The MP Classic is back as an invitational one-day open event on Saturday 25th June

WORDS: Andrew McKinnon PHOTOGRAPHY Morning of the Earth / Albert Falzon/ Justin Misch

The MP is back in 2022!

The MP Classic is back as an invitational one-day open event on Saturday 25th June.

MP Classic Invitational poster.

The Kirra Surfriders Club of which Michael Peterson was a life member & club champion will host this prestigious event.

The 2022 event has the backing of RIP CURL and will be held on Michael’s Mum Joan’s 90th birthday.

The MP was last held in 2019 and won by Callum Robson in the men, now a World Tour top 20 competitor and Ren Hashimoto in the women. It was cancelled in 2020 & 2021 due to Covid.

The 2022 MP Classic will be a 32 field, open to both men’s and women competitors invited from the three Coolangatta clubs, Kirra, Snapper, and Dbah with four wildcards allocated.

This is a rebirth of the event that has the potential to be as prestigious the Hawaiians Eddie Aikau such as a one-day event invitational only. Although instead of the over 20ft requirement, the main aim for the MP would be to have an extended waiting period from March to May to score epic Kirra Point. This was Michael’s spiritual surfing home where he was considered to be the King of Kirra.

Dan Merkel photo of Michael Peterson his last great victory winning the 1977 Stubbies Surf Classic with Mother Joan, sister Dot and Lord Tallyho Blears at Burleigh Point. Qlds first World Professional event using Peter Drouyns one on one matchup heats.

MPs performance at Kirra Point in 1971 is one of the highlights of Alby Falzon’s movie Morning of the Earth. Unrehearsed or scripted, Alby just so happened to rock up at Kirra and shoot Michael in his element. The MOTE MP cutback remains one of surfing most timeless images.

Arguably one of the greatest surf movies of its era, MOTE was released 50 years ago in 1972 and has been recently remastered and reissued by Justin Misch.

The MP classic competition was the brainchild of Joan his Mum and Dot his sister back in 2002. Sadly, Dot unexpectedly passed away In May this year. Michael passed away in April 2012.

He would have been 70 in September. The oldest member of brother Tommy, sisters Dot & Denise.

There’s no doubt that the MP event has been a stepping-stone for many professional careers judging by the super impressive list of winners.

Former winners of the MP are as follows;

Shane Bevan 2002, Shaun Gossman 2003-05, Dave Reardon-smith 2006, Luke Dorrington 2007, Clint Kimmins 2008, Adam Melling 2009, Josh Kerr 2010, Noah Lane 2011, Lincoln Taylor 2012, Mitch Parkinson 2013, Mikey Wright 2014, Mitchell James 2015 -16, Mitch Parkinson 2017, Lincoln Taylor & Isabella Nichols 2018, Callum Robson & Ren Hashimoto 2019.

TRACKS Rip Curl ad 1972 MP & AM

This year’s winner will score an MP inspired Morning of the Earth plan shape shaped by Gill Glover and supplied by S-lab for the Creators. Category prizes will be allocated for the top four men’s and women’s to be held in the best waves available from Kirra to Dbah.

A presentation for the MP Classic invitational and celebration for Joan Ps 90th will be held after the Saturday 25th June one day event at the 4 Pines Café Bar, Marine Pde., Coolangatta 4.30 – 9.30pm

A press launch will be held at 4 Pines on Thurs 23rd at 10.30am.

Bio on Michael Peterson. A legendary Coolangatta cult figure won two National title 72/75, three consecutive Bells Beach Easter Pro 73 – 75, Coke Classic 74, Pa Bendall 75, and a 1992 inductee of Surfing Australia’s Hall of Fame. Michael was a proficient and progressive surfboard shaper with a sharp eye for detail, shaping his own boards under his own popular label.

Dick Hoole/MP at Kirra 1975

For more info morningoftheearth.com  and Instagram @morning_of_the_earth