HE COULD BE BELIEVED
bout Bernard Midget Farrelly – alot’s going to be written over the days, weeks, months. Bringing it all down to the nub though – He Could Be Believed – He Was Worth Believing. Thus he was one of the greatest exceptions to the rule of surfing. Simply, telling it the way it was. Erudite to an intricate fault, spanning the disciplines of Surf Board Riding, Hang Gliding and Wind Surfing from pioneer levels, developing an industry around his talent; and being arguably the greatest contest surfer of the 1960s via Makaha then Manly then runner up losses in countbacks at Puerto Rico and Bells, Midget was far more of a broad doyen than just about anyone who has ever existed in the lifestyle. Critically important was the grand enduring controversy surrounding Nat, Bob, and the rise of the Witzig media style – little known amidst this shift in surfing world politics at the centre of the mid ‘60s was a profound personal tragedy that far outweighed any supposed new way of presenting surfing to the public. Simply, things far closer to home changed the man. Surf shit was penny ante compared to a far bigger picture – Life, Death and The Universe. A truly great man, gone.
Midget’s full rail hack down from the infamous 1970 Worlds at Johanna, where he went agonisingly close to claiming a second Championship. (Drew Kampion)