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Press Release National Surf Reserves 15 September

Surfing legends Bernard ‘Midget’ Farrelly, Phyllis O’Donnell and Barton Lynch will be special guests when Manly and Freshwater surf beaches on Sydney’s Northern Beaches are formally declared Australia’s latest National Surfing Reserve in a dedication ceremony taking place on the Beachfront Promenade at North Steyne (near the Ocean Beach House) at 11.30am on Saturday 25 September 2010.

The new Manly- Freshwater National Surfing Reserve stretches over four kilometres from Harbord Point to Fairy Bower and includes Freshwater Beach; Queenscliff, North Steyne and Manly Beaches and Shelly Beach to Fairy Bower Point.

As a National Surfing Reserve, Manly-Freshwater joins an elite group of iconic surfing beaches of intrinsic environmental, heritage, sporting and cultural value to the nation.

The only other National Surfing Reserves in Australia are Maroubra (2006), Angourie (2007), Lennox (2008), Crescent Head (2008), Cronulla (2008), Merewether (2009), Killalea (2009), North Narrabeen (2009), Margaret River (2010) and Kalbarri (2010).Manly hosted the first World Surfboard-riding Championship in 1964, the event being won by ‘Midget’ Farrelly and Phyllis O’Donnell who will unveil two special plaques commemorating the dedication of the Manly- Freshwater National Surfing Reserve.

One plaque will be featured on a special, new sandstone sculpture on Manly Beach by artist Chris Bennetts, the second will be placed near the statue of Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (designed by Barry Donohoo), on the headland overlooking Freshwater Beach.

With its century-long surfing heritage, Manly is widely regarded as the birthplace of surfing in Australia!Manly was also the site of Australia’s first legal daylight bathing (1902), hosted the first known body surfing contest in 1908, and was the launch site of Australia’s first official surf patrol boat (1907).Freshwater Beach famously played host to Duke Kahanamoku’s board surfing demonstration in the Summer of 1914 – 1915, and is currently home to two world surfing champions, Barton Lynch and Layne Beachley.

Manly Beach is one of Australia’s most popular seaside tourist destinations, attracting some five million visitors from around the world each year.The NSW State Member of Parliament for Manly, Mike Baird, will preside over the dedication ceremony in the presence of The Hon. Tony Kelly, Deputy Leader of the NSW Government in the Legislative Council and Minister for Planning, Infrastructure & Lands; Mayor of Manly, Councillor Jean Hay AM and Mayor of Warringah, Councillor Michael Regan.

“National Surfing Reserves encourage everyone to enjoy, understand and protect special coastal environments of universal value to the surfing world,” said Councillor Hay.

“The dedication of the Manly-Freshwater area as a National Surfing Reserve is a wonderful recognition of the iconic nature of this beautiful stretch of paradise” said Mayor Hay.

“It’s important to note that A Surfing Reserve does not attempt to exclude any user group from the surfing beach. In fact, it ensures that the enjoyment of a reserve is protected and enhanced for generations to come”

Formed in Sydney in 2005, the National Surfing Reserve program is a voluntary collaboration dedicated to recognising iconic surfing sites in Australia and promoting National Surfing Reserve sites globally.

Self funded and non-political, the National Reference Group comprises experienced individuals from across Australia who facilitate National Surfing Reserve nominations and management.