Midget Wins It All

Midget Farrelly. Photo: Ron Perrott
(L to R) Nat Young, Mike Doyle, Joey Cabell
1964 World Champion Phyllis O'Donell. Photo: Ron Perrott
Eduardo Arena
Linda Benson. Photo: Ron Church

The Makaha International had been viewed as surfing's unofficial world championships since the late 1950s. By the early '60s, however, complaints were growing louder that the Makaha format was outdated and that the judging panel was in the tank for Hawaiians. Creating a new and successful World Surfing Championships event in Australia, as Bob Evans and a lot of other people saw it, could help bring an end to Makaha’s domination. Evans’ efforts may have been fueled by a bit of vindictiveness. ...

Farrelly picked up the last wave of the event, hung five, then grimaced his way through an exaggerated arms-up cutback, really playing to the back rows. The standing ovation began halfway through the ride and continued as Farrelly walked up the beach, the corners of his mouth pulling up into a tight little smile.