Yester and Clare Seeger (uk)

November '84 SW winds sent the event to Mallacoota. 6ft swell plus 25knot SW winds at tip beach made for a mega day for Midget, Wylie & Scotty on the bear away peaks. This was followed by excellent days at Fordys. Won by Midget, Scott & Wylie, Santha Patel (NZ)

November '85 saw a new level of maturity for the event, a new level of inspiration, a new poster, by the newly emerged from the darkest recesses of Africa,100%Mambo, the big beat from the heart of the (surfwear) jungle. It featured the ashtray and the three legged dog. This bought a new level of sophistication to the event..love him or hate him? Some asked "what's a three legged dog got to do with wave sailing?" Well plenty of course and thus the mission to convert the culture …praise ashtray, praise Mambo. As if an omen, ashtray let loose with 12" of rain, floods and soapy water and waves too big to measure on any contemporary scale. Midget broke 5 masts, Ricky didn't drown, Maui Meyer won from Scotty, Dave Sheen emerged from W.A. Santha won womens, Josh Adams won juniors, and Tommy Peterson tore up the poster as a protest over the trash we let into our club... and he only had 2 stubbies!

November '86 The biggest and best..10ft waves. 4.2m sails for 3 days. We sailed Tura, main beach & the Bar. Sonya nearly drowned, Hopf ripped to beat Wylie & Mcgain, Santha won the womens again.

November '87 most perfection, 101starters. SW bear aways from 8 am turning south later & harder NE bear aways from 10 am. Classic Fordys then later SE at the Bar...jellyfish. Rohan wins overall from Josh Adams who put on the most awesome display of wave sailing not equalled to this day !

November '88 saw the Mambo helmet that reappeared at Sydney 2000 olympics. 175 sailors including Jason Polakow & Mark Angulo, all anxious not to miss another '87. We sailed Tathra in NE small swell. Rohan took his 2nd title, Jason the juniors providing a glimpse of things to come, Priscilla the ladies.

November '89 the Jason era, 2 doggies poster,190 competitors, Jason blew all away!