It is with a heavy heart many of the Gold Coast surfing community heard the news of the sudden passing of 2 times Australian Longboarding Champion, Mark “Macca” McNamara. Mark was tutoring a fellow surfer at Kirra Point on Sunday, and after getting a great wave, ran back to paddle out again, when he suffered a massive heart attack as he made his way back out into the line up.
Mark was a great longboard surfer, amazing noserider, and an excellent surf coach, and most of all a top bloke. There are many people of all ages that credit Mark with teaching them how to surf, and passing on the surfing “bug”. He had an infectious smile and wanted everyone to join in on the fun. He would often try to get me on a longboard and join him in the state titles, even though I never have ridden one. I said no, but that did not stop him trying again, “You don’t know what you’re missing brother!” His love for life and surfing was so strong, he was like the eternal grommet, and wanted everyone to be in on the fun. He lived in the water, and spread his joy and love to all he knew him. One consolation is that he died doing what he loved the most. Smooth clean Kirra on a Sunday afternoon, spreading the stoke of surfing to a fellow friend. Ride on in heaven brother……
Australian Longboard Surfing Open Next Week at Kingscliff
It will be surf city from next Wednesday with the Australian Longboard Surfing Open, and the Longboard Surfing Festival of the Asia Pacific, held on 25-29 March 2015 at Kingscliff. The Festival and contest honours the history of longboard surfing with live music, surf vehicle display, Miss Beach Girl competition, surf films, yoga, art and lifestyle stalls.
Over the years it has been an excuse for longboarders to get together with other like minded surfers from around Australia, Asia, New Zealand, Europe and the USA. It attracts the current crop of professional longboard surfing superstars including world champions Harley Ingleby and the Tweed Coast’s own, Chelsea Williams. Together they rub shoulders with stars from the early years like the worlds first ever surfing champion, Phyllis O’Donnell, surf mogul Doug Warbrick and the Godfather of soul surfing Ray Gleave.
The third event of the 2015 ASP Longboard Qualifying Series, the Australian Longboard Surfing Open returns to Kingscliff in March 2015. This event is known for regularly attracting various world rated surfers and international world champions like Taylor Jensen and Jen Smith along with many of Australia’s hottest young competitors like Australian U18 Title holders Josh Skinner and Lily Ellis. Together they gather with a sprinkling of international competitors, SUP surfers and log riders, to share their skills and stories with other surfers.
The Australian Longboard Surfing Open pays homage to the history and the lifestyle of longboard surfing with a number of amateur surfing divisions, Old Mal and Retro divisions, a Noserider, SUP surfing and races. On the land there will be plenty to do, and plenty to watch in the water. Kingscliff will be the place to be!!