Today is a sad day for Australia, and the world of Surfing, with the passing of Midget Farrelly. Midget was Australia’s first surfing champion winning the Makaha International in Hawaii in 1962 and the 1964 World Championships at Manly.
I was fortunate enough to know Midget through Whale Beach Surf Club and I know that his passing has come as a shock to many (myself included). I regret that I have only ever had a handful of opportunities to speak with him over the years – but one thing I know is that he was a friendly man that really cared for everyone around him. The other thing most people would agree on is that he was completely at home in the water. Surfing, Surf Boats, Swimming, Paddle boarding… it didn’t seem to matter as long as it was in the water. Midget was quite active in the surf boats at Whale Beach, here is a great photo of him in action;
I’m now slowly reading over all the amazing things he’s accomplished in his life. I’m sorry that it’s only because he has passed away that I’ve learnt about his background. The Encyclopedia of Surfing said “from 1962 to 1970 he was arguably the best competitive surfer in the world“.
I know that many people will be shocked by this news. It’s sudden, abrupt, and we’ve lost a friend and a great man.
I don’t really know what else to say other than I’ll miss him – and that everyone else who knew him will to.
…oh…I have to share this great YouTube clip of Midget surfing:
(note: the quality of the video isn’t great but I’m guessing that is what the original footage looks like).