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Midget Farrelly at Palm Beach, 1964

John Witzig

type C photograph (mount: 81.5 cm x 101.8 cm, image: 46.5 cm x 70.0 cm)

Bernard 'Midget' Farrelly AM (1944–2016), surfer and boardmaker, grew up in Sydney and first surfed at North Bondi in the early 1950s. By 1961 he was the Australian surfing champion. The following year he won the Makaha International Championship in Hawaii, becoming the first Australian ever to take out a major surf title. The first World Surfing Championships were held at Sydney's Manly Beach in 1964; more than 60,000 people saw Farrelly take the men's crown. He remained one of the world's leading surf competitors through the 1960s, finishing second in the 1968 and 1970 world championships. In this period he co-wrote A Surfing Life and How to Surf and began to shape boards; over the 1970s he built up a successful blank-making and chemicals business, Surfblanks. Farrelly was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in California in July 2007.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2007

Accession number: 2007.32

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Witzig (age 20 in 1964)

Midget Farrelly (age 20 in 1964)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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