He had led the event in the early rounds when the surf was up to 12ft but was out maneuvered by Peterson as the swell dropped away.My memories, are of him surfing from extremely deep inside on his 8ft gun and as Bob Mc Tavish would say “going vertical” on those huge Bells walls.Participants in the sport of surfing were growing at a phenomenal rate eventually culminating in so many Australian surfers dominating the World Rankings since the First Pro Comp at bells Beach in 1973.The Easter Bells comps from 66 to 73 provided the opportunity for Victorians to catch a glimpse of their heroes in particular Midget with his long blond hair and heavy cabled white cardigan , Nat with his felt green hat and Wymorana dog by his side.No individual before or after has had such an amazing impact on bringing surfing to the eye of the general public.
They arrived in shipments of 50 to 100 by train at Frankston station.
Midget who was overlooked as a serious threat placed a very creditable 2nd to American Rolf Arness.
Bernard “Midget” Farrelly, above, at Bells Beach in 1973.
Rolling further into the 70’s Midget was ridiculed (too squeaky clean for Tracks) because he spoke out against the growing drug image that was associated with surfing.
He was labelled a past champion who was no longer progressive yet when Rip Curl backed the first professional event at Bells in 1973 he placed second to Peterson.