Heartwarming reason this Rainbow Beach tradition rides on
NO AMOUNT of rain could put a dampener on the Rainbow Beach community's surfiest faction coming together once more this weekend to mark the 34th edition of their Memorial Surf Classic.
What began as a tight-knit tribe of mates marking the passing of much-loved fellow surfer Robbie Pryde in 1986 with a friendly competition in his name has continued in the same sentimental vein ever since, though renamed to properly commemorate all those who have gone over the years.
Put on by the 84 member-strong Rainbow Beach Boardriders club, the Classic begins on Friday night with camping at Double Island Point before sign-ons start from 7am Saturday morning.
Boardriders secretary and organiser BJ Parton said the club was expecting another strong year for the "special" event.
"This year we're probably looking at around 50 surfers, if not more, it's Rainbow and they like to show up on the day," Ms Parton said.
"Everyone gets in and makes the trophies, they're all handmade with recyclable materials from around town. From the old freshwater track we use the old planks and make some trophies, everyone puts in effort there.
"It's mostly about catching up for a surf with some friends and a bit of friendly competition. It's not this big professional surfing comp as such, it's just about that gathering of people for this event.
"We kick off at about 8am along Teewah Beach depending on surf conditions. Conditions aren't looking too bad, fingers crossed. We're hoping the rain has cleaned up the surf for us and we're ready to rock and roll."
This year's Classic will be the first at the helm for new club president Terry Van Oirschot, who takes the reigns from past presidents Dennis Parton, Smiley Mick, Theresa Dargusch, Joel Mahon, Jake Parton and BJ herself.
Ms Parton said surfers from all over will descend on Rainbow to help continue the treasured tradition.
"They come from everywhere. We get people from Agnes Waters, people from Caloundra, we've had people from as far as Sydney who used to be locals. They come back every year for this event," she said.
"We try to portray a sentimental element with it, reminding everyone to get together once in a while and remember loved ones lost and have a good time, no over-the-top competition.
"It's a special event for us. Everyone is welcome to be a part of the day."
The $50 Classic fee includes membership, a T-shirt, and BBQ lunch on the day, with presentations at the Boardriders clubhouse at Brent's Burgers to follow at 5.30pm.
Follow Rainbow Beach Boardriders on Facebook for more information.