The Coca-Cola Surf Classic, Manly Beach 1987
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"No wave is too steep or too ferocious to conquer, it seems, in these days of high-powered, high-performance pro surfing."
So goes the text in the '87 Coke Classic souvenir guide explaining state of the art surfing to the lay reader. And yep, the 'steep and ferocious waves' include Manly Beach, where the 1987 Coke Classic was held. The guide was given away in Sydney's daily tabloid, The Daily Sun, and was targeted at the non-surfing punter. At least I hope it was, that's the only excuse for sentences such as this to exist:
"The sight of Martin Potter catapaulting off a collapsing wave or Mark Occhilupo floating over a tumult of whitewash can take the breath away."
Besides the wonderfully quaint copy and eye-straining font other highlights include a double-page spread by the Water Board (now Sydney Water) spruiking their soon-to-be built offshore outfalls. In 1987 Manly was one of the most polluted beaches in Sydney, owing to the North Head outfall, and the Water Board was on the PR propaganda trail.
The competition itself, which was the last in the 86/87 season was won by Damien Hardman who also won the world title. Held in windblown 3 foot surf at Queenscliff, Hardman beat his closest competitor, Gary Elkerton, in a semi final to take the title. It was Hardman's first world title - he won his second in 1991 - and the first of three runner-up placings to Elkerton.