Surfers hit the waves for a cause at the Barney Miller Charity Surf Classic

Sawtell Boardriders juniors Josiah Baldwin, Rio Luther-Barr, Hendrix Lewis, Harper McIntosh, and Fletcher O’Sullivan enjoy the Barney Miller Charity Surf Classic.


SURFERS from the Coffs Coast and beyond hit the waves for a great cause during the 21st running of the Barney Miller Charity Surf Classic at Sawtell Main Beach.

The annual event raises money for a different recipient each year chosen by Barney Miller, with the recipient having suffered a life-changing spinal injury.

This year’s recipient was Matty ‘Chook’ Clarke; a Monee Beach local who had a tragic surfing accident in 2019 which left him paralysed.

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After last year’s event was cancelled due to the initial outbreak of COVID-19, one year on and Sawtell Boardriders president Nathan Begley said the community had once again embraced one of the iconic events on the Coffs Coast calendar.

“The numbers were really good and it was a really strong showing in surfers and sponsors,” he said.

“It was a really good endeavour to have something after COVID, and the local community responded well to it.

“It’s been a staple of the community for over two decades, and it’s great to be back after a year off as it gives local and non-local surfers a chance to compete at a higher level.

“This event always draws a high level of competition, including ex-professionals in the line-up.”

After the recent wet weather, Begley told News Of The Area the surfers had enjoyed ideal conditions.

“The surf has been fantastic with a light breeze all weekend,” he said.

“It’s rare when there are clean conditions and beautiful sun.

“It was a perfect juxtaposition compared to last week’s weather and it was great.”

Sawtell Boardriders junior Harper McIntosh was one of the surfers to compete at this year’s Classic.

The 11-year-old was taking part in his fourth Classic, and had made a good start to this year’s event.

“I qualified for Sunday’s final on Friday, it’s one of the best I’ve surfed in a comp,” he said.

“Hopefully I can win, but there’s good competition from surfers like my mates.”




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