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Peter Townend

Peter Townend
1976 First Professional World Surfing Champion

The first World Professional Surfing Champion(1976) was a dominant figure in professional surfing’s formative years and was ranked in the top five in the world three out of the five years from 1976-79. In this same period he also doubled the character Jack Barlow in the Warner Brothers cult classic “Big Wednesday” directed by John Milius and staring Jan Michael Vincent, Gary Busey and William Katt. He began his media career as a UPI journalist for the Murdoch paper, Sydney’s Daily Mirror in the mid-Seventies whilst competing as a professional surfer. In the late Seventies, Townend moved to California and ventured into sports promotion, organizing events, coaching and acting as the Executive Director of the National Scholastic Surfing association(NSSA). From the mid-Eighties to the mid-Nineties he was Ad Director/Associate Publisher for Western Empire Publications Surfing Group, overseeing ad sales and marketing for Surfing, Bodyboarding and Volleyball magazines. For the rest of the Nineties Townend was Marketing Director/Global Brand Director for Rusty/Rusty Girl apparel, accessories and surfboards. In the same Eighties/Nineties period PT was the voice of pro surfing on TV as the color analyst for Prime Ticket(became Fox Sports Net) and ESPN for Bud Pro Surfing Tour and ASP World Championship Tour(WCT). He served as President of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association(SIMA) for a two year term 1998-99. He returned to the media business in 2000, assuming the role of Publisher of Primedia’s Surfing Group overseeing editorial direction and marketing of Surfing, Bodyboarding Magazines and launched Surfing Girl. He formed The ActivEmpire(ATE) in 2003 a brand consultancy company specializing in brand management, athlete representation and special event marketing in the surf and skate markets. Now in it’s fourteenth year, The ATE’s roster of clients have won multiple SIMA Image Awards including SANUK for “Footwear Product of the Year”, L*SPACE for “Women’s Swim Brand of the Year”, HURLEY for “Men’s Boardshort of the Year” and Huntington Surf & Sport(HS&S) for “Retailer of the Year”. In 2014 Townend and The ActivEmpire was appointed Event Director for the Red Bull Qiantang Surfing Shootout in Hangzhou, China , an invitational surfing event held on the ‘River Bore” in the city of Hangzhou this year won by the Australian team of Dean Morrison and Koby Abberton. He served as the President of Surfing America as it’s founder since it’s inception in 1997 until 2004, the SIMA funded non-profit umbrella organization which is the National Governing Body(NGB) for surfing in America under the ISA. He has been inducted into the Surfing Walk of Fame and Surfers’ Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach and the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame. In 2013 he was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the annual SIMA Waterman’s Ball”. “PT” lives in Huntington Beach, California, has three grown children, Rana, Jye and Tosh and a grand-daughter Jemmaly. Also considers Bianca Endersby his family too.

Presentation Title: Six Decades and Fifty Years of Surfing Stoke!
Presentation Day: Monday 13th March
Presentation Time: 9.20 - 9.40am