Get the first exclusive viewing of the SAND Al Byrne International Surfboard Auction items at Surf World Gold Coast this Friday night, 25th October 2013 at 6:30 pm.

The Festival of AB, in honour of the great surfer/shaper Al Byrne, enters its second stage with the first glimpse of the historic boards that will go under the hammer to raise money for the Byrne family.

The Al Byrne exhibition at Surf World Gold Coast will be launched Friday with four highly sought after boards on exhibit for the first time. Surf World is located opposite the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Tomewin Street, Currumbin. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Admission is $10 and drinks and BBQ dinner will be available on the night.

As well, the producers of the award-winning, sports action documentary ‘Last Paradise,’ have produced a special 20 minute AB tribute film, featuring never before seen footage which will premiere on the night.

Al Byrne was renowned throughout the surfing world for his finely crafted, “deep six,” channel bottom surfboards and his skill and poise in the world’s most challenging waves. AB passed away after a motorcycle accident in Bali in August chasing waves right until the end.

Gold Coast community group SAND will be hosting the evening and has led the fundraising effort to support the Byrne family through this difficult time. A hastily organized fundraising night at the Currumbin Creek Tavern in September raised more than $20,000.

The next stage of the fund-raising effort by SAND is an international auction of some of the most prized and sought after examples of Al Byrne’s beautiful channel bottom boards. Two-time world champion Tom Carroll has donated a personal, custom AB 6’1” channel bottom. Big wave rider Dave Scard has donated the 7’10” gun on which he rode one of the biggest swells ever at Uluwatu in Bali in 2007. And AB’s first tow board, shaped in the mid-90s to surf the huge waves of Jaws on Maui with his good friend Darrick Doerner, is also up for sale - a truly historic board in the development of big wave tow surfing.

The highlight of the exhibition is the last board AB ever shaped, a sleek 6’1” with an amazing airbrush by surf artist Christian Chapman, and glassed and finished by AB’s long-time collaborator Dale Wilson. This is a one of a kind board that will be highly sought after by collectors around the world.

These items and more will later feature in an international surfboard auction luncheon, to be held on November 15 at 11am the Elephant Rock Café, Currumbin, tickets $50. The auction will also be streamed live on the internet so that anyone anywhere in the world can place a bid.

AB was New Zealand’s greatest ever surfer, collecting four national titles, before transplanting to Queensland’s Gold Coast in the ‘70s, where he quickly earned a reputation for his tube-riding skill and fine craftsmanship.

His competitive career peaked at the 1981 Pipeline Masters, where he finished runner-up to Simon Anderson, a final many still contend Byrne should have won. It was an historic clash - Anderson riding his revolutionary three-finned thruster and Byrne on his refined single fin channel bottom.

But Byrne was always more comfortable chasing quality waves around the world than in the competitive arena. He formed deep bonds and earned the utmost respect in the huge waves of Hawaii. Even at the age of 60, and after heart surgery, he celebrated his birthday by towing into 20 foot waves at Phantoms, an outer reef big wave spot.

Al leaves behind his beloved wife Jayne and three sons, Michael, Jamie and Matt.

The AB Exhibition Launch this Friday Night at Surf World Gold Coast will be the first exclusive viewing of Allan Byrne's boards and other examples of craftsmanship and memorabilia from a legendary surfing life.

The Al Byrne Board Auction site can be viewed here:

The Viewing Party:
Board expo at Surf World Friday 25th October, 6.30pm. Tickets $10

The Auction Luncheon:
Two course lunch, raffles + live auction Currumbin Elephant Rock Cafe Friday 15th November, 11am. Tickets $50

The Online Auction:

Register to bid for the live auction webcast at International auction webcast streaming commences Friday 15th November, 1pm AEST

For updates on events, visit the SAND Facebook page

A trailer for ‘Last Paradise’ can be seen here:

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