Shredding the Blokes. Pic supplied BBSF
Augusto Olinto, Blokes winner in the Wategos Wizards. Pic: @col_elmore
Party Wave. Pic: @itsjustsarahwest
Wategos Wizards, Pic: Elliot Kirkwood
Chloe Calmon – happy-as.
21 February 20
The 10-year Anniversary of the Byron Bay Surf Festival has been labeled a "huge success" by organizers, surfers, local businesses and the community.
The 4-day Festival ended on Sunday 16 th of February with picture perfect waves and weather at Wategos Beach followed by a huge night of awards and live music. Coined the ‘Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions’ by Festival Founder James McMillan, each year the Sunday is the festival’s final gathering for all surfers, shapers and beach lovers that have been in Byron Bay celebrating surf culture and community.
"The Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions presented this year by local home grown company, Fusion Health, are non-competitive Surf Sessions on a wide variety of craft and based on artistic interpretation and a peer vote system to determine a ‘winner’ of each Session. This is a FUN, all-inclusive Surf Event and an eclectic alternative to your traditional competitive Surf events where here the ‘winner’ is the surfer having the most FUN", said McMillan.
The flagship event of the day was the BBSF Party Wave, an all-in one-wave-to-the-beach extravaganza!! 40 surfers paddle out together, 40 surfers ride a wave together and the first to hit the beach, run up the sand and devour a fresh Byron Bay mango wins the Cash!! Lots of FUN!
The official start of the 2020 Festival happened on Friday the 14 th at Byron Bay Brewery, but before that on Wednesday the 12th there was the ‘Good Spirits’ Art Auction where Byron Bay Surf Festival partnered with primary presenters Pure Scot along with Byron Arts Magazine, raising funds for Greening Australia and their Environmental Restoration Program after the recent Australian bushfires
A very successful and impacting evening unfolded with near $300’000 dollars being raised through art sales and a generous donation from the Prior Family Foundation.
Thursday night was the Australian premiere of Spoons film out of California, featuring surf legends George Greenough, Renny Yater, Nat Young and Bob McTavish. The award winning documentary showed to a near packed house at the Byron Theatre. Hoots and whistles rose from the crowd as some never-before-seen footage unfolded and was not unlike back in the day where filmmakers traveled the coast showing their freshly cut feature length films to stoked surfers everywhere. Afterwards there was an informing and hilarious Q&A with film Director Wyatt Daily and Producer Justin Misch along with legendary filmmakers Dick Hoole & Jack McCoy and Surf Legend Rusty Miller.
Back to Friday night and 5pm at RVCA store Byron saw the opening of the annual BBSF group artshow with a unique spread of highly influential artists from not only the Northern Rivers but also Japan, France and New York including Kentaro Yoshida, Michele Lockwood, Ozzie Wright, Robin Falxa, Jaleesa Vincent and James McMillan. The Brewery was seriously packed for the official opening of the Pure Scot Sunset Cinema where Surf tribal elder Jack McCoy respectfully kicked off proceedings and said afterwards, "I had such a ball at this years BBSF 10 year Anniversary Festival. I was so honoured to share the Stoke about my meeting my HERO as a kid, The DUKE (Duke Kahanamoku). In his spirit I encouraged all that were present to take on his message of ALOHA to anyone they came in contact with over the weekend and I was so stoked that so many people got it and felt it across the whole weekend. Very special."
The evening unfolded with a traditional Welcome to Country, the special environmental short film Re-generation from Pure Scot & Glen Casey, an extended trailer of Mick Waters new film Outdated Children, sneak peek of a new Dr Bronners film Breathe, live Jazz Rock from local kids band Blackwood and finished off with Jack Coleman’s creative new surf film Zone Frequency. Straight off the back of this was our first live music night with recent singer/songwriter sensation Didirri supported by locals Tay Oskee and Fiona Franklin
The Saturday Surf Art Markets at Byron bay Brewery were just brilliant with shapers, makers, fashion and artists all humming along with 2 stages of live music and a venue buzzing with people enjoying the scrumptious food and clod beverages available in house and it was all just magic. On the other side of town along the Byron foreshore the BBSF annual beach clean-up was happening with Patagonia, Dr Bronners and Take 3 for the Sea with a community of 80 or so people involved, and just a little further out towards the Cape the action was heating up in perfect waves and sunshine at Wategos beach for BBSF’s first ever traditional Surfing Competition, supported by YETI, the ‘Wategos Wizards logging comp for Blokes & Mermaids’. "We’d been asked about a doing a surf comp for years and I’d always declined’, said McMillan, "but I guess leading in to this year I became open to it and with the amount of surfing talent in Byron alone I thought yep let’s do this and it’s another way to include more people and have more fun!" Winner of the Mermaids division Chloe Calmon of Brazil was super stoked saying, "I had such a great time taking part in the Festival, surfing in the Wizards Log Comp. The vibes in Byron always amaze me with good waves, beautiful sunny beach days and so many friends around. It was just such a great gathering at all venues and the involvement of art, music, local community, sustainability and people from all over the world sharing different stories and surfing experiences made such a great experience for me!"
Saturday kicked on with a full-on Surf Party and Live Music at Byron Bay Brewery headlining with the weird & wonderful Surf Culture favourites the Goons of Doom, supported by popular Gold Coasters Radolescent and the newly formed surf punk meets love quotes and tap-dancing bonanza Cupid & the Stupids! So so much FUN!
And that’s a wrap!! 10 years done and we thank Mother Nature for the perfect timing (for us anyway) with parting her clouds and stopping the rain for those few glorious unforgettable days of amazing waves, sunshine, community and sharing all things Surf Culture with all that were there and those that tuned in online to our live broadcasts of the Surfing (a first for us!). Big love, big shakas and remember to look after our beaches, each other and that the Party Wave may just be the answer to it all. ALOHA
- REPORT SUPPLIED BY BYRON BAY SURF FESTIVAL
HERE ARE OUR WINNERS FROM TWO AMAZING DAYS OF SURFING!
WATEGOS WIZARDS LOGGING COMP Presented by YETI
55’S & OVER
1st - Chris “Tiger” Newling
2nd - Tony Abood
1st - Chloe Calmon (Brazil)
2nd - Sophia Culhane (Hawaii)
3rd - Kirra Molnar
4th - Kirra Seale (Hawaii)
5th - Lucy Small
6th - Soojin Park
1st - Augusto Olinto
2nd - Beau Young
3rd - Kai Ellice-Flint
4th - Steven Sawyer
5th - Max Weston
6th - Carlos Bahia (Brazil)
FREESTYLE & STOKE SURF SESSIONS
GROMMETS WINNER Presented by BBSF
EXTRATERRESTRIAL SOFTBOARD EXPERIMENT WINNER Presented by Mojo Surf
WOODSNIFFERS WINNER Presented by Surf Yogis
YIN/YANG WINNERS Presented by BBSF
Nat Folkes & Chloe
BLOKES LOG WINNER Presented By World Surfaris
MERMAIDS LOG WINNER Presented by Atmosea
COSMIC CRAFTING WINNER Presented by Fallenbrokenstreet
GLIDERS WINNER Presented by Warren Global
FESTIVAL PARTY WAVE WINNER Presented by General Store, Byron Bay